Columbo S04E06 A Deadly State of Mind (1975) – 6/10 Columbo crime detective TV review

Cast / crew
Peter Falk: Columbo
George Hamilton: Dr. Marcus Collier
Lesley Ann Warren: Nadia Donner
Stephen Elliott: Carl Donner
Bruce Kirby: Sergeant Kramer
Director: Harvey Hart
Writer: Peter S. Fischer
Writer (Series’ Creator): Richard Levinson
Writer (Series’ Creator): William Link
Producer: Everett Chambers

Columbo S04E06 A Deadly State of Mind (1975)

When a wealthy husband is unpremeditatingly killed by Marcus Collier, the wife’s lover and psychiatrist, Columbo is called in to investigate. Collier sets up the wife as the only witness, tells her to tell the police that her husband was killed by intruders as he sets about establishing an alibi on top of a coworker. Columbo, as always, is troubled by tiny inconsistencies involving headlights, tyre tracks, a gun and a piece of flint.


Columbo’s reasons for believing foul play are thin, even by his standards, a lot of the first part of the episode is slow-going and Falk isn’t given much fun stuff to do but it does get better. The unusual nature of the second murder is intriguing and the writer has clearly thought about it by adding drugs and a normal scenario to create an abnormal result (though humans have a self-preservation instinct which still works under hypnotic suggestion). This is also one of those episodes where Columbo pleasantly tells the murderer that he knows well before he has any proof, which is always fun. The highlight of the episode is the delightfully wonderful, if almost certainly illegal, climax. George Hamilton and the audience think they’re one step ahead of Columbo and it is cause for special joy when he reveals that we’re not. For Brits, special mention for the unintentionally hilarious line from Collier’s publisher: "Sorry, I don’t have a Willie."

This Columbo episode contains violence, unpleasant scene.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


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