MovieChat Forums > Columbo (1971) Discussion > *The case that Columbo couldn't solve ?

*The case that Columbo couldn't solve ?

If such a scenario had evolved during the series run, do you think this would have detrimentally effected the reputation of both Columbo as a detective, & the series writers for not giving our disheveled hero the arrest ?

Surely, Columbo during his long career had one failure at least, for whatever extenuating circumstances arose.

Maybe it could have been a 2 part episode, so at least we the audience, & the writers could at least flirt with the idea.

I only mention it, because it would have been interesting to see how Columbo would have reacted to such a scenario, as I said, surely no detective has a 100% strike rate, and I'm not talking about the judicial proceedings, as it's very likely that many of the accused would have been acquitted, I'm talking about Columbo not being able to build a strong enough case for an arrest.

So, do you think it would have 'broken' the character of Columbo, & the series formula, if such a rare instance had occurred? *


How many cases did Perry Mason lose in 271 episodes? Three, plus two that weren't part of the main story.

Contrast that to 69 Columbo episodes (including the newer ones). With such few episodes there really is no reason to show him failing to solve a case.

In other words, it's one thing for a weekly show of 30 episodes/season to show a loss, quite another for something that aired a half-dozen (give or take) episodes a year.


I think 69 episodes is rather alot, and quite a few episodes rehashed older plots & devices, so a dramatic turn of events would have perhaps added some energy to the show as it progressed, so I don't think the number of episodes is good enough reason why not, but i appreciate your answer, thank you :o) *


Wasn't there one episode when Columbo was investigating a "murder" of some guy's wife? The woman was missing, and presumed dead and all the evidence pointed to this one guy. However, right near the end, the woman turned up alive.

I can't remember what the episode was called, but the villain was a rather obnoxious millionaire.


It turned out he'd set up the fake evidence when his wife was out of town for a week, in an attempt to publicly waste police time, so when he murdered her the day after she returned, they wouldn't investigate it again, or have no credibility if they did.


Columbo Cries Wolf (1990)

It was on again just a couple of weeks ago.


Thanks man.


Funny story about me and Columbo Cries Wolf, that I've shared somewhere on this board.

When I first saw this episode on TV, it broke to commercial right after the wife returned from Europe, and Columbo was shaking his head in disbelief, because he was in big trouble for digging up the guy's yard searching for her body.

I was used to the 90-minute AMC / Hallmark channel shows, and I thought it was over! I fell asleep on the couch during the commercial break, and I thought that was the ending; Columbo's first unsolved case.

It wasn't until years later when I was gifted the DVD set of ABC Specials, and re-watched it, and realized there was more to the story!


Did he "solve" them?? Half of his cases would lose in court.