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Columbo (1971)

38 mistakes

Starring: Peter Falk

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Requiem for a Falling Star - S2-E5

New this month Other mistake: Twice, Columbo tries to reach his wife via telephone. On the second attempt, he dials seven numbers but on his first attempt, he dials only five numbers.

The Greenhouse Jungle - S2-E2

New this month Plot hole: Jarvis Goodland, who grows orchids in a greenhouse, shoots and kills his nephew. A year earlier, Goodland had fired a shot at an intruder who was attempting to steal some orchids. The shot missed and went into the dirt of a flower pot. Columbo finds the bullet and it helps to prove Goodland killed his nephew. A bullet fired from a .32-caliber pistol would have shattered the pot.

Short Fuse - S1-E7

New this month Continuity mistake: While riding in a chauffeur-driven car, Mr. Buckner wants to smoke a cigar. He picks up a wooden cigar box. The lid is secured by two pieces of black tape. He peels up one piece of tape. After a close-up of his face is shown, he peels up the second piece of tape and the first piece is now back in its original position across the lid.

Short Fuse - S1-E7

New this month Continuity mistake: A chauffeur is driving Mr. Buckner to a mountain cabin. It is 7:30 pm and a very heavy rain is falling. The car explodes, killing both men. When their bodies are located the following morning, the road and the surrounding hills are completely dry. There are not even any puddles.

Ransom for a Dead Man - S1-E1

Continuity mistake: When Columbo is eating his chili in the booth at the diner, whilst talking to the daughter of the murderer, his bowl of chili moves. It is right in front of him at one point but is then away from him. And it now contains less food.

Forgotten Lady - S5-E1

Continuity mistake: When Raymond brings the doctor his milk and pill, the tray with the milk and pill are already on the bedside table.

Ashes to Ashes - S13-E3

Factual error: An important plot point is that diamonds do not burn and can be recovered from the ashes of a cremated body. This is completely wrong - diamonds would combust freely at cremation temperatures, and since they are pure carbon they don't even leave any residue.


The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: In the middle of summer in southern California, water spread thinly on an outdoor ceramic surface would start evaporating immediately and would be gone in about fifteen minutes. The surrounds of the pool would be bone dry by the time Columbo arrived at the scene, nearly an hour after the murderer sprayed the water there.


The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: Probably an in joke - the wheels of the "airliner" shown landing at LA international airport are those of a B52 bomber. They are very distinctive and look nothing like those on any airliner ever made.


Troubled Waters - S4-E4

Factual error: In common with a number of characters in a numerous episodes, Columbo hopelessly contaminates crucial evidence - at the end of the episode he handles the surgical gloves used by the killer with bare hands.


Lovely But Lethal - S3-E1

Continuity mistake: Viveca's beauty mark switches cheeks several times between shots while she talks to her assistant.

Jean G

Murder in Malibu - S9-E6

Continuity mistake: At the end, when Columbo is demonstrating on the mannequin, his cigar changes position between shots.


Dead Weight - S1-E4

Continuity mistake: Helen Stewart and her mother are boating in the harbor and are about to pass a small island. A Marine colonel goes to the nearby home of a retired general to inform him that he is under investigation for cost overruns on a government contract, Fearing that the colonel will implicate him, the general shoots and kills him near a window. Helen is looking toward the home and witnesses the shooting. She tells her mother, "We have to go back." The boat is in the same position it was in five minutes earlier.

√Čtude in Black - S2-E1

Character mistake: During a rehearsal, conductor Alex Benedict instructs the orchestra to play "como un fantasia." Columbo asks Benedict's wife Janice what those words mean. She tells him, "It's Latin for 'like a fantasy." The words are Italian, not Latin.

Ransom for a Dead Man - S1-E1

Continuity mistake: In the living room of their home, Lesley Williams shoots her husband in the chest. As he falls, he knocks a lamp off a small table. Lesley puts the lamp back on the table, but in all the following scenes in the living room the lamp is gone.

Make Me a Perfect Murder - S7-E3

Continuity mistake: When Kay retrieves the gun from the elevator ceiling, they switch shots several time looking up at the ceiling and down from the ceiling. In one shot looking up, the barrel and grip of the gun are over the edge of the ceiling tile. In the next down shot, just the barrel is near the edge and the grip is inches away. Back to an up shot and the gun returns to barrel and grip over the edge.

A Deadly State of Mind - S4-E6

Plot hole: (Spoiler) Mrs. Donner screams in fright just as she jumps to her death from her balcony. This seems unreasonable since she believes herself to be going for a swim (under post-hypnotic suggestion) The scream is heard by a later witness to help establish time of death. If she suddenly realized the deadliness of her act, why would she continue with it?

Suitable for Framing - S1-E5

Continuity mistake: Colombo is talking to Mr. Kingston in the building entry after the reading of the will. A girl with red and white striped sleeves walks out of the building. A minute later she walks out of the building again.

Double Exposure - S3-E4

Continuity mistake: Just before the end we see a slide of Columbo looking at the lamp, but in the next shot of Columbo the slide is reversed.

Undercover - S12-E3

Continuity mistake: Columbo ushers Krutch and Susan into an office for questioning. When he closes the door, the venetian blinds on it change from straight to misaligned and back again between shots.

Jean G

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Columbo's first name is revealed when Columbo shows his badge at the door, freeze the picture. A little more light and a little turn - and you can read the signature: Frank Columbo.


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