Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (2023)

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (1)

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Consequence 1

First transmission: 1989

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (2)

"You can't help but scream, 'I got you!' when he finally announces he's had enough to arrest Barsini."

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Renowned artist Max Barsini lives on the beach with Vanessa, his wife and a young local model, Julie, who is the subject of Max's "Fox Paintings". Alongside is his first wife, Louise, and the three combine to essentially create Max's personal harem. He loves having the three around and really controlling and pitting them against each other.

However, when he spies on psychologist Sydney Hammer leaving Louise's house one night, Max learns that Louise has a crush on Sydney and is about to move in with him. But that leaves a problem. Louise is the only person who knows that Max murdered his former art dealer and friend, Harry Chudnow.

Max hatches a plan to murder Louise and creates an alibi by pretending to paint a picture for Vito, the owner of Vito's Bar where Max lived with Louise. Max escapes through a window and goes to a quiet beach where Louise is swimming. He smoothes her out with a cloth soaked in paint putty, then places her unconscious body in the sea before returning to Vito's house to unveil his new work of art.

When Louise's body is discovered the next day, Columbo intervenes while Max is taken away to identify the body, which Max believes was staged to make it look like a simple case of drowning.

However, Columbo is immediately suspicious that Louise only wears one contact lens since the other was removed and put back in the case.

(Video) Columbo - Murder, a Self Portrait Review - S09E01

The ruse used by Columbo to catch the killer

Barsini does himself a disservice on this front by announcing that Columbo has an interesting face and that he would like to paint one.

This immediately gives Columbo the opportunity to observe Barsini's painting, noting many splashes of paint on the floor. He also gives Columbo the opportunity to play the Barsini recordings, in which Louise details her recurring dreams, recorded for her sessions with psychologist Sydney Hammer, which appear to Columbo to contain clues to Harry Chudnow's murder.

But when Columbo looks around Vito's upstairs room, he sees that there are no fresh traces of paint on the floor where Barsini should have painted. He later finds a patch of red paint on Louise's lip in the morgue, identified as specially made Barsini Red, said to be from the rag Barsini used to suffocate her. That means Columbo can locate you at the crime scene.

However, it is not enough to crack the alibi. How could Barsini come in with a blank canvas and leave with a completely finished painting? Columbo reveals it all: the simple matter of covering the painting with a blank canvas.

Is there enough to pan for gold and get it for Harry Chudnow's murder? Of course we will never know. But somehow we all have to doubt Columbo would ever let that happen.

The Complexity of Murder

As for the Columbus murders, that's pretty complicated. Max Barsini not only had to find an alibi, he also had to paint a picture beforehand to make it appear as if he had actually spent the entire time in an upstairs room with Vito, although of course he was outside. . And he needs to do all this in advance and know exactly where Louise will be.

How angry does the killer get at Columbus?

Barsini's desire to paint Columbo gives Columbo carte blanche to attend meetings and speak with Barsini at length. Of course, this is just a request for trouble. When will these killers find out? And of course, anyone with an artistic temperament who is a control freak will be seriously annoyed by Columbo's hunt and investigation. It's no surprise, then, that Barsini destroys Columbo in style early on, and this is amplified when Vanessa and Julie finally put an end to their feud and leave the house together.

For Columbo fans looking for serious examples of Columbo turning out to be a killer, here's a great one.

The smug wealth factor

If there were a rating out of ten for the conjecture of Columbo's murder, Barsini would be far off the scale. Here's a character who isn't happy unless she controls everyone and is clearly not happy with just one woman's attention. If you can find a more irritating, less entertaining killer in another episode of Columbo, you're a better man than me.

This man radiates only hate in the audience - in the end you want to stick him in a broth and throw rotten eggs and tomatoes at him. No moment could be happier than when Columbo finally gets it right.

Not only that, Vanessa and Julie spend most of the episode being completely unlikable people, thanks largely to their rivalry for Max's affections. The only two consistently likable characters are Sydney and Louise.

subplot quality

There's no Columbo-related subplot here, but Harry Chudnow's disappearance (and murder) and the references to it in Louise's dream recordings offer some interesting distractions from just how irritating and arrogant Barsini is.

Mention of Dona Colombo

It's not a large sum, although Columbo seems quite pleased when Barsini declares that he wants to paint Columbo's portrait, proclaiming with a big smile on his face, "Wait till my wife hears about it"!

(Video) The Best 'Columbo' Episodes 💚

With that, we're assuming she's obviously a huge fan. But everyone seems to love Max Barsini, so chances are Columbo was no different. Although we really don't know because it's never explicitly mentioned. But let's assume.

What does Columbus learn about this episode?

Not much, really. He gets a little introduction to painting techniques, but no more than in the previous episodes.

Has anyone been given sedatives?

No, unless the diluent has been classified as a tranquilizer. While it has the effect of putting your ex-wife to sleep for a while, it's not directly available by prescription.

Deviations from the norm and inconsistencies with other Columbo episodes

Not really.

regular cast appearances

A tavern called "Bar do Vito" needs someone to serve their customers and preferably someone named Vito. So who more than regular Columbus sweetheart Vito Scotti? It's all so obvious.

Sherea Danese, the real-life wife of Peter Falk, makes her third appearance in Columbo to play the obnoxious Vanessa, and actually manages to play her with such aplomb that she has appeared in similar roles in two subsequent episodes of Columbo. 🇧🇷

And of course we should all enjoy ourselves, because the always wonderful dog is in the episode too, although Barsini refuses to paint him alongside Columbus.

Generally

It has to be said that this is one of the most scandalous storylines in an episode of Columbo. To call this a bit of an exaggeration would seem like an understatement. I mean, an artist who essentially has his own harem? Even in the rich, selfish worlds that most of Columbo's villains live in, that seems a bit far-fetched.

But there is something very nice about this episode, mainly because of the quality of the cast (you can't think of anyone who plays Barsini better than Patrick Bauchau) and the direction. There are some fantastic accents, a prime example being the flashback sequences when Louise's dream recordings are played.

Shown in black and white, of course, there is a brilliant touch in the fact that each shows Columbus seated for his portrait, while Barsini paints him, both poses entirely static. One moment the two are in an alcove at Vito's Bar when Louise walks in, the next moment they're upstairs in the same pose as Barsini eats some fruit.

And it has a fantastic reveal. Colombo eliminates Barsini, slowly but surely revealing his cards. You can't help but yell "Gotcha!" when he finally announces that he's had enough to put aside the rather unpleasant job that is Barsini. Thank God.

your vision

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (3)

(Video) Lt. Columbo Surprise Guest at Frank Sinatra Roast (1978)

Carlos

Posted Mar 28, 2012 at 3:46pm

My husband and I still enjoy looking at the Columbo urns whenever we can. Almost everyone we knew identified with Columbus. Even though Peter Falk was Jewish, I thought he was at least partly Italian since he was so good looking and played the role so well. He was a very popular American actor. Rest in peace Peter Falcon.

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (4)

Ricardo

Posted on 11/23/2012 at 9:39 p.m

I think the critics have a fondness for the nineties show. This may be one of the best in ABC's Colombo series, but it still falls short of the heights of the 1970s series. I mean how do they get 5 cigars and the classic 'Etude in Black' gets 3 cigars?

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (5)

Andres Bowden

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

I can't deny it, I prefer the latter. They just look a little crazier and that usually appeals to me!

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (6)

Leigh Perle

Posted on 12/15/2012 at 7:57 p.m

Does anyone know where the portrait of Columbus from this episode ended up? Someone out there must own it!

I wish it was available as a poster or transfer to canvas, like Kramer's famous portrait of Seinfeld.

(Video) Columbo - Agenda For Murder Review - S09E03

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (7)

Susan Thornton

Posted Sep 8, 2013 at 1:39pm

I never get tired of watching the same Columbo movies over and over again, I even have the box set. I love Peter Falk, nobody could have played Columbo that accurately, he's evolved the character over the years. I would love Murder's portrait - a self-portrait

Rest in Peace Peter X

Murder: A Self-Portrait - The Good Columbo Guide (8)

Chama by Elaine

Posted Sep 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

Nobody mentioned the wonderfully clever scene where Columbo interviews the psychologist and subtly turns out to be the psychologist himself! pure shine

Say your opinion

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(Video) columbo - s02e01 - etude in black - clip

FAQs

Did Columbo solve all his cases? ›

8) Did Columbo ever lose a case? Columbo always figured out who committed the murder -- usually within his first few minutes at the crime scene, but occasionally after more prolonged puzzlement, as in Columbo Cries Wolf. However, there were times when a perpetrator was never charged.

How much did Peter Falk make per episode of Columbo? ›

Falk was rumored to be earning $300,000 per episode when he returned for Season 6 of Columbo in 1976. This doubled to $600,000 per episode when the series made its comeback in 1989.

Did Columbo have a child? ›

Children. Columbo had children, but no details were ever disclosed about them. As with his wife, their actual existence within the show have been questioned, but as with his wife there is evidence that they were real.

Did Columbo drink alcohol? ›

When it comes to casual boozing, Columbo was in a world of its own. In the 70s especially, the show was simply awash with booze. Every villain seemed to have a well-stocked bar within arm's reach at any time – and they all seemed to make ruddy good use of them, too.

What was Peter Falk's favorite Columbo episode? ›

What are Peter Falk's favorite "Columbo" episodes ? They are as seen on an NBC special: Any Old Port in the Storm (1973) Forgotten Lady (1975)

What was Columbo's famous saying? ›

When fans hear Lieutenant Columbo's trademark phrase “just one more thing…” we know he's about to crack the case wide open. The unconventional detective, played brilliantly by Peter Falk, first appeared on our screens in 1968.

What actor appeared on Columbo the most? ›

The most recurring Columbo guest star was Mike Lally, who had cameos in at least 23 episodes.

Did Columbo really speak Italian? ›

It was established in two episodes that Columbo speaks fluent Italian. With his New York accent and olive complexion he played a convincing Italian-American. In reality, Peter Falk was of Polish-Jewish, Czech-Jewish, and Hungarian-Jewish ancestry and was not an Italian speaker.

Did they ever show Columbo's wife on Columbo? ›

The miracle of Mrs Columbo is that although she is never seen or heard, she makes her presence felt throughout "Columbo". Without ever showing her face, she remains a major character in the show, capturing our imagination and affection.

What brand of cigar did Columbo smoke? ›

We do know, from Columbo himself, that he buys “these fellas” at the supermarket (Mind Over Mayhem).

Who turned down the role of Columbo? ›

4. Bing Crosby was considered for the role of Columbo. The famous crooner was thought to be a perfect fit for the role of Columbo in the early conception of the series by its creators. Crosby ended up turning down the role, not wanting to be tied down to a network television schedule.

Was Columbo's wife murdered? ›

Mrs Columbo, of course, is alive and well. Columbo never even gave her the marmalade in the first place because he suspected Vivian's ill intent and had it checked by the forensics team. He's been onto her from the start and her bid for revenge never had a chance of success.

What is Mrs Columbo's first name? ›

Kate Columbo, wife of the famous lieutenant, solves crimes as a reporter, while raising her little daughter. Mrs. Kate Columbo, wife of the famous lieutenant, solves crimes as a reporter, while raising her little daughter.

How old was Columbo when he lost his eye? ›

' " Peter Michael Falk was born Sept. 16, 1927, in New York City, and grew up in Ossining, N.Y., where his father owned a clothing store. At 3, his right eye was removed because of a cancerous growth, and he was given a glass eye.

Was Columbo a womanizer? ›

“He was an incorrigible philanderer,” says Lertzman. “On every film set he was pursuing other women. Alyce turned a blind eye to his infidelities but it hurt and finally she had enough.” They divorced in 1976 and the next year Falk married his longtime mistress, actress Shera Danese, 22 years his junior.

What was Columbo's favorite meal? ›

Perhaps eating chile peppers is the culinary expression of an adventurous spirit and a fun-seeking nature." It is established very early, in one of the "Columbo" pilot movies, that Columbo is a dedicated chili-head.

Is Columbo dog his own? ›

Like his character, Henry was found at an animal pound in Burbank, California by his trainer, Ray Berwick, but after his Hollywood days were over, Henry lived out his life as a beloved pet and ultimately passed away of old age.

What song does Columbo always whistle? ›

Columbo also featured an unofficial signature tune, the children's song "This Old Man". It was introduced in the episode "Any Old Port in a Storm" in 1973 and the detective can be heard humming or whistling it often in subsequent films.

What did Peter Falk think of Mrs Columbo? ›

Reception. Peter Falk expressed his disapproval of the spin-off, calling it a "bad idea" and "disgraceful". When Columbo returned to the air in 1989 on ABC, it was further established that Lt.

What kind of car did Columbo drive? ›

Back to Lieutenant Columbo and his Peugeot 403 convertible. It was common knowledge that Peugeot wasn't that happy about how Columbo took care of his 403, or lack thereof, as his car was always dirty, had a patched paint job and seemed to smoke regularly.

What is the Columbo question? ›

You ask the Columbo question to take advantage of the principle that the best information might come at the end of a conversation. The Columbo Question is the last question you ask: Is there anything that I haven't asked you that I should have asked you?

What was Columbo's disability? ›

Colombo was diagnosed with spinal meningitis at the age of 7, resulting in a complete loss of hearing and paralysis in his legs. His family encouraged him to learn to swim to strengthen his legs, and within a year he was able to walk again.

Where is Columbo's grave? ›

Westwood Cemetery, Los Angeles, California is the final resting place of actor Peter Falk. Falk is most recognizable as the television character "Columbo." However, Peter Falk was quite a prolific talent and starred in myriad roles both on television and in film.

Where is Columbo's accent from? ›

First, there is Columbo's accent, and his ethnicity. His speech patterns are clearly those of an eastern urban center, most likely New York, and his Italian heritage, while certainly not unique to one place, would be consistent with growing up in pre-war New York City.

Did Columbo have a glass eye? ›

Did You Know: Peter Falk's classic squint in Columbo was actually due to a prosthetic eye. He lost one eye to cancer when he was just three years old. Blanca Teresa Gonzalez Mereles and 645 others like this. Awesome show cant ever make another Colombo.

Who was the boy genius on Columbo? ›

Screenwriters Steven Bochco and Dean Hargrove pay tribute to Steven Spielberg, who had directed Murder by the Book (1971) earlier in the series: the boy genius character is called Stephen Spelberg.

Did Columbo really fall? ›

When Columbo walks down a steep, grassy hill to inspect the wreckage of the Jaguar, he loses his footing and stumbles, taking a big fall and landing on his back. This wasn't staged; it was Peter Falk, not a stuntman.

Was Columbo big in Japan? ›

Columbo has fans all around the world, but he enjoys a very special popularity in Japan.

Why doesn t Columbo wear a wedding ring? ›

In their minds, Columbo was more likely to be a bachelor who lived alone and was married to his work. He never wears a wedding ring, for one thing. Levinson and Link wanted Columbo to be a mysterious figure.

Why did Columbo always wear a raincoat? ›

In one of his "Columbo" novels, author William Harrington has Columbo explaining that he always wears the raincoat because it acts as a sort of portable desk or filing system, allowing Columbo to carry around his daily accumulation of clues and paraphernalia, without having to switch everything from the pockets of one ...

How many Columbo's did Peter Falk make? ›

He made his first appearance as Columbo in the 1968 TV movie Prescription: Murder. Over a period of 35 years (1968–2003), Falk portrayed the character in 69 intermittent episodes and made-for-TV movies, winning four Emmy Awards.

Why is Columbo's cigars green? ›

Caption Options. The most obvious corollary would be Peter Falk's Columbo, but “cigar” and “detective” is their only superficial overlap as characters. Columbo favored short, green cigars—the color of inexperience—which he constantly puffed, chewed, and waved around in performative ignorance.

What kind of shoes did Columbo wear? ›

The shoes, meanwhile, are unglamorously written up as being 'a pair of brown leather high-top shoes with brown laces, size unknown, each with a cork shoe liner. ' It does note, however, that they were made by 'Shoemaker to the Stars' Di Fabrizio.

How much is Columbo's coat worth? ›

At an admittedly much higher reserve, the coat and shoes went unsold at auction in November 2017 after initially seeking bids in the region of $80-$120,000.

What happened to Columbo in real life? ›

Peter Falk, the American actor most famous for his role as scruffy TV detective Columbo, has died aged 83. The actor died peacefully at home in Beverly Hills on Thursday night, his family said in a statement. He had been suffering from dementia for a number of years.

Why was Columbo cancelled? ›

Unfortunately, Columbo will no longer be available on MeTV after Sunday, November 21, 2021. MeTV wanted to continue to air Columbo, but the studio that owns the rights chose to end our agreement. That was their decision, not ours.

Where is Columbo's car? ›

Sadly, the original Peugeot was allowed to deteriorate to the point where it was deemed unsalvageable after the series ended. reports that a "friend" left it a mere 100 feet from the high tides at Mission Beach, California.

What gender is Columbo? ›

The name Columbo is primarily a male name of Italian origin that means Dove. Name of a TV character Detective.

Is Columbo based on a real person? ›

The Columbo character was based squarely on Porfiry Petrovich, the astute but meandering lead investigator in Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment.” They based the character squarely on Porfiry Petrovich, the astute but meandering lead investigator in Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment – a book both had studied at college.

Why was Columbo so successful? ›

It was the humanity of Falk's performance that gave Columbo such a universal appeal. "One ought to take one's hat off to the extraordinary acting skills of Peter Falk," says broadcaster, actor and writer Stephen Fry, a Columbo connoisseur who believes it is the greatest television series of all time.

Did Columbo plant evidence? ›

Sure, Columbo has planted or contrived evidence before, but the emphasis has always been on the way the villain reacted to it and showing that if he had been innocent he would not have acted in that way.

Did Columbo ever stop smoking? ›

Smoking Style

Columbo handles and works his prop cigar to perfection, like a man born to the art – so it's a bit surprising that in real life, Peter Falk is not a cigar man. Falk is a lifelong cigarette smoker, who enjoys a cigar just occasionally.

How did the series Columbo end? ›

The season five finale, "Last Salute to the Commodore," saw the detective literally heading (well, rowing) off into the sunset in the final shot. It was thought that this would be the finale for the character and series. Of course, Columbo would return for two more seasons on NBC.

Who played the killer the most on Columbo? ›

Patrick McGoohan played a Columbo murderer more times than any other actor – four times. Jack Cassidy and Robert Culp each had three appearances as killers.

Who was first choice for Columbo? ›

According to the show's co-writer-creator William Link, Bing Crosby was first offered the role of Columbo. However, citing the fact that he didn't want to commit to a TV series, he refused the role. He also said, jokingly, that doing the series would interfere with his golf game.

Who turned down the lead role in Columbo? ›

4. Bing Crosby was considered for the role of Columbo. The famous crooner was thought to be a perfect fit for the role of Columbo in the early conception of the series by its creators. Crosby ended up turning down the role, not wanting to be tied down to a network television schedule.

Why did Columbo only have one eye? ›

Peter Michael Falk was born Sept. 16, 1927, in New York City, and grew up in Ossining, N.Y., where his father owned a clothing store. At 3, his right eye was removed because of a cancerous growth, and he was given a glass eye.

Did Columbo use his own dog? ›

In “real” life, the actor who portrayed Columbo, Peter Falk, wasn't keen on having a dog as an occasional co-star, but NBC insisted, and Falk relented after seeing “Henry,” the Basset Hound who would play “Dog.” “Columbo” wasn't Henry's first rodeo, so to speak.

Why are Columbo's cigars green? ›

Caption Options. The most obvious corollary would be Peter Falk's Columbo, but “cigar” and “detective” is their only superficial overlap as characters. Columbo favored short, green cigars—the color of inexperience—which he constantly puffed, chewed, and waved around in performative ignorance.

What was Columbo's favorite food? ›

Perhaps eating chile peppers is the culinary expression of an adventurous spirit and a fun-seeking nature." It is established very early, in one of the "Columbo" pilot movies, that Columbo is a dedicated chili-head.

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