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Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1994-2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Four-time Primetime Emmy winner Peter Falk returns as Lieutenant Columbo of the Los Angeles Police Department in seven mystery-packed TV movies that aired between 1994-2003, including Falk’s last ever appearance as TV’s greatest detective! Follow the always rumpled, eternally bumbling and constantly underestimated investigative genius as he takes on some of the most cunning criminals in his career with trademark wit, charm, persistence and ever-present cigar. Featuring an all-star roster including Rue McClanahan (The Golden Girls), George Wendt (Cheers), William Shatner (Star Trek, Boston Legal), Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey, Judging Amy) and more, this 3-disc set will keep every devoted mystery fan entertained over and over again.

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Falk
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 640 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005TFVM0I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,289 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on February 7, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like the previous Columbo movies produced when the series returned in the late 80's, this final set is a mixed bag of the best and worst of the show.

The best: great guest stars, intriguing murders, and, of course, Peter Falk in his Emmy-winning role.

The worst, and that can be summed up in one word: bloated. As was the case in even the classic Columbo's, the better shows were the 90-minute ones, rather than the 2-hour movies.

The best of the seven installments in this compilation are "Butterfly in Shades of Grey," featuring William Shatner making a second murderous turn; "Strange Bedfellows," with "Cheers" George Wendt and Oscar-winner Rod Steiger; "Ashes to Ashes," guest-starring Emmy winners Patrick McGoohan and Rue McClanahan; and "Columbo Likes the Nightlife," the final installment, highly reflective of its contemporary setting.

While "Undercover" and "A Trace of Murder" have their moments, "Murder with Too Many Notes" is possibly the weakest Columbo ever produced. The episode really suffers from a mediocre script and an even more mediocre villain in the form of guest star Billy Connolly.

There are no extras in this set and it would have seemed fitting that Falk's widow, Shera Danese - featured in "A Trace of Murder" and three previous episodes - would have been asked to give some commentary on her husband and his long association as the detective.

Though he is no longer able to don the rumpled coat and finish smoking that cigar, we, his fans, can revel in the fact that every one of Falk's Columbo appearances can be viewed over and over again...and that, in itself, deserves a "just one more thing..."
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At last, my Columbo collection is complete. My DVD set arrived on Friday night and by Sunday evening I had watched every episode! Watching the series evolve over the years is similar to waiting for a bottle of fine wine to properly age. Peter Falk always stayed true to the character without ever becoming stale. In the later years, at an age where many people would be retired, his portrayal showed that becoming older does not mean becoming irrelevant; he always gave us such wonderful insight into the satisfaction of loving your work and always finding a new challenge. This last set of movies, which included guest stars from earlier episodes, is an entertaining, and yes, bittersweet farewell to our beloved Peter Falk and Columbo. What an amazing legacy he left for us to enjoy!
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. . . thank you! This will complete my Columbo collection! I have all boxed sets from the beginning and look forward to this ending. One of my absolute favorites in set is Ashes to Ashes. Rue McLanahan is a delight in this episode and as always Patrick McGoohan is his excellent acting self!
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Format: DVD
I had to buy this DVD as it's the final piece to my Columbo collection, and for that reason primarily, I'm glad I bought it. As the series went on, Columbo became a caricature of himself -- we all know he's going to say "Oh, one more thing...". It's really not necessary for the writers to run that line into the ground. And by the way, I couldn't help but notice that Shera Danese, Peter Falk's wife, co-starred in two episodes in this set and she's been in earlier installments of this series as well (I assume, as an executive producer of "Columbo," Peter Falk was thinking "happy wife = happy life") because her acting leaves a LOT to be desired. The writing of this show wasn't half as good as the earlier seasons and, in fact, the only episode worth a 5-star rating is the one with George Wendt as a horsebreeder who kills his degenerate-gambler brother. The last episode, "Columbo Likes the Nightlife," was disappointing in that I expected the finale to be outstanding with a better-known cast of guest stars. The earlier seasons were definitely much, much better. Every now and then I go back and start at the first season and re-watch each and every DVD set and appreciate how great this show and the character of Lt. Frank Columbo is (according to NBC, that was his first name). There are no extras included here -- no episodes of "Mrs. Columbo" (as there are on the earlier-released DVDs). Thank God for small favors -- what a horrible spin-off THAT was!
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Well Columbo fans, we waited patiently. As I write this I do not in fact have this collection on DVD which will be out in January, 2012. My review however is valid since I have seen and collected each Columbo episode on VHS tape.
So my review is anticipatory. Now my collection will be complete, having already purchased the earlier episodes, both from the 1968-74 years and the later years when Mr. Falk reprised his role as Lt. Columbo. Having every episode enables me to watch a different one each evening with my grown kids who were not around or were too young to appreciate this great series. One of the best TV shows of all time.
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The two later Columbo movie sets, 1991 through 2003, were cropped on the top and bottom so that the image will match the shape of a modern TV screen. (The two earlier sets, 1989 and 1990, were not cropped.) I really wish people would speak out against this reprehensible practice, which amounts to mutilating works of art.
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