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Columbo - The Complete Third Season (1971)

Peter Falk  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Falk
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 9, 2005
  • Run Time: 684 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NZ36O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,035 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Columbo - The Complete Third Season" on IMDb

Special Features

Disc 2:
  • Bonus Episode: Mrs. Columbo "Murder is a Parlor Game"

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    In the detective series that inspired them all, acclaimed actor Peter Falk returns in his four-time Emmy-winning role as the wry and ruffled police lieutenant in Columbo Season Three - available on DVD for the first time ever! From the halls of Congress to the halls of academia, this dazzling 2-disc collection includes all 15 TV hours of the classic third season as well as an exciting bonus episode of the TV show Mrs. Columbo. A consistent favorite on the NBC Mystery Movie lineup, this thrilling season of Columbo features such illustrious guest stars as Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper and many more. You've seen the crime, now catch the murderer with everyone's favorite trenchcoat-wearing sleuth in each entertaining episode from the complete third season!

    Oh, just one more thing, mystery mavens--get ready to be mystified and entertained by the award-winning third season of Columbo, starring Peter Falk as the rumpled but unbeatable Lieutenant. Having taken home Emmys for outstanding limited drama and lead actor in its '71-'72 debut season, Columbo was again named best drama for its third season ('73-'74). The reason for the repeat success? The formula remained the same: intelligent, engaging scripts and direction, guest performances by top actors, and, of course, Falk at center stage as Columbo, the most unlikely of supersleuths, but unquestionably one of the sharpest (the role would later earn Falk three more Emmys between 1975 and 1990). The 10 episodes compiled in this two-disc set again feature top talent from film and television: directors include veterans Jeannot Swarc and Boris Sagal, as well as actors Nicholas Colasanto (better known as Coach from Cheers) and Ben Gazzara (Falk's frequent co-star in the films of John Cassavetes), while the season's scripts feature contributions from Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco, and Larry Cohen. And in regard to co-stars, Falk matched wits with the likes of Donald Pleasance, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Robert Culp (in one of four turns on the series), Jose Ferrer, Ida Lupino, and in two novel but effective casting choices, Johnny Cash and hard-boiled mystery scribe Mickey Spillane. And there's even a bonus feature in the form of an episode of the spinoff series Mrs. Columbo, starring Kate Mulgrew as the Lieutenant's oft-mentioned better half. In short, it's 11 hours of solid sleuthing for armchair detectives. --Paul Gaita

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    179 of 188 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Six stars if possible... May 17, 2005
    Each and every one of Columbo seasons are great and have something special but this third one stands as on of my personal favorites because of the plots and guests actors that are featured. LOVELY BUT LETHAL features the great Vera Miles, Martin Sheen and the one and only Vincent Price; ANY OLD PORT IN A STORM features the great Donald Pleasence in an outstanding performance as a wine industry man; CANDIDATE FOR CRIME features Jackie Cooper; DOUBLE EXPOSURE features Robert Culp; PUBLISH OR PERISH features Jack Cassidy and John Chandler; MIND OVER MAYHEM features Jose Ferrer; SWAN SONG, my personal favorite that features the great country legend Johnny Cash and actress Ida Lupino; A FRIEND IN DEED closes this extraordinary third season with the help of actor Richard Kiley.
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    110 of 118 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing July 18, 2005
    What can be said of Season 3? Let's break it down, shall we?

    3.1 Lovely But Lethal

    Not my favorite episode, but still features some great moments. And who can deny Vera Miles her beauty, charm, and sophistication? Did you know that Miles was Alfred Hitchcock's first choice to play Madeline in Vertigo?

    3.2 Any Old Port In A Storm

    This is held by many Columbo fans - including those who frequent the Ultimate Columbo Site - as the all time best Columbo episode ever. While its not my personal favorite, it is within my top 3 and I can easily see why this would get top ranking by some. It is a masterpiece. Falk is absolutely amazing, Donald Pleasence is just as good. And the story makes you want to go out and pick up a bottle of port!

    3.3 Candidate For Crime

    Ah, Nelson Hayward and his camel hair sports coat. Jackie Cooper makes an excellent Columbo killer, as well as a great politician! He schmoozes everyone, including his wife and girlfriend, like a pro. As usual, Columbo is great in this, and his pestering gets under the skin of Hayward like no one else, pushing Hayward to tell him that he likes Columbo a lot, but that he's a busy man and doesn't have time to fool around. Great moments are when Columbo goes to the shop to get fitted for a coat and later when, during the taping of a political commercial, Columbo absent-mindedly makes too much noise by clanging the victim's watch against an umbrella poll to prove how indestructible it is. Classic!

    3.4 Double Exposure

    Can you say, double your pleasure? This is definitely one of my top favorite 3 episodes. Robert Culp is back as Doctor Kepple, a highly organized and anal retentive research scientist specializing in cognitive science, and gives a stellar performance.
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    57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Content - 1 Star for Quality August 17, 2005
    The season is great. If you're a Columbo fan or even just a 'mystery' fan I recommend it. The content (Columbo) is fine. It is the quality of the product that is poor.

    First off - the packaging. The S1 Columbo episode used a higher gauge cardboard with higher gloss. The S3 set's outer package feels thin and flimsy. It is very obvious that they have cut back in quality. This extends to the plastic hardshell cases that the discs are in. They feel thinner and cheaper. The paper insert is also sort of plain and uninteresting. It really does seem like some super-cheap set that some guy pressed in his basement with generic plastic cases and printouts from Photoshop on an Inkjet.

    Sadly, this lack of quality spills over into the actual DVDs. Firstly, these are double sided discs. I'm no fan of this kind of disc. It always seems that the quality of a double sided disc is iffy at best. For this production it definitely hurt because I have had 3 different DVD players balk on 2 different sets (I returned the first set because the disc just would not play).

    And - worst of all - the actual mastering of the shows have some definite problems. In almost every episode there are points where the picture quality will go all 'fuzzy' and it looks like they are showing a grimy tape from the 1970s. Then 5 second later the picture snaps clean again. I have no idea what happened here, but it looks like they didn't bother cleaning up some scenes. It happens often enough that it gets distracting and the audio quality rises and falls as well sometimes.

    I'm happy to have the shows, but I sure hope Universal cleans house a bit on Season 4. Season 3's quality is (at best) spotty and in some areas is downright poor. Caveat emptor.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars can't wait... and yet... June 4, 2005
    I have been a Columbo fan since I was a wee lil lad and jumped at the first two seasons when they came out on DVD. And I expect I will when season three comes out as well. However I 'cringe' at the notice that season three contains only two discs. The run time is actually longer than season two (which has four discs) so I can only imagine that they are releasing these as double sided discs... which I can definately live with (I mean, hey, it's still Columbo one way or another).. but it doesn't mean I have to like it. Universal: please respect fans of these great TV shows that you are releasing. If you cut down on the production costs of DVDs please pass on the savings to us consumers!
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    21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Columbo is Good; but double sided discs were Bad August 15, 2005
    I recently bought the series with high expectations and Columbo was up to it with beautiful stories and exemplary acting. But the Double sided discs were faulty, even when I got it replaced, and it kept ruining the excitement.
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