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5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Release of More Terrific Episodes, February 21, 2007
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This review is from: Columbo - Mystery Movie Collection, 1989 (DVD)
This latest boxed set of excellent DVD releases of the classic Columbo TV detective series represent the first of the later produced feature-lenghth episodes that were aired.

Universal, which owns Columbo, has called this set "Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1989." Included are all of the episodes that fans consider comprise Season Eight, along with the first episode of Season Nine, which ultimately had six episodes. Those episodes apparently are going to be released in the next boxed set of these later movies.

In addition to the episodes in 1990, the franchise churned out 13 more terrific episodes between 1991 and 2003 featuring the rumpled (and ultimately attractively graying) Peter Falk in the title role, which has truly and deservedly become an iconic TV character. Hopefully, the entire Columbo catalog will be released on DVD.

This boxed set includes a cornucopia of great stories and stellar acting, a trademark of the series. The last episode included is my favorite episode of the entire series. This three-disc set includes:

Disc 1: "Columbo goes to the Guillotine," which aired Feb. 9, 1989. Lt. Columbo delves into the world of magic, ESP and slight of hand as he investigates the death of a magician, Matt Dyson, who appears to have been beheaded by his own invention, a trick guillotine. There appears to be a tie to a prodigal psychic supported by a government founded institute on parapsychology. Primary Guest Star Anthony Andrews as Eliot Blake.

"Murder, Smoke, And Shadows," which aired Feb. 27, 1989. An egocentric film director resorts to his mastery of special effects to murder a vengeful friend who discovers the director's role in the movie-stunt death of the friend's sister years before. Filmed on University Studio's backlots. Primary Guest Star is Fisher Stevens as Alex Brady.

Disc 2: "Sex and The Married Detective," which aired April 3, 1989. A radio personality billed as "The Sex Therapist of the Airwaves" finds she must counsel herself when her personal assistant ends up in bed with her business manager/lover. The scorned lady murders the cheating beau and tries to pin the blame on her assistant. Lt. Columbo smells a beautiful rat. Primary Guest Star Lindsay Crouse as Dr. Joan Allenby.

"Grand Deceptions," which aired June 1989. A man heads a private military think tank, First Foundation for American Thought, for for would-be soldiers. The foundation is owned by a wheel-chair-bound General, who has become suspicious because a large amount of money seems to be siphoned off into to a "Special Project Fund" that he knows nothing about. The General tell a close college to investigate, but instead of reporting the fraud he discovers, the "friend" decides to blackmail the foundation operator. Primary Guest Stars Robert Foxworth as Frank Braile and Stephen Elliott as General Padget.

Disc 3: "Murder: A Self Portrait," which aired Nov. 25, 1989. A famous artist, lives very unconventionally with his wife and a beautiful live-in model at his beach house/studio. The artist's ex-wife lives in the beach house next door. Together, these women comprise Max's private little harem. He loves them all in different ways, but, more importantly, he likes to control them. In fact, Max derives a great deal of satisfaction from the fact that they all fight for his attention and are reliant upon him financially, emotionally and sexually. The competitive jealousy between the women reaches a crescendo at the dinner table one night when he asks each of them what they think of the other. Their answers prove the intense rivalry between the women, and one of them winds up murdered. Primary Guest Stars Patrick Bauchau as Artist Max Barsini, Fionnula Flanagan as Louise Barsini and Shera Danese as Vanessa Barsini.

Patrick Bauchau is a familiar face on TV, having guest starred on numerous shows, and had been a regular on the cult classic The Pretender as Sidney. In an interview, Bauchau has called his role as Max Barsini his favorite in his long and successful career in the US and Europe. It is also my favorite Columbo episode ever produced. The cast is amazing and the story so compelling that it will stay with you long after the well-deserved credits have rolled.

Shera Danese is Peter Falk's wife, and appeared in five other Columbo episodes during the run of the series.

Fans should continue to thank Universal for releasing these episodes on DVD, helping new generations of viewers discover why is series was such a TV landmark.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2007 7:04:28 PM PDT
A. Hobbs says:
you should give a "spoiler " warning ..alot of the details you posted play out during the movie.

thanks

Posted on Mar 24, 2007 7:37:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2007 7:41:21 AM PDT
You and I share a fondness for "Murder: A Self Portrait." I, too, find it to be the most engaging "Columbo" ever with brilliant performances, a truly wondrous score, intriguing camerawork, and the appearance of "Columbo" stalwart Vito Scotti as a bartender. I think Scotti had been featured it at least three previous installments of the show.

I really liked "Sex and The Married Detective," also. Lindsey Crouse really makes a transformation from businesswoman to sexy predator with just a change of outfit and attitude. The sexiest "Columbo" installment ever.

Posted on Apr 11, 2007 3:23:53 PM PDT
jokeypo1963 says:
Thank You for your comment. I currently own all the prior releases on the Columbo episodes on DVD (Seasons 1-7) . These later episodes are the ones I was leary about adding to my Columbo Collection. I remember watching these episodes in the 1990's, but preferred the earlier 1970's Columbo. However, since the price is right and your review was very helpful, I decided on purchasing the Mystery Movie Collection 1989.

Posted on Apr 23, 2007 2:15:09 PM PDT
To the poster who complained about "spoilers..." To give away the identity of the culprit is no spoiler for "Columbo." We know whodunit from very early on in the story.

Posted on May 22, 2007 3:53:26 PM PDT
I AM A DEVOTED COLUMBO FAN, HAVE PURCHASED ALL THE DISCS AND AM GOING NUTS TRYING TO FIND OUT IF THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SET RELEASED SOON! I CAN ONLY THINK OF THREE MORE MOVIES AFTER THIS 1989 SET AND HOPE SOMEONE CAN FILL ME IN ON WHICH ONES I CAN'T QUITE REMEMBER. IS THERE A RELEASE DATE FOR THE NEXT DVD COLLECTION. JUST HAVE TO KNOW!
WOULD APPRECIATE SOMEONE LETTING ME KNOW.
THANKS

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2008 4:55:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2008 3:04:44 PM PST
Hey. I have been looking for someone else who is a Columbo fan. I also own (Seasons 1-7) After reading the reviews I did purchase Mystery Movie Collection. I enjoyed watching Columbo at work again. I have a question, who was the elderly man that appeared in practically all the espisodes of (Seasons 1-7)

Posted on Nov 5, 2013 6:01:40 PM PST
Equalizer says:
Murder: A Self Portrait was indeed an incredible performance from Bauchau. Remember watching that episode in college.
Glad I'm in good company.

Posted on Dec 5, 2013 5:16:01 PM PST
Tom Reid says:
I have this set. What a disappointment to discover that there are 4-5 lengthy advertisements (other DVD sets) at the beginning of the DVD. No way to speed past them either. What a terrible compromise!
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