Columbo (1971–2003)
27 user 4 critic

Troubled Waters 

Lt. Columbo takes a trip to Acapulco, but finds himself on a new case when a used car dealer commits murder on the cruise ship.



(teleplay by), (story by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Sylvia Danziger
Poupée Bocar ...
Rosanna Wells
Artie Podell
Curtis Credel ...
The Magician


Hayden Danziger is on a cruise with his older but much, much richer wife Sylvia. Rosanna Wells is on the same ship, as its singer. Rosanna and Hayden were recently lovers, after which Rosanna began blackmailing Hayden; so, having decided to kill her, he has planned the perfect crime - or so it seems, since Lt. Columbo is cruising on that very same ship and the captain has asked for his help. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

9 February 1975 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


| (dvd release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the very few episodes of Columbo in which the Lieutenant appears on screen before the murder takes place. See more »


Lloyd Harrington can be seen sitting at the piano during the magician's act. This comes right after the captain had confined him to his quarters for the murder of singer Rosanna Wells. See more »


Lt. Columbo: [seasick] The same thing happened to me last year. My wife and I were checked into this motel with a water bed. I thought I was gonna die.
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Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the co-operation and courtesies furnished by Princess Cruises and the offices and staff of the Sun Princess. See more »


Referenced in Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976) See more »


C'est si bon
Music by Henri Betti
Played by an orchestra
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User Reviews

Nothing that much troubling about this episode...
23 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

For me this is one of the better Columbo episodes. It is not a perfect episode, it does take too long to set up and some of the clues are rather obvious(how many mistakes does a murderer need to make?). I know some may find the ending downbeat, but I had no problem with it personally. Even with the faults, Troubled Waters is a very interesting episode. It is a refreshing change of pace, taking place on a ship, which is a quite sumptuous setting in itself, and it is slickly filmed. The music is fitting with the period and with the jaunty and haunting moments you'd expect. Apart from some of the obvious clues and slow start, the mystery rolls along and is diverting, and the dialogue is still clever and intelligent. Peter Falk is as wonderful as ever, some of his trademarks are not on display here such as the raincoat, but his shrewd, observant and cunning personality still remains. Robert Vaughn is good in his role and this is the better of the two appearances he gave, if not among the best guest villain performances of the series(McGoohan, Gordon, Cassidy, Culp, Clark, Leigh, Wilkinson and Torn), but if I were honest I found Dean Stockwell to be a little more at ease here. All in all, one of the better episodes with not much troubling about it. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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