Columbo (1971–2003)
34 user 4 critic

Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star 

Lt. Columbo matches wits with a defense lawyer who has never lost a case in his career.


Alan J. Levi


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Shera Danese ... Trish Fairbanks
Cheryl Paris Cheryl Paris ... Marcy Edwards
Julian Stone ... Neddy Malcolm
Sondra Currie ... Sgt. Hubach
Little Richard ... Self
John Martin ... Sam Marlowe
Steven Gilborn ... George
John Finnegan ... Chief Quentin Corbett
Grant Heslov ... Lab Technician
Dabney Coleman ... Hugh Creighton
Deborah Rose Deborah Rose ... Housekeeper
Tad Horino ... Gardener Ando Miaki
Joseph Chapman Joseph Chapman ... Prosecutor
Ann Weldon Ann Weldon ... Judge




A successful lawyer learns that his companion has been having an affair and upon learning of this throws her out. She in turn threatens to reveal his illegal tactics unless she gets some compensation for the time that they were together. He in turn, kills her and frames her boyfriend. Written by <>

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Shara Danese would star with Peter Falk again in 2005. They starred together in "Checking Out", one of Falks last films. See more »


The killer's fake alibi hinges on a speed trap photo. An accomplice drove his car past a speed trap wearing a mask, a flat photo of the murderer's face. This is demonstrated by Columbo towards the end of the show.

In that demonstration, it is clear that the person wearing the mask can't see, and Columbo helps her to exit his car. The photo of the speed camera also shows the killer's eyes, there were no visible holes in the mask. Allegedly, this means that the accomplice supposedly drove the car fast enough to set off the speed trap, while completely blind. However, a person can see reasonably well through the mask by simply poking a few pin holes through the eyes. These would not be visible on the police camera but are sufficient to allow the driver to see. See more »


Lt. Columbo: You know, in all the years I've had this car, this is the first time I've ever had the top down!
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User Reviews

Not brilliant but an enjoyable Columbo despite the problems and logic leaps
11 December 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When his ex-rock star partner threatens to expose him unless he pay her off, successful lawyer Hugh Creighton kills her but makes it look like her lover that did the crime. He is helped by the fact that her lover flees the scene – giving the police someone to chase while Creighton makes sure everyone gets to see his grief. However with Columbo on the case nothing is ever that simple and all it takes is a few out-of-place things and he immediately has doubts. With Creighton using his considerable experience in the court to help him, Columbo digs deeper.

As with many TV film series (such as Perry Mason), if you like one or two of them then you'll pretty much like them all. This entry in the Columbo series pretty much follows the usual formula – we know the killer and the "perfect" plan but then watch Columbo follow his hunch and gradually starts to pick holes in the story he is told before eventually finding enough to prove his suspicions. Knowing this ahead of time won't ruin anything for you; it is simply what happens in all the films. With this strict adherence to formula it is usually simple enough for the series to do the business although I have had my fingers burnt with some of the "new" Columbo's. This one is actually pretty good though despite having some side additions that are unnecessary and don't really work. The plot is reasonably good and is well delivered although at times it is a bit of a stretch – a problem to some viewers but most Columbo fans will just accept this as par for the course. The attempts at comedy are reasonably good but the scenes that place Columbo in, say, an interrogation room don't really fit with the formula.

The main winners for the film are the performance from the lead two. Falk is good even if the material isn't totally true to his character; but when given the chance he is really good – as shown in the hilarious but mocking conclusion. Coleman is hardly a classic foil but at least he is up for some cat'n'mouse and his abrasive performance fits the film pretty well. The support is not as good; not so much in the bigger roles (which are all fine) but in the small additions like "regular" character George (Gilborn) and the pointlessly feisty Currie; although Little Richard at least is a strange find.

Overall though this should please fans even if it is not up to the standards of the original Columbo episodes. The main two are good together and the plot moves along well apart from a few big leaps here and there (and one weirdly creepy moment with a Columbo "mask"). Good enough for fans then but probably not strong enough to win new ones.

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Release Date:

29 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colonna sonora con omicidio See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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