Columbo: Mystery Movie Collection 1994-2003 [3 Discs] [DVD]

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The tenth season of Columbo episodes was seen on ABC, which in 1989 has resurrected the property after its removal from NBC 12 years earlier. Peter Falk returns as raincoated, cigar-chewing, deceptively scatterbrained homicide detective Lt. Columbo for a group of three feature-length episodes, each of which pits the titular detective against a clever murderer who thinks he or she has committed the perfect crime. The first of the trio is "Columbo Goes to College," a campus caper featuring Robert Culp, who'd played murderers in three different Columbo installments back in the 1970s. Next is "Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health," guest-starring George Hamilton as the host of a popular anti-crime show who uses his knowledge of the criminal mind to knock off a would-be blackmailer. And finally, "The Murder of a Rock Star" finds Columbo trying to break down the alibi of a successful criminal lawyer (Dabney Coleman) who has killed his lover and framed her boyfriend. Though this spelled the end of Columbo in mini-series format, Peter Falk would revive the character in a number of one-shot movie specials, telecast between 1991 and 2003 and bearing titles like "Death Hits the Jackpot," "No Time to Die," "A Bird in the Hand," "It's All in the Game," "Butterflies in Shades of Grey," "Undercover," "Strange Bedfellows," "A Trace of Murder," "Ashes to Ashes," "Murder With Too Many Notes," and "Columbo Likes the Nightlife."

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