AuteurTheory’s review published on Letterboxd:
I never watched Columbo when I was a kid, because I figured it was old people stuff. Now, I’m into all that old people stuff, and I think I’ll like Columbo. From what I gather, this first incarnation of the character is slightly different than what he evolved into, but that’s how it generally goes.
This a TV movie, but it seems like every episode was a TV movie… they’re all at least 75 minutes!
After a psychedelic title sequence and 30 Hitchcockian minutes, our titular hero appears! It’s funny, despite the morbid prologue of this doctor murdering his wife, how Columbo just slowly needles this guy. Casually annoying him, question after question. Reminds me of “The Telltale Heart”. Falk even has a demonic eye! At one point the doctor calls him a “sly little elf”. I also see a lot of Hitchcock’s ROPE.
“Hey, I wonder who these belong to” made me laugh.
Columbo’s best monologue occurs while his back is to the screen, as well as the person he’s talking to. It’s like almost a minute of us looking at the back of their heads, which I thought was an interesting choice. It was no less powerful.
Loved it, I might end up watching every episode. There’s only about six or seven per season.
“Hey listen, one more thing…”