Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Columbo - the second season

Last month I was icing my shoulder four times a day, for ten to twenty minutes.  I used the time to rewatch some of my favorite movies.  I started with the second season of Columbo.

The Columbo movies take a different approach to mysteries.  Most of the time the viewer watches as the detective finds clues and tries to figure out who did it.  But with Columbo we see the murder and know who did it.  The game is watching Columbo find clues to figure out who did it.  There are no exciting car chases.  There are no gun battles.  Columbo is able to look at simple small clues and make important deductions.  It is a thinking man's game. 

These movies are also fun on another level.  Columbo is a likeable person.  He comes across as a bit average and maybe even incompetent.  Rarely does the villain worry tell after Columbo starts piecing together the clues.  He will badger the villain with "Just one more question." 

Season two has eight movies.  One of my favorites is "A Stich in Crime" with Leonard Nimoy as the doctor who operated to kill a colleague.  I also enjoyed "Dagger of the Mind" as Columbo takes a trip to England and ends up helping Scotland Yard.

If you have never watched a Columbo movie before, you are in for a treat.  They are fun movies.


Rusty said...

Stand to Reason, a Christian apologetics organization, has a tactic described as the "Columbo Tactic", based off of Lt. Columbo's methods. see

Henry Cate said...

Thanks for the pointer.

In some ways I see the approach Stand to Reason is taking more as the classic Socratic Method, where the person has a goal in mind.

In the beginning Columbo doesn't always know who did it and often asks lots of questions in an effort to gather enough data to figure out who did it.