Columbo (1971–2003)
34 user 8 critic

Dead Weight 

A war hero shoots and kills his business partner; an easily manipulated young divorcée is the only witness.


Jack Smight


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Eddie Albert ... Maj. Gen. Martin J. Hollister
Kate Reid ... Mrs. Walters
Suzanne Pleshette ... Helen Stewart
John Kerr ... Col. Roger Dutton
Val Avery ... Harry Barnes
Timothy Carey ... Bert
Clete Roberts ... TV Newsman
Ron Castro Ron Castro ... Officer Sanchez
Glen Vernon ... 1st Officer
Jim Pelham Jim Pelham ... 2nd Officer (as Jimmy Pelham)
Jim Halferty Jim Halferty ... 1st Marine Cadet


While on a sailing-boat, Helen Stewart witnesses far-away, inside a room, a man with a gun killing another. She notifies the fact to the Police and Lt. Columbo begins to investigate. The man is the famous General Martin Hollister, a war hero. Lt. Columbo searches his house and afterwards he is very doubtful about Helen's statement. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

27 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kuollut paino See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Suzanne Pleshette, who had been friends with Peter Falk since she was 14 years old, said that he had behaved very badly during the making of this show. In fact, she didn't talk to him afterwards for a year. She also said that guest star Eddie Albert told Falk, "I always wanted to meet you, I always wanted to work with you, but you're a real asshole." See more »


During a conversation between Columbo and Mrs. Walters, a microphone is visible at the ceiling. See more »


Lt. Columbo: All right, I'm gonna go in and speak to the general, and while I'm doing that I want you to search the yacht.
Officer Sanchez: Uh, but, Lieutenant, I don't have a warrant.
Lt. Columbo: Well, I'll ask the general for permission. If he doesn't give it, then I'll get a warrant. In the meantime, check it out.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Were They Trying For A Spin-Off?
31 October 2011 | by jasonleesmith6See all my reviews

I'm not entirely sure of my facts here, but I believe that "Columbo" was one of several mystery shows that were shown in weekly rotation by ABC (again I'm not entirely sure here). This allowed them to make TV-movies, with slightly higher production values and deeper plots than they would otherwise be capable of, if they had to make a new episode every week.

Having watching this episode last night, it seems like they were using this episode to test-drive a possible new series starring Suzanne Pleshette as a "kooky" divorcée who lives with her mother and solves crimes. Far more of the focus of this episode was on Pleshette than was on Peter Falk as Columbo.

I don't wish to cast any aspersions on Suzanne Pleshette, who is an amazing actress, but she was really grating in this role. Her character was not very likable, and her mother was downright annoying. If they were using this as a try-out for her own series, then I am not surprised it never worked out. "The Bob Newhart Show" was a much better fit for her.

As for the episode itself: I agree with other posers who say that the role of retired war-hero is one that Eddie Albert was uniquely ill-suited for. In my opinion, the only role Albert could carry off convincingly was that of a benign and slightly senile grandfather.

Will Albert succeed in getting away with his plan of murdering his business partner and seducing the only witness? Well, since I didn't check the "Contains Spoiler" button, I can't say here. You will have to watch the episode and find out for yourself.

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