Beth Chadwick has lived all her life controlled first by her father, then after his death, by her brother Bryce who manages the family business. Now she has fallen for Peter Hamilton, who works for Bryce. But, as usual, Bryce objects to her choice and threatens to fire Peter. So Beth decides to murder her brother and to do it in such a way to let it to appear like an accident. Lt. Columbo realizes at once the truth and starts looking for evidence.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
When Beth Chadwick starts to leave the hairdresser she asks for her bill and for another appointment time. She is given her bill which she signs but she isn't given an appointment time. See more »
Uh, my name is Columbo, ma'am. I'm a, uh... lieutenant, uh, from the police.
[shows badge then puts it away]
Dah, just a minute. Not so quickly. I'd like to look that over.
[examines his I.D. then him]
Well, I must say, you hardly look the role.
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LADY IN WAITING is a solid early episode of the COLUMBO TV show, but not one of my favourites and the reason for that lies in the character of the murderess, as played by Susan Clark. Clark starts out as a mildly sympathetic character at the beginning but undergoes a transformation into one of the most repulsive and annoying characters in the whole COLUMBO canon. I ended up gritting my teeth every time she came on screen - which is a lot - which takes away from the enjoyment a bit.
Otherwise, the mystery is a simple one for Columbo to solve. Clark murders her controlling brother and pretends that she mistook him for a burglar, but her deed doesn't go exactly to plan and Columbo soon smells a rat. Peter Falk is on excellent form here and the scenes in which Clark belittles him are particularly fine. The direction has dated a little, with some cheesy dream effects and overuse of the zoom lens, but the production benefits as a whole from featuring a typically Leslie Nielsen in support back when he was playing it straight.
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