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
Before Susan Clark became famous for the sit-com "Webster," she was a highly-touted TV movie of the week star and had a film career as well. In this Columbo, she is a mousy, albeit wealthy young woman who has lived her life under the thumb of her father, and after he dies, her brother (Richard Anderson). She hatches a plot to kill her brother, who is interfering with her plans to marry an employee (Leslie Nielsen) of the family company but if anything could go wrong on the evening of the murder, it does.
Columbo is brought in, and he immediately finds some questionable items, and things become clear as, over time, the lady completely reinvents herself, taking over the company, getting a new hair color and hairdo, a fashion makeover, and a rather unattractive, aggressive change in attitude.
There is a great performance by Jesse Royce Landis as the mother (who greets her daughter by slapping her in the face, and makes Columbo pay her exorbitant cab fare).
It's a shame that Clark does nothing today, but I suppose, sadly, her age is a factor. She seems to have found great happiness in her long marriage to Alex Karras, but her fans miss her. If you're not familiar with her work, catch her in this Columbo episode.
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