Columbo (1971–2003)
24 user 5 critic

Grand Deceptions 

After the head of a private paramilitary think tank who is embezzling funds murders a blackmailer, he has to match wits with the persistent Lieutenant Columbo.


Sam Wanamaker


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




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Robert Foxworth ... Frank Brailie
Andy Romano ... Sergeant Major Lester Keegan
Janet Eilber ... Jenny Padget
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... General Padget
Michael McManus ... Tanzer
James Lashly ... Sidney Winnik
Lynn Clark ... Marcia
Bennett Liss Bennett Liss ... Corporal
Lee Arenberg ... Paramilitary Man #3
John William Gibson John William Gibson ... Paramilitary Man #2
Stephen Quadros ... Paramilitary Man #4
Milt Kogan ... Medical Examiner
Christopher Titus ... Paramilitary Man #1
Rick Marzan Rick Marzan ... Police Officer


A Colonel works for a highly revered and well respected General. Among the things that he has been doing is having an affair with the invalid General's wife and been diverting funds from the General's foundation to fund arms sales. The General discovers some peculiarities going on at the foundation, so he instructs Sergeant Keegan to investigate, he learns of the Colonel's activities, then instead of reporting it to the General, he tries to blackmail the Colonel. The Colonel in turn kills the Sergeant. But it's not long until Lt. Columbo is on the case and on the Colonel's trail. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

1 May 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Grandes maneouvres et petits soldats See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Stephen Elliott is in 2 episodes. In one he is the murder victim but in both episodes his wife is having an affair with the murderer. See more »


When the secretary removes the green and red folders from the safe, she leave the door of the safe open. She then joins Columbo outside. Moments later as she walks back through the room, the door to the safe is closed. See more »


Lieutenant Columbo: You know, Colonel, the way we always agree with one another, that's amazing, considering the fact that we really don't like one another. Would you agree with me on that?
Colonel Frank Brailie: I think I'd have to agree.
Lieutenant Columbo: You see? We agree again.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the program ends and the credits roll, the camera pans across the Civil War miniature figurines on their battlefield. It ends its motion on a tight closeup of a miniature figurine of Columbo himself, complete with trademark rumpled tan raincoat and arms up in his classic pose when interrupting to make a point. Clearly, his figuring is intended not as a Civil War relic, but instead as a little joke for the viewers. See more »


I've Got A Crush On You
Written by George Gershwin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Average military-themed Columbo story
26 January 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

GRAND DECEPTIONS is one of the earliest of the comeback Columbo episodes, following on from the superior SEX AND THE MARRIED DETECTIVE. This one's a little dry and stilted for a Columbo episode, not to mention that the military setting is overly familiar from earlier and better instalments (like BY DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT).

The murder is a typical one with a military angle, but it takes forever to get going and about half an hour of screen time has passed until we get to the meat of the detective investigation. Although the running time overall is only an hour and a half, this story feels very slow and it's a little too serious for its own good; there's no goofiness here, and even though Columbo's dog makes a cameo, he doesn't get to do much.

Falk is on fine fettle, but I find that Columbo is only as good as his opponents, and Robert Foxworth as the guest villain is a bit of a bore, far too straight-laced to make an impact. Andy Romano (ERASER) as the victim is much better, as Stephen Elliott playing the old-time general. But, in the end, GRAND DECEPTIONS is a very ordinary and average-feeling Columbo story, with a completely spurious ending, and certainly not one to remember.

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