Columbo (1971–2003)
30 user 5 critic

Troubled Waters 

Lt. Columbo takes a trip to Acapulco, but finds himself on a new case when a used car dealer commits murder on the cruise ship.


Ben Gazzara


William Driskill (teleplay by), Jackson Gillis (story by) | 3 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Robert Vaughn ... Hayden Danziger
Jane Greer ... Sylvia Danziger
Dean Stockwell ... Lloyd Harrington
Bernard Fox ... Purser Watkins
Robert Douglas ... Dr. Frank Pierce
Patrick Macnee ... Capt. Gibbon
Poupée Bocar ... Rosanna Wells
Susan Damante ... Melissa
Peter Maloney ... Artie Podell
Curtis Credel Curtis Credel ... The Magician


Hayden Danziger is on a cruise with his older but much, much richer wife Sylvia. Rosanna Wells is on the same ship, as its singer. Rosanna and Hayden were recently lovers, after which Rosanna began blackmailing Hayden; so, having decided to kill her, he has planned the perfect crime - or so it seems, since Lt. Columbo is cruising on that very same ship and the captain has asked for his help. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 February 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Assassinio a bordo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The magician's box of props is labeled with the name of the actor playing the magician, Curtis Credel. See more »


When Columbo is talking to the doctor, he asks if there was any bruises on Miss Wells' body, and is told, "No bruises". But Danziger (Robert Vaughn) punched her in the face in her cabin just a few hours earlier, knocking her down. It's unlikely this would have left no bruise. See more »


Lt. Columbo: We're going on a tropical cruise. Who packs gloves?
See more »

Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the co-operation and courtesies furnished by Princess Cruises and the offices and staff of the Sun Princess. See more »


Referenced in Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976) See more »


Written by Sid Rubin and Charlie Chavers
Played by ship's band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A feather in his cap
4 November 2005 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

**SPOILERS** With his wife winning a raffle where she got a trip for two on a pleasure cruise in the tropics Let. Columbo, Peter Falk, is looking forward to a week of rest and relaxation. Still like a magnet murder follows him even on the cruise ship. Looking for his wife who got lost in the crowd Let. Columbo gets involved in a murder almost by accident.

Telling the ship's Captain Gibbons, Pactrick Macnee, which for some reason to Capt. Gibbons displeasure Columbo keeps referring to his ship as a boat, he's contacted the first evening by him in helping solve the murder of the ships star entertainer singer Rosanna Wells, Poupee Bocan.Rosanna was found dead in her dressing room with a bullet in her back. With Capt. Gibbon as the man in charge of Rosanna's murder investigation, since the murder occurred on the high seas, Columbo could only be an assistant to him and not have any authority in the inquiry making things a bit stressful for the L.A police detective.

We learn right from the start that big time car dealer Hayden Danzinger, Robert Vaughn, had a affair with Rosanna on a cruise a few months earlier. Rossana was blackmailing Hayden by threatening to tell his wife Silvia (Jaen Greer), who's the one with the money in the Danzinger marriage, about it if he doesn't pay up. Hayden concocts a scheme to kill Rosanna and then frame her boyfriend pianist Llyod Harrington, Dean Stockwell, for her murder and then end up being home free. He didn't realize that Let. Columbo was on the ship and he's an old pro in exposing and bringing to justice high class and arrogant schemers and murders like Hayden.

Faking a heart attack, by sniffing ammonium nitrate capsules, at poolside Hayden is brought into the ships hospital for treatment and observation for 24 hours. During the time in sickbay Hayden sneaks out and, with a master key that he stole from the captains quarters, gets into Rosanna's dressing room and shoots her to death leaving the red letter L with her lipstick on her mirror. This implicates her boyfriend LLyod, whom she had a fight with just hours before.

Slipping back in his room in the ships sickbay, without anyone seeing him, Hayden now has the perfect alibi to where he was when Rosanna was murdered. Like all criminals, who think that their too smart for their own good, Hayden made some stupid mistakes that had Let. Columbo hot on is tail setting him up for a very unceremonious fall. Hayden plants a receipt, in his cabin, for a gun that Llyod "bought" in Las Vegas in oder to implicate him for Rosanna's murder The planting of the receipt wasn't that bright on Hayden's part since it was obvious, to Let. Columbo, that it was planted there because it had nothing at all to do with all the other receipts that Llyod had in his cabin. The receipt that Lloyd had was to do with tax write offs for his work as an entertainer, the gun receipt could not be used to write off any of Llyod's taxes but only to implicate him in Rosanna's murder! There's also the fact that Rosanna died instantly so how could she have written the letter L on her mirror after she was shot unless it was written by the killer himself.

Hayden's wearing surgical gloves when he shot Rosanna was also very foolish on his part showing that it wasn't Lloyd who killed her. Why would he go through all this trouble to cover up his crime and then forget not to get rid of a receipt for the gun, minus the fingerprints, that murdered Rosanna? Hayden trying to shift Let. Columbo away from himself and towards Llyod, as being Rosanna's murderer, only made Columbo suspicious of Hayden not Llyod

P.S By the way Let. Columbo did finally find his missing wife at the end of the movie but we, the audience, never got a chance to see what she looked like.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed