Columbo (1971–2003)
7.1/10
1,129
27 user 4 critic

Strange Bedfellows 

When Graham McVeigh kills his brother and frames a mob bookie for the crime and then kills the bookie and claims self-defense. He finds himself facing trouble from both Columbo and the bookie's superior in the mob.

Director:

Vincent McEveety

Writers:

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

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
George Wendt ... Graham McVeigh
Jeff Yagher ... Teddy McVeigh
Jay Acovone ... Bruno Romano
Linda Gehringer ... Lorraine Buchinsky
Bruce Kirby ... Sgt. Phil Brindle
Don Calfa ... Rudy
William Bogert ... Randall Thurston
Shani Wallis ... Gwen
John Finnegan ... Barney
Rod Steiger ... Vincenzo Fortelli
Gerry Gibson Gerry Gibson ... Pat O'Connor
Justin Lord ... Lt. Albert Schiffer
Alex Henteloff Alex Henteloff ... Pawnbroker
Karen Mayo-Chandler Karen Mayo-Chandler ... Tiffany Keene
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Storyline

Graham McVeigh has had it with his ne'er-do-well brother Teddy who is a degenerate gambler and is in serious debt to his bookie Bruno Romano. He develops an elaborate plan to eliminate both of them by first having Teddy suffer a large loss at the track - Graham drugs his own horse, a sure winner, so it loses - and then framing Bruno for his Teddy's murder. He then arranges for Bruno to come to his house, ostensibly to collect Teddy's losses. He then kills Bruno and claims self defense. Lt. Colombo begins to find a number of anomalies that he simply cannot explained including mice in a restaurant bathroom. He's pretty certain Graham is responsible for both murders but he will need some assistance in order to get a confession out of him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode takes place in October 1994. See more »

Goofs

The Los Angeles Chronicle article regarding the murders reads "Two Die in Bizzare Double Killing", misspelling "Bizarre". See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Columbo: Oh, sir, just one more thing.
Graham McVeigh: No, Lieutenant, there is no "just one more thing." Goodbye!
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Soundtracks

This Old Man
(uncredited)
Traditional children's song
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User Reviews

Dribbles past three defenders only for Wendt's performance to put the ball wide of an open goalmouth
11 December 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Tired of his brother's gambling losses and influence on his life, Graham McVeigh sets it out so that younger Teddy will get in way over his head with bookie Bruno Romano. Graham kills Teddy on a deserted road and then arranges for Romano to come to his house to collect payment – only to kill him and call the police claiming self-defence. His plan is that the police will put the murder on Romano and just close the case. However some cigarette ash in Teddy's car is enough of a problem for Lieutenant Columbo to keep poking his nose in long after Graham had hoped it would all just go away. Meanwhile Romano's mobster boss informs Columbo that it must have been Graham that did the crime and that, either way, he must be punished.

With the last two or three of the new Columbo's I watched the producers (including Falk himself) seemed to be busily trying to do something different from the usual formula – with mixed results it must be said. So with this entry in the series I welcomed the return to the basic cat'n'mouse games that are played between Columbo and his prey while he gradually closes in on them. The film sets up the usual "perfect plan" and then moves ahead from there; it was almost a relief to me to see the formula back in place. The story is a nice one and in some ways the addition of the mobster adds a bit of spice to it but did change the character of Columbo a little bit – would he really just sit and listen to a man threaten murder and just eat soup? Anyway, the story unfolds reasonably well and it does just enough to work as a formula and, although the conclusion lacks logic it is still enjoyably delivered - it is just a shame that the usual strength of the films is a weakness here – namely the performances Well, not performances plural maybe but certainly performance. Wendt is far too boorish and lacking subtlety to convince – it is very much an one-note man and it doesn't lend itself well to the twists and turns within the story. It is a shame because so few of the new Columbo films produce a really good cat n'mouse story and this should have been a good one if not for his very basic turn. Falk is good although I don't think he or the material coped well with the moral complexity that came with technically working with a mobster. Kirby makes a welcome return in a small role that honours his long term connection to the series. Steiger is a nice addition despite my reservations and he certainly stands above a poor Yagher and a terrible "apples & pears, gov'ner" performance from a laughable Mayo-Chandler (influence within the industry one suspects).

Overall this was a welcome return to the formula after one too many duff Columbo's trying something new. The story is fine but it is just a shame that the usual tense chemistry is blown by a roundly poor turn from Wendt. A solid enough formula piece for fans but it is hard not to feel like it has managed to dribble past three defenders just to put the ball wide of an open goal.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Une étrange association See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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