Columbo - The Complete Third Season
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Product Description

In the detective series that inspired them all, acclaimed actor Peter Falk returns in his four-time Emmy-winning role as the wry and ruffled police lieutenant in Columbo Season Three, available on DVD for the first time ever! From the halls of Congress to the halls of academia, this dazzling 2-disc collection includes all 15 TV hours of the classic third season as well as an exciting bonus episode of the TV show Mrs. Columbo. A consistent favorite on the NBC Mystery Movie lineup, this thrilling season of Columbo features such illustrious guest stars as Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper and many more. You've seen the crime, now catch the murderer with everyone's favorite trenchcoat-wearing sleuth in each entertaining episode from the complete third season!

Oh, just one more thing, mystery mavens--get ready to be mystified and entertained by the award-winning third season of Columbo, starring Peter Falk as the rumpled but unbeatable Lieutenant. Having taken home Emmys for outstanding limited drama and lead actor in its '71-'72 debut season, Columbo was again named best drama for its third season ('73-'74). The reason for the repeat success? The formula remained the same: intelligent, engaging scripts and direction, guest performances by top actors, and, of course, Falk at center stage as Columbo, the most unlikely of supersleuths, but unquestionably one of the sharpest (the role would later earn Falk three more Emmys between 1975 and 1990). The 10 episodes compiled in this two-disc set again feature top talent from film and television: directors include veterans Jeannot Swarc and Boris Sagal, as well as actors Nicholas Colasanto (better known as Coach from Cheers) and Ben Gazzara (Falk's frequent co-star in the films of John Cassavetes), while the season's scripts feature contributions from Stephen J. Cannell, Steven Bochco, and Larry Cohen. And in regard to co-stars, Falk matched wits with the likes of Donald Pleasance, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Robert Culp (in one of four turns on the series), Jose Ferrer, Ida Lupino, and in two novel but effective casting choices, Johnny Cash and hard-boiled mystery scribe Mickey Spillane. And there's even a bonus feature in the form of an episode of the spinoff series Mrs. Columbo, starring Kate Mulgrew as the Lieutenant's oft-mentioned better half. In short, it's 11 hours of solid sleuthing for armchair detectives. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews:

  • Junk DVD's Third Season
    Columbo gets 5 stars in just about any season, but these DVD's are junk! They freeze up and do not work properly. Columbo and his fans deserve better treatment!
    ...more info
  • Columbo - The Complete Second Season
    My husband and I enjoyed "Columbo" many years ago when it was originally on television. Therefore we were especially pleased when we discovered it is now available on dvds. It continues to be a favorite entertainment. Columbo's talents for solving the "unsolvable" are still relevant today. We are "seasoned" citizens and prefer most of our entertainment at home. Thank you for making these classic programs available. ...more info
  • Columbo-Third Season
    For all you mystery fans and fanatics, I don't have to tell you nobody does it better than Lt. Columbo. All the seasons in the series are good but the third season, in my opinion, is one of the best. With players such as: Martin Sheen, Jack Cassidy, Vera Miles, Jackie Cooper, Johnny Cash, and Robert Culp, how could anyone not sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy every one of these episodes.
    If you never watched the series or only saw 1 or 2 episodes and were thinking about getting one I suggest starting with the complete third season. You won't be disappointed....more info
  • Columbo Season 2
    If You've watched Columbo before, get it, because no review is required. For those who have not seen Columbo, This is a must for any lover of homicide mysteries or detective series....more info
  • Columbo rocks!
    I love the series so how could I not love the DVD's. My boyfriend might have something else to say since he's forced to watch them almost every night! LOL Enjoy!...more info
  • Columbo solves another one!
    Columbo, as well as, Peter Falk has never been a disappointment to me. There is just nothing better than watching nostalgic television programs. I thoroughly enjoyed Columbo's second season....more info
  • Good shows; Mrs. Columbo show included as bonus
    I have read some negative reviews. I took a risk when I ordered it. It's not as bad as you think. There is only one episode called "Double Exposure" where Columbo was talking with the murderer in his office that the screen "frozed up" for 2-3 min. That's the only reason I deducted one star from the ratings. Otherwise, the other 8 episodes including bonus ran great with no faults. As for the music or others, I can't comment on that. The picture quality was great just like the old shows. Having English subtitle as closed captioned on all episodes is the main thing that I care about which I sorely missed from the old shows on television. On the back of the box, it says "Not All Captioned"; "Not All Subtitled". I have watched all episodes and they were all subtitled....more info
  • Columbo 2nd season
    Hey, this is neat, at a great price. Looking forward to 3rd and 4th season dvd's....more info
  • Entertaining, But...
    I always enjoyed Columbo in both its original airings and subsequently in reruns. I now own the first 3 seasons of the series on DVD. By this time both the actors and the writers seemed comfortable with the character and the series was in a groove. However, when watching episodes clustered together like this, I find the series a little predictable now. A murder is committed, the murderer makes a mistake and leaves a clue, Columbo arrives and spots the clue -- all of this in the first 15 minutes -- and then spends the rest of the show proving his theory in conjunction with the guest star and the usual bevy of Universal Studios contract players. It would have been nice for a little more variety. And by now, things were edging towards the silly, like the use of a robot to program a computer in one of the eps on this set. But I don't mean to be too hard on the series, since it remains very entertaining and fun to watch.

    I gave it four stars instead of five for a few reasons: the formula plot structure, and the fact that Universal released these on double-sided discs. The opinions of the reviewer below advising people to stop whining and buy a quality DVD player aside, Universal's double-sided discs have some serious quality issues and the best player in the world won't solve those. I have nothing against the media in theory, but if you're a major studio releasing product then the media better work for most people. Sometimes these just don't, and that's a problem. Plus the relative lack of extras on the entire series -- this set does contain an episode of the gawdawful spinoff series "Mrs. Columbo", though why they chose to include that I don't know; it is atrociously bad -- continues to detract from these releases.

    Anyway, if you're a Columbo fan, settle in and enjoy. There are plenty of worse ways to spend your time on a winter's night....more info
  • Just one more question
    I purchased season three, it contained 8 episodes in total (2 double sided DVD's) the picture quality is noticeably richer then what is available when watching Columbo in syndication on cable TV. This is an excellent season that old fans and newcomers will certainly enjoy. My only slight complaint is that their is no bonus footage i.e. Peter Falk interviews or behind the scenes material included in the collection....more info
  • Among the best
    These episodes are wonderful. I had a little problem with one of the discs - wouldn't play past the middle of the last episode, but customer service took care of the problem with absolutely no fuss or hassle. That was good. I wish the discs weren't two-sided, however, but I can live with it....more info
  • Columbo-Third Season
    I have read many of the reviews on this disc set and have not experienced any of the quality issues with this purchase as others have. Outside of the cheaper packaging for the third season, the quality of the discs is on par with the first two seasons. In a number of scenes, the sound quality is so good that you can even pick up background noises such as an airplane taking off from a nearby airport (probably LAX) and cars passing down the street up to a block away. The guest stars and plots in this disc set are just as equally fascinating as the first two. But my favorite is "Any Old Port in a Storm" which features superb acting and "Lovely But Lethal" offering an excellent plot....more info
  • What A Pleasure
    I was a young student in graduate school and newly married when these shows were aired in 1972. We eagerly watched Columbo on our fuzzy black and white TV. Now a third of a century later I get just as much pleasure out of this series as I did then. (On the LCD flat screen to boot) Part of the fun is seeing some of the top stars of a generation ago. Most of Columbo's findings would never stand up in court, and I doubt that most suspects would confess openly to a capital crime at the end and toast the detective's brilliance. But then, we're here to have a good time, and watching Peter Falk's brilliant portrayal of the clever sleuth who presents himself as a bumbler.
    There's a bit of a time capsule effect here too. I was amused to see the John Cassavetes character as the world famous conducter living in a spectacular Los Angeles mansion with the columns and Tara-like staircase. Columbo says "I bet you paid 700 thousand for this place" and the conducter proudly responds with "seven-fifty" as the detective puts his hand to his forehead in disbelief at the extraordinary expense.
    How times have changed....more info
  • There's Just One More Thing...
    This is an excellent season of "Columbo," perhaps the best season overall with the exception of season three. The set contains eight episodes which are all good, but most are absolutely great.

    Of the eight episodes featured here, my favorite is "A Stitch in Crime" starring Leonard Nimoy as a ruthless doctor. This episode is probably the best work Nimoy has ever done, and the plotting and pacing of the script are faultless. Likewise, "Etude in Black" starring John Cassavetes is superior in every way, and has the bonus of featuring a young Blythe Danner in a strong performance in a supporting role. I enjoyed Robert Culp in "The Most Crucial Game," and particularly enjoyed the sleuthing technique Columbo used to ferret out the criminal in this fine episode. "Dagger of the Mind" is a bit novel in that it features Columbo out of his element, as he is guest help on a murder investigation in England. This episode, needless to say, features many comedic moments as Columbo attempts to interact with British aristocracy.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I found disc four to be average, and the weakest of the four overall. The two episodes "The Most Dangerous Match" and "Double Shock" seemed plodding by comparison to the first six, although I know many others disagree with me. I did enjoy seeing Martin Landau in a double role as two squabbling brothers in "Double Shock," but honestly found the nearly continuous antagonistic exchanges between Columbo and the housekeeper to be extremely annoying. I could have lived with them if they had furthered the plot, but they were apparently intended for comic relief, and had no particular bearing on furthering the story. It was my least favorite episode of the eight.

    While extras are notably missing (and would be very nice), I highly recommend this set as being a superior season of the greatest detective show in television history.
    ...more info
  • Just One More Thing Ma'am...
    The third season of "Columbo" is my favorite of them all. The scripts and characterizations are well developed, yet not cliche, and the crimes are unique and thought-provoking. The guest stars this season are among the best and include such luminaries as Vincent Price, Jackie Cooper, Robert Culp, and in my favorite episode of all, Johnny Cash. The interaction between Falk and Cash in "Swan Song" is some of the most perfect cinema ever filmed.

    Columbo is amazing for its ability to show the audience the crime being committed and make the suspenseful element of the plot be how exactly he will figure out the homicide; I think this concept is exclusive to the series, and if it has been revisited elsewhere it could never rival Peter Falk as the bedraggled genius Lieutenant.

    I gave the set five stars for the content of the episodes. I agree with others that some extras would be most welcome, and hope that in the future new releases will have a modicum of interesting material for the true Columbophile.
    ...more info
  • Columbo-Third Season
    For all you mystery fans and fanatics, I don't have to tell you nobody does it better than Lt. Columbo. All the seasons in the series are good but the third season, in my opinion, is one of the best. With players such as: Martin Sheen, Jack Cassidy, Vera Miles, Jackie Cooper, Johnny Cash, and Robert Culp, how could anyone not sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy every one of these episodes.
    If you never watched the series or only saw 1 or 2 episodes and were thinking about getting one I suggest starting with the complete third season. You won't be disappointed....more info
  • Columbo Season 2
    If You've watched Columbo before, get it, because no review is required. For those who have not seen Columbo, This is a must for any lover of homicide mysteries or detective series....more info
  • Columbo rocks!
    I love the series so how could I not love the DVD's. My boyfriend might have something else to say since he's forced to watch them almost every night! LOL Enjoy!...more info
  • Gotta have mystery material!
    Falk is nothing but a fantastic character for this series. It is a gotta have mystery DVD material for your personal library....more info
  • aaaah - just one more question!
    It's allways fun to watch the guest stars and try to figure out who did it on columbo....more info
  • The Man In The Rumpled Raincoat
    While the first season of "Columbo" featured a more intense, hard-charging detective, the subsequent seasons (including this one) toned down that image. As a result, the lovable character that most of us remember when we think of "Columbo" was born.

    For the remainder of the show, the genius of Columbo was not so much how he figures out the crime (although that is the conclusion to each episode), but also the WAY in which he gathers information to form his conclusion. Whether it be talking about his wife (who is always the biggest fan of the celebrity killer), driving his beat up car, or checking all 6-7 jacket pockets to find his notepad, Columbo would portray an air of stupidity, which would inevitably trip up the villain at some point. Also, just Columbo's hand and body gestures (hands raised over head when talking or finger on nose when thinking!) were odd enough to put the villain "at ease", as well as his propensity for asking "just one more thing".

    Throughout the second-seventh season of the show, the episodes were quite formulaic (a murder occurs and Columbo must determine how it happened and who is the murderer), but featured the device of letting the audience see the murder being committed. Thus, the focus of the show was placed squarely on Columbo's investigative skills, not our imaginations'. While some episodes drop enough hints to allow viewers to get in tune with Columbo's train of thought, others leave his thrilling conclusion completely up in the air until the very last scene. Either way, Columbo always puts together some sort of miracle detective strategy and comes away victorious!

    The acting in the show is also terrific. A few actors (Jack Cassidy, Robert Culp, and Patrick McGoohan) played the murderous villains on multiple occasions, while other episodes contained a "Who's Who" list of celebrity victims. Just to name a few: Eddie Albert, Anne Baxter, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Dick Van Dyke, and Ricardo Montalban.

    Overall, "Columbo" is a great mystery show that, despite being at its peak in the 1970s, still resonates today on the strength of Columbo's character. I highly recommend every season of this show to mystery fans, classic TV watchers (for the guest stars), or just those of you who can't stand all the reality TV shows these days and want some television material that will entertain you AND stimulate your mind at the same time!...more info
  • got what i expected
    arrived in timely manner, appeared to be in good shape, i sent it right out as a gift. didn't get complaints....more info
  • Excellent product. Lousy packaging.
    First, the good news. This DVD has 2 of the very best Columbo episodes. "Swan Song" and " A Friend in Deed" have excellent story lines, even for today. Child sex abuse,groupies, adultery and domestic violence are handled with tact and class. The points are made without being vulgar. The episodes aired on network TV in the 70's. Both are very well written. Did the writers win any Emmys? I must admit, I was hoping Johnny Cash got away. You see why celebreties and people of prominence feel they can get away with murder.
    Now, the bad news. Universal Studios should be ashamed for putting out bargain bin quality discs. There is no inner leaflet describing each episode. No pictures or anything on the discs. When you open the cover, you feel something is missing,especially for $[...]. Excellent price and excellent material, though. ...more info
  • Columbo season 2
    An excellent set of episodes. Most of these were aired when I was 2 and 3 so it was good to see shows of a favorite of mine. Peter Falk was made for the part of Columbo. The star studded line up is amazing. Blythe Danner (Gwen Paltrow's mom) is one of the stars and you wouldn't believe how closely they look alike!...more info
    John Cassavetes, Myrna Loy, Blythe Danner, Ray Milland, Robert Culp, Valerie Harper, Richard Basehart, Anne Baxter, Mel Ferrer, Leonard Nimoy, Anne Francis, Laurence Harvey, Paul Stewart : they're all here in this second season which is essential to all of us who are longing for quality mystery TV shows. Let's admire them in :

    Columbo Collector's Edition: Etude In Black : ***** For John Cassavetes, one of the most interesting American directors, this episode must be seen again and again.

    THE GREENHOUSE JUNGLE : ***** Second apparition of Ray Milland in the show. Directed by Boris The Omega Man Sagal.

    THE MOST CRUCIAL GAME : ***** Directed by Jeremy Kagan, the esteemed director of Big Fix and Heroes.

    Columbo Collector's Edition: Dagger Of The Mind : ***** Columbo in London. Still in shape despite the jet lag.

    Columbo Collector's Edition: Requiem For A Falling Star : ***** With Anne Baxter. Columbo in Hollywood with Edith Head as herself. Great episode.

    Columbo Collector's Edition: A Stitch In Crime : ***** It's the first time Lt. Columbo loses his temper, in front of Leonard Nimoy. Also a great episode.

    Columbo Collector's Edition: The Most Dangerous Match : ***** In my opinion, the best episode of the season and maybe of the first two seasons. Don't miss Laurence Harvey's nightmare about a human chess board.

    Columbo Collector's Edition: Double Shock : **** Great comedy scenes between Peter Falk and Jeanette Nolan and Columbo as a chief cook in Martin Landau's TV show.

    A DVD box set which should already be in your library.

    ...more info
  • Columbo's Peak Season
    Columbo's third season is the mid-point of the original series. Not surprisingly one of the most enduring characters in TV history reaches his peak. There are still the elements of the series intact. His clever methods are basically the same, and the murderers showcase a variety of deceptive genius. It is the quality of this harvest that makes Season Three so special: Every episode is intricate and expertly honed; the developments are more edgy and tightly woven; and the resolutions are more suspenseful than before or since. Palpably, the craftsmanship makes the audience feel caught in every caper. Arguably, the performances and writing overall are the strongest of the whole series.

    Jack Cassidy and Robert Culp* renew their appearances in episodes that keep us guessing. Particularly, the one with Cassidy, has edgy editing--more like today's movies and shows--that keeps us on our toes. (He co-stars with Mickey Spillane about a washed-up co-writer in "Publish or Perish".) Similarly, Culp's meticulous and cantankerous character outshines his previous efforts in 'Double Exposure,' where he commits a seemingly insurmountable subliminal crime. Jose' Ferrar also guest stars as a protective father who kills a colleague who will expose his son's prize winning plagiarism in "Mind over Mayhem".

    Columbo's legwork is more clever and multi-faceted in "Lovely but Lethal," where Vera Miles (of 'Psycho' fame) plays a cosmetics entreprenuer who must squelch an inventor employee blackmailing her fortune for his expertise. Both the actress's and characters nervous brilliance keep up the caliber of the season. (Oddly, yet likably, Vincent Price makes a guest appearance, drawing from the debonair roles he mastered rather than the villains.) Less complicated is the murder of one brother of a family wine business in "Any Old Port in a Storm". Starring Donald Pleasance as wine conoisseur and purveyor, Cossantini, we get so lost in his character, we easily forget the plot has less strings attached. (This episode understandably plays one of the most in syndication.)

    Nearly as likable is Johnny Cash's appearance as a country music star, Tommy Brown, who has more more baggage than Cash: Besides trading in June Carter for an insufferably domineering wife (played effectively enough by Ida Lupino who blackmails him for her ministry projects), he is also a clever murderer. (He smiles in concert and is boorish backstage, creating a natural performance with key distances between himself and his character. Still, his musical abilities are intact.) Columbo's investigation this episode is particularly sharp. Jackie Cooper is superbly slick in "Candidate in Crime," where a politician faces a would-be informant with killer information.

    Probably his most difficult case, "Mind over Mayhem," finds Columbo solving a crime he knows the Police Commissioner committed. Played with toughness by Richard Kiley, and including a key performance by gangsters, we get a "rat race" episode before Scorsese did "The Departed". An admirably rougher atmosphere is presented this time.

    Viewing Season Three of 'Columbo' is a real joy. The variety of circumstances, the suspense, and craftsmanship, make this set of episodes particularly consistent and compelling. While blackmail is a key thread with most of the motives, the crimes and cover-ups are expertly defined.

    (*Did they get out on parole? Seriously, they play new murderers this time.)

    (As sweet as Kate Mulgrew is, the tacked on episode of 'Mrs. Columbo' is lamer than any other presented. They make two connections: She actually mentions her lieutenant husband and Donald Pleasance guest stars. His purposely bumbling performance only underscores wasted resources.) ...more info
  • columbo, the greatest
    to me, columbo has always been the only detective show that I liked. in his apparent absent minded way he could solve any case. If you have never seen one of his shows, do it now. thru amazon you can get all seven complete seasons....don't delay! ...more info
  • Double-Sided DVDs - watch out
    I agree with previous posters about this set not playing. I am unable to get through a single episode. These double-sided DVDs should be illegal. I don't think I've ever gotten a series with double-sided DVDs that I've not had to return to the store several times. Luckily for the Columbo series, this third season is the only one that's double-sided. It's a shame because it's a great season. If I could PLAY the DVDs, I'd give this set a 5. If you got this set and it didn't work, please write to Universal about it. ...more info
  • DVDs are inferior quality
    The shows on the third season are great. My low rating is because the double sided DVDs don't play right. They skip, stop and malfunction. This was the only season that was issued on double sided discs -- as others have mentioned in their reviews. I suggest that single sided discs of better quality be manufactured and sent to all buyers of this set....more info
  • Outstanding TV drama, please don't pass it up
    In a plea for the release on DVD of the Banacek series I wrote in an earlier review: "Over the years there have been a number of entertaining series on TV. But, as one looks back, it is clear that only a few TV series -- including Remington Steele and Columbo -- stood out sharply from the crowd as both unique in concept and very well done." Columbo was definitely unique in concept and went beyond very well done, it was outstanding. Peter Falk was superb as Columbo and deserved the Emmy awards he received for this role, but each episode was also very well written and directed and the guest stars were consistently outstanding. Quite simply, Columbo was TV drama at its best.

    I have all of the Remington Steele DVDs and still hope that the episodes of Banacek will be released soon. Until then there is still Columbo for those, including me, who want superb TV drama on DVD....more info
  • Columbo - The Complete Second Season ~ Peter Falk
    A realy enjoyed watching this series. By the way; The presentation and packaging of the DVD's are great!...more info
  • 3rd season on dual sided disks - not good
    I have all the Columbo series. The third season is the only one that uses dual sided disks. This is the second set I have tried and one episode does not play correctly.I've tried the disk on 3 DVD players with the same relults. The first season 3 set had 3 episodes that would not play correctly so this is an improvement...It might be better to get season 3 at a local store so you can quickly return it until you get a set that plays correctly....more info
  • beware
    Purchased in late October; never opened cellophane to examine DVD-cover contents, figuring it should be fine since cover was fine. Gave as Xmas gift, only to discover this "Complete Second Season" had Two-Each "Disks 3&4", and No "Disks 1&2". After checking online immediately after, I discovered it was too late to exchange. My Tough Luck I Guess; too bad for me. If I could rate this one a Zero, or a J-factor of -1, I would....more info
  • Great show
    I love Columbo/Peter Falk and Season 2 is a must have for any fan. Each episode is uncut just like when each was first aired....more info