Columbo (1971) s05e01 Episode Script

Forgotten Lady

I wouldn't want anything to unnerve her or upset her.
I'm lucky I didn't show up in my pajamas.
How could he have died? The door was bolted from the inside.
She dragged me to every musical you ever made.
I'm sorry you had to be dragged.
You'll see that it's not humanly possible for anyone to climb out.
I'm trying to reconstruct what Dr.
Willis must have been doing just before he died.
Go away! Who would want to kill him? Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
I'm your premier host, Army Archerd.
We're outside the Regal Theater where Song and Dance, that giant musical extravaganza made up of over two dozen film clips from past musical greats had its premiere performance here tonight and it received a rousing ovation.
Now we're gonna try and talk to some of the stars who made it all possible.
Like Diamond and Wheeler.
Good evening.
How are you? Hello, Army.
Miss Wheeler, how are you, dear? And, Ned Diamond, how are you? It's good to see you all tonight.
And I'm telling you, this is quite a night.
Now how does it feel seeing yourself up there tonight on that giant screen with those old film clips? Oh.
A little bit envious of my youth.
The audience loved you and they loved the film.
Don't you think so, Grace? Oh, I do hope so.
The musical is practically a lost art form, and this wonderful film gives us the best of the best musicals.
Well, you look like you could do those old dance routines right now.
I could.
In fact I plan to, this fall on Broadway.
A revival of One Touch of Venus.
This is exciting news.
Diamond and Wheeler again? Well, not me, old friend.
My mind's willing but my legs aren't.
But Ned will direct and choreograph, the beginning of a new and brilliant career for him.
Well, good luck to the both of you and good luck to Song and Dance, a new film for a great new audience of filmgoers.
Good to see you both here.
Thank you very much.
Grace Wheeler and Ned Diamond.
Thank you very much.
Now it's time to bring some other stars You must forget everything, your dance studio, everything and just concentrate on the show.
There is so much to do and we really should capitalize on all this wonderful publicity before it dies out.
But, darling, what are we gonna do about a producer? My darling Ned, you are the producer as well.
I'm a producer.
You're a producer.
Now, the script needs a rewrite, I realize that.
We have to find me a new dancing partner.
Oh, I wish it could be you We need a theater in New York Oh, I know who to call for that.
What's his name? Hold.
It'll come to me, it'll come to me.
Hold it, hold it.
Now slow down a minute.
We've got to be practical about this.
Practical? That word isn't even in my vocabulary tonight.
Let's be enthusiastic and it will all work out.
You saw how they responded tonight.
You know I can still do it! Look, darling.
In these days, it takes a lot of money to produce a musical, a half a million, at least.
If I want to spend a half a million dollars, that's for me to decide.
You just do your part, and don't worry, it won't be a flop.
I have enough confidence in our talents for the two of us.
I can see it, Ned, I can see it.
You're going to be a celebrated director and I am going to be a star again! Oh, Ned, I'm so happy! Oh, Raymond, we'll drop Mr.
Diamond first at his home.
Yes, madam.
Good evening, Alma.
Oh, evening, mum.
You looked so beautiful on the TV.
Oh, thank you.
You looked so photogenic.
Oh, it was a beautiful evening.
Is Dr.
Willis upstairs? Yes, mum.
Would you be a dear and pour me a brandy? Yes, I will.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
Mmm-hmm.
Thank you, Alma.
Alma.
I'm here.
Ah, I see you've got the tray ready.
Yes, I do, darling.
It was a wonderful premiere.
Oh, I saw it on the TV.
Yes? Yes, certainly did.
Thank you, love.
Uh-huh.
Come in, Raymond.
Evening, Raymond.
Good evening, sir.
Here we are.
Lovely evening, sir.
Not bad.
Speak low, my darling Speak low My darling, my darling my darling, hello.
Oh, my darling.
Will that be everything, sir? Yes, Raymond, thank you.
Oh, Raymond, I'll be viewing a film tonight.
Yes.
And I'm in the mood for Rosie.
How I love that girl Walking My Baby.
Yes, yes, yes.
Oh, Henry, you should have been there.
It was the most fantastic, incredible, exciting night.
I mean, it was like yesterday never went away! They absolutely loved me! They just went wild! I saw you on television.
Oh, you did? How nice.
And then you heard my exciting news? I just blurted it out.
Yes, I heard.
And you know I don't approve, Grace.
Oh, why? Why? What about our trip around the world? Oh, we'll do it another year.
Why do you continue with this preposterous idea to resume your career? It's not a preposterous idea.
Where will your financing come from? Oh, from you, my darling.
From you.
I'm not investing $500,000 in a Broadway musical, Grace.
Your investment will be safe.
It will double, maybe even triple once the play opens.
And besides, the money is a mere drop in the bucket to you, Henry.
Half a million dollars is not a drop in the bucket to anyone, with the possible exception of a Shah of Iran and Howard Hughes.
I realize that no one's knocking down the door with offers yet, but I was a big star.
And what you don't realize is that the qualities that make a star never diminish.
So, by financing my own production, I will be before the public again, and they will learn to love me all over again, Henry.
Grace, you must stop living in that fantasy world of yours.
Other women, less talented women, have brilliant careers at my age.
I cannot finance you, Grace.
You are a stubborn, stuffy, sick old man.
I am not a producer.
I'm not even a doctor anymore, just a retired old man.
Listen to reason, Rosie, I know you didn't marry me out of love, but our life hasn't been that bad, has it? Your film will be starting in a few minutes.
The film is ready, madam.
Well, let it roll, Raymond.
I'd like to announce before I start, the producers of The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake Excellent salmon, Alma are all contributing to the rest of my monologue tonight.
Perfect accompaniment to the chardonnay.
Thank you.
Oh, you know it's time for a reel change.
Do you want me to do it? Oh, no.
Wort take a minute.
Smashing show.
That's why I want to watch it.
Can I get anything for you, madam? No, thank you, Raymond.
How you feeling? I'm fine.
I've not seen you for a long time.
Yes, a long time.
And I've been here several times and I still think the monologues are great.
Thank you.
But they're not an aphrodisiac.
Sometimes you're pretty good, Johnny.
You, too? Yeah, you'd be surprised how sexy you look through my feet like that.
I probably shouldn't mention this because it'll give away secrets that were long kept in television, we have a device, you know, in television, where you can also look out.
Well, you sure had fun looking in my room, haven't you? Oh, yes.
Yes, you have.
You're an active squirrel And I'm one of the few of us who have no rhythm.
You never took singing lessons, per se, did you? we'll be here Monday with Steve Allen, Elke Sommer, Howie Lipton, price fighter Wena Sturgeon, and a juggling professor, Jim Reinart.
Thank you all.
Have a nice weekend.
Well.
Excellent show.
I'll just close up and look in on Dr.
Willis.
Will there be anything else, madam? Oh, no, thank you, Raymond.
It's been a long evening.
Please look in on Dr.
Willis before you retire.
Of course, madam.
Good night.
Sleep well, madam.
Thank you.
Dr.
Willis! Dr.
Willis! Doctor! Dr.
Willis! What's wrong? You all right, sir? Henry! Let me try the door! You push, too.
6 Mary 102 Yes, sir? Columbo, Homicide.
Gee, I forgot my jacket.
That means I forgot my badge.
I was dead asleep.
I got here as fast as I could.
They're upstairs, Lieutenant.
Good evening, madam.
Evening, sir.
Oh, this is quite a place.
Yes, sir.
You wouldn't by any chance have a cup of coffee in the kitchen, would you? Yes, I do.
I'll get it for you, sir.
Thank you very much.
Just black would be fine.
I forgot my watch, too.
Do you have the time? I'm lucky I didn't show up in my pajamas.
Here you are, sir.
Oh, thank you very much.
That's very kind.
Oh, sir.
Could you please be careful with the coffee? Sure.
The deceased is Henry Willis.
Willis.
doctor, retired.
Lieutenant Columbo? Yes.
I'm Anderson of the Coroner's office.
Anderson.
It appears to be suicide.
He used a.
32 caliber revolver with one shot fired.
one shot.
And it seems as though he was looking through this medical report just prior to his death.
Was that door broken? The butler discovered it bolted.
He forced it, then he called the police.
Did you look at this? I just glanced at it.
It's from a Dr.
Lansberg to Dr.
Willis.
It's recommending prostate surgery.
It seems the old boy had been putting it off for a while.
One doctor talking to another.
You have to be a scholar to read that.
Put that over there.
Is that the butler over there? I would think so, Lieutenant.
He's certainly not one of ours.
Now where were we? Medical report.
Excuse me, sir.
Lieutenant Columbo, Los Angeles Police Department.
At your service, Lieutenant.
I'm Raymond, the Willis' butler.
Thank you, sir.
It was a terrible thing, Raymond.
And I hope you don't mind going over it again.
Not at all.
My wife and I had some Just a minute, please.
I'm getting out my notebook.
I don't function too well at night.
Will this assist you? Thank you, sir.
All set now, go ahead.
My wife and I, as we usually do, were watching The Johnny Carson Show.
When it finished at 1:00, I came up here to tidy up.
How do you How does this work? Simplicity itself.
Thank you.
Carson on Is that something that you usually do? It is.
When was the last time that you saw him alive? About 11:00, when I brought up his milk and sleeping pill.
Was he down in the dumps, depressed? Pardon me, I Was he down in the dumps, depressed? Oh, I No, he was reading his book when I came up here.
I didn't see any signs of despondency or depression.
All right, sir.
Did you hear the shot? No.
Our quarters are at the other end of the house.
Did anyone hear the shot? No, there was no one else in the house except Mrs.
Willis and she was in the projection room watching a movie.
She couldn't have heard it either.
Thank you very much, sir.
Haley, lend me a hand here, will you? All right.
What's up? Removing the revolver from his hand.
Oh.
Sorry I asked.
Be careful of prints.
Right, Lieutenant.
I'm no psychologist but why does a man about to kill himself take sleeping pills? Well, Lieutenant, if it wasrt suicide, how did he experience cadaveric spasm? Cadaveric spasm? The moment Dr.
Willis shot himself, spasm occurred in his fingers.
Now that could only take place if the deceased's fingers were on the trigger at the moment the bullet made impact with his brain.
Cadaveric spasm.
That's very good, Anderson.
That door is open.
This is the balcony.
Very good.
Well, this is quite a big place.
I'm certainly not surprised no one heard the shot.
This is all most disconcerting, the police walking about the house, looking about.
Couldrt you speed it up a bit, Lieutenant? We're doing the best we can, sir.
Where did Dr.
Willis usually keep his gun? In the glove compartment of the car.
That's against the law.
I'm sure the doctor was well aware of that.
But he was robbed once in a parking lot.
He kept the gun in the car for security.
Where's the garage? It's over there, isn't it? Correct.
How did he get there from here? Through the front door, of course.
Did Dr.
Willis bring his gun into the house each night? No.
House security is taken care of by a patrol that comes by every hour.
Oh, that's a very good idea, especially in a house like this.
Everything looks very valuable.
Priceless.
You wouldn't happen to have another ashtray, would you? Was Mrs.
Willis in the projection room at the time that you found the door bolted? No.
No, she had gone to her room.
When the Carson Show ended, I went to the projection room to take off the last two reels.
The film had nearly ended.
Then she said good night and after I'd closed up the viewing room, I came up here and found the door locked.
When she heard me calling Dr.
Willis, she came from her room and joined me there.
Oh, that must have been a terrible experience for the two of you.
Yes.
Quite.
Where is Mrs.
Willis' bedroom? Up there.
At the end of the hall.
Oh.
Thank you very much.
Pity, pity.
I beg your pardon? The doctor was so set on his trip around the world.
Oh, excuse me, I'm Lieutenant Columbo, Los Angeles Police Department.
Oh, I'm Dr.
Westrum.
Is that Mrs.
Willis' bedroom? Yes.
Yes, it is.
Do you think it'll be all right if I spoke to her for a few moments? She's very upset, Lieutenant.
I just placed her under sedation.
Poor woman.
She's in a state of complete shock.
Of course.
Well, it can wait for another day.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
Maybe you can help me, Doctor.
I'm trying to find a reason to explain the suicide.
Was Dr.
Willis depressed? You know, over his health or anything? Not to my knowledge.
You are the family doctor, aren't you? In a manner of speaking, yes.
Good night, Raymond.
Oh, Henry insisted on running up his own physicals.
And why not? There's no more eminent diagnostician in the business.
You know, Doctor, I've been having pains myself lately, not exactly pains, but my heart feels like there's a hammer inside.
Well, in your business, I'm not surprised.
And those cigars don't help any either.
Oh, I'm sure you're right.
Good night.
Good night, Doctor.
Oh, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, my notebook and pencil, if you please.
Thank you very much.
Good night.
Good night, sir.
Good morning, Raymond.
Good morning, Mr.
Diamond.
It's good of you to come, sir.
I'm sure it'll comfort her.
How is she? I haven't seen her this morning, sir, but she sounds much better.
Who is it? Mr.
Diamond, madam.
Grace, I'm so sorry.
Ned.
Ned.
I need your help, Ned.
I'll do anything I can.
You know that.
Mrs.
Willis.
Oh, I forgot Alma.
Would you like some breakfast? No.
No, thank you.
Alma, I'll just have some toast and coffee, please.
Yes, mum.
You sure you don't want anything? No, nothing.
Grace, I've arranged with Pat to postpone the dancers' call and we'll kind of move things Ned, we open in the fall.
We We can't have any delays.
But, Grace, after what's happened There's always another season, and we can postpone the Postpone? What did Rosie do the night her father died? She performed.
Best performance of her life.
Remember? But, Grace, Rosie was a character in a film.
But there's no difference.
Besides, Henry would have wanted it that way.
No, it'll all be all right, Ned, as long as we have faith in each other.
Whatever you say.
Are you all right? As long as I keep busy.
Then you are going to be the busiest girl in town.
You won't even have a chance to go to the powder room.
I have hired the most brilliant young dancer for your partner.
He is beautiful.
You'll love him.
That's right.
All right.
All right.
Now, listen to me.
I want you to stay here.
I'm only gonna be a few minutes.
All right? All right.
No barking.
Then later on we'll go get a hot dog.
All right? Ah.
Yes? Oh, not you again.
I've spent the whole morning cleaning up after your men.
It's just me this time, sir.
Could you tell Mrs.
Willis I'm here? It'll just take a few minutes.
I'll see if she's available.
Take a seat, Lieutenant.
Oh, and this, if you don't mind.
Pat, Ned.
I just came from her room and she seems to be doing very well.
No, she wants to go back to work.
And frankly, you know Frankly, I think it'd be the best thing for her.
Look, why don't you send a Just a minute.
Hold on.
How are you? Fine.
What's your name? Columbo.
Ned Diamond.
Yeah.
Pat, I'll be in the office like, half hour.
Fine.
See you then.
Listen, you don't mind if I pump your hand, do you? You're the fellow that was in all those musicals.
Wait till I tell my wife.
You were always her favorite.
She dragged me to every musical you were ever in.
I'm sorry you had to be dragged.
All right, poor choice of words.
It's just that 25 years ago I used to like those gangster pictures.
Edward G.
Robinson and Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Edward G.
Robinson, This Gun for Hire, Alan Ladd.
ScarFace, Paul Muni, Eduardo Ciannello Ciannelli.
Right.
Italian guy.
Yeah.
A whole bunch of them.
I think that's why I became a cop.
Police? LAPD, Lieutenant Columbo.
But you were here last night.
Yes, sir.
I came back here today.
I wanted to speak to Mrs.
Willis.
What about? I'll just ask a few questions.
It's very normal in these kind of cases.
What do you mean, "these kind of cases"? This is a clear case of suicide.
Yes, sir, but there are just a few loose ends.
Look, Lieutenant, this lady is a very old and dear friend of mine.
I wouldn't want anything to unnerve her or upset her.
Is that clear? Oh, I understand, sir.
Nice to know you, Columbo.
I wonder if you could help me out with this thing here.
My wife is a terrific dancer and a very good singer, but I got two left feet when it comes to dancing in public, you know, I get self-conscious and so on and I And so she always has to sit it out.
Is there something that What can you do for a problem like that? Become a critic.
Mrs.
Willis will see you now.
Hey, Ned Diamond, how about that.
Yes? Lieutenant Columbo, madam.
One moment, Raymond.
Just one moment.
Please, have him come in.
Lieutenant.
I'm sorry, madam, I don't Over here, Lieutenant.
Would you like some coffee? Grace Wheeler? Yes.
No one told me.
I just saw Ned Diamond downstairs.
I should have known.
Please sit down.
My wife is not gonna believe this.
Diamond and Wheeler.
Oh, we were high school sweethearts.
She took me to every movie you two ever made.
Isn't that nice? Are you sure you don't want some coffee? Coffee, yes.
I even remember my wife had her hair done up in little curls like you had in one of your pictures.
Really.
There's a word for that? Krokono.
I'm sorry, I got carried away.
I realize how you must be feeling.
I apologize.
Life must go on.
I'll just have to manage.
Some toast? No, thank you.
I just wanna ask a few questions.
Oh, I understand.
Your butler said that you were in the projection room watching a film when it happened? That's correct.
I was watching Walking My Baby.
Did you and your wife ever see that? Of course.
That's where the girl becomes a star, right? Rosie.
That explains why you didn't hear the shot.
Yes.
Just between you and me, madam.
Are you entirely satisfied that your husband took his own life? Of course.
Why do you ask? Well, the butler said when he entered the room just before 11:00 that Mr.
Willis was reading and he didn't appear to be at all depressed.
Henry was a very private person.
He rarely displayed his emotions.
A light goes on up here and sometimes I can't turn it off.
I mean, a man about to take his own life, why would he be reading a book and taking a sleeping pill? He was very concerned about his health.
Perhaps he was reading his book and taking his pill before he picked up the medical report and became depressed.
I see.
You're suggesting that he took the sleeping pill prior to the decision to take his life.
Yes, it could have happened that way.
But then, he could not have gone to the garage to get his gun out of the glove compartment before.
Do you see what I mean? Yes.
Yes, I do.
He must've gone to the garage for it.
No one would've heard him.
According to the housekeeper he dressed for bed at 8:00, had dinner in his room.
He did that very often.
That would mean that he would have to have gone to the garage in his robe and slippers.
I suppose.
That's my problem, madam.
I looked at those slippers very closely.
They definitely have not walked on anything other than a rug.
There is not a mark on them.
I can appreciate all the reports you must have to fill out.
But the point is, Lieutenant Columbo.
Columbo.
If my husband did not take his own life, how could he have died? The door was bolted from the inside.
Do you mind if I take another look at your husband's bedroom? Of course not.
And I'll go with you.
Oh, no.
Don't do that, madam.
That'll just bring back bad memories.
I have made up my mind I am going to be very strong.
That door was open last night, about like this.
Yes.
Henry always slept with the door slightly ajar.
So that while there's no doubt that that door was bolted, someone could've come through this door.
If you'll look more closely on the balcony, you'll see that it's not humanly possible for anyone to climb up.
The reason I know this is that some time ago, Henry had all those lower branches cut away so no one could get up.
You're absolutely right, madam.
Excuse me, madam.
Yes, Raymond? Your vocal instructor has arrived.
But Mr.
Salerno comes on Fridays.
But today is Friday, madam.
Oh, dear.
Madam, perhaps you'd better rest.
No.
I think I'll have it as usual.
Whatever you say, madam.
I seem to be so forgetful lately.
Do you think it's insensitive of me to take a vocal lesson so soon after my husband passed away? No, madam.
You see, I'm planning to resume my career.
Henry would've wanted that.
And besides, I find it a blessing to be able to turn to a song or a dance when faced by tragedy.
Oh, it is a blessing.
You're very lucky, you have a great talent that affords you an outlet.
Thank you.
Me? When I'm down in the dumps, I go bowling.
We all need something.
Now, if you'll excuse me.
Oh, yes.
And thank you very much, madam.
You've been very helpful.
You must come by some evening and see one of my films.
I have a print of all of them and you can choose your favorite.
And be sure to bring your wife.
Oh, thank you.
That's a date.
She'll She'll probably faint.
Excuse me.
This is off limits.
I'm sorry.
I'm supposed to meet Dr.
Lansberg and they said he was in here.
Lieutenant Columbo? Yes, sir.
I'm sorry I'm late.
It's all right, Doris.
Yes? My car, it broke down right on the freeway.
Oh, you're the one that wanted to know about Dr.
Willis? Yes, sir.
The medical report that you sent him, sir, it had something to do with It says collagen fibers and hyperplasia.
At any rate, it's very hard for a layman to understand.
I gather it has something to do with Dr.
Willis' prostate.
Henry's prostate was quite subject to infection, yes.
Then it was serious? Well, the prostate normally degenerates as a man grows older, Lieutenant.
It becomes more serious.
This might have become malignant.
And so I recommended surgical removal.
I see.
Well, I guess that would put a man into a deep depression.
It certainly would me.
Oh, no, I really don't think so, especially in the case of a doctor.
He would know better than anyone else that removal of the prostate is a very good operation.
Very highly successful.
Then why wasrt the operation performed, sir? Well, because Henry Willis was a diagnostician with a firm belief in antibiotics.
He was not a surgeon.
His feeling about surgery was that it should only be used as a case of last resort.
Mask.
As a matter of fact, he often chided us about being too quick with the knife.
That's the kind of doctor I like.
Dr.
Lansberg, we're ready for you.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
One more thing, Doctor.
Could he have been in bad health in any other way? Henry came to see me about his prostate.
I know of nothing else.
Excuse me.
Thank you.
Lieutenant, would you care to observe a surgery? Me? Yes.
Oh, no.
Just the sight of blood makes me sick.
Dr.
Green, call extension 1-2-1.
Dr.
Green, call extension 1-2-1.
You are Lieutenant Columbo? Yes.
Sergeant Leftkowitz, downtown.
Well, how do you do, Sergeant? Something I can do for you? You don't look like your picture.
Well, this was taken That was before I grew all this hair.
You see, my wife likes it this way.
You should get a new picture for the files.
You're absolutely right.
You know, Lieutenant, I'm in the homicide office at least once a week.
I don't think I've ever seen you there.
Well, I don't get down there too much.
None of the murders take place there, you know? I work in the computer section and the computer says that you haven't been to the pistol range in five years.
Five years? Oh, it couldn't be that long.
You are aware, Lieutenant, that you're required to meet a shooting standard every six months.
Yes, of course.
On the test range.
Well, the computer must've gone haywire.
You better check the records out.
Lieutenant, the computer seldom errs.
Well, I'm sure it doesn't, but in this case, the records must be misplaced.
All right.
I'll double check to be sure.
But if I don't find your records, you'll have to report to the range.
I understand.
That's a bubble of a book.
You see, Mrs.
McTwig was a floor scrubber who wins the Irish Sweepstakes.
Well, you can imagine the possibilities.
She goes to Switzerland for a face-lift and then off to Paris for a Givenchy wardrobe, compromises herself in Rome with a ribald Lothario, then falls in love with a young exiled prince from White Russia who happens to be a midget.
When last seen, they were frolicking together in the jungles of Africa on safari.
That's quite a yarn.
Well, you have to read it to appreciate the witty concept of romance and comedy.
You know, I think that author could very well be the next P.
G.
Wodehouse.
That'll be $7.
95 plus tax.
I don't want to purchase the book, sir.
This has already been purchased by Dr.
Henry Willis.
I see Lieutenant Columbo from the Los Angeles Police Department.
I wonder if you could tell me, sir, the date of purchase.
Yes, sir.
That's the late Dr.
Henry Willis.
An avid reader.
And one of our dear customers.
Let's see, Willis.
Yes, sir.
Here it is.
Dr.
Willis purchased that book on the 13th of this month.
Thank you very much.
Welcome, sir.
No, no, no.
Stop.
It's not right! It's just not right! It's too fast.
It's jerky.
Will you please stop playing when I'm trying to talk! It should be smoother and have more character.
Wait, wait, it's really easy.
Now, listen, I'm getting to you on the fourth beat.
My dear young man, you're getting to me before the fourth beat! Would you please stop moving around back there? I can't concentrate.
All right.
All right, kids.
Relax.
Take a break.
What we're trying to do takes a lot of care and a lot of time to get the precision we need.
Pat, what can we do about those last four bars? Fred, why don't you go behind her and catch her on the other side.
I think that would help.
Good.
And Grace, you got that? All right.
But it's gonna be awkward.
You're gonna make it un-awkward.
Okay? Grace, you try it with Pat.
All right.
Okay.
Okay? Yup.
Try it with Fred.
Oh, no, this is just ridiculous.
I'm not gonna waste my time and energy with rank amateurs! I'll be in my dressing room and when you work things out properly, call me.
Mrs.
Willis.
Lieutenant Columbo, madam.
Yeah I That name is very unusual.
I don't, for the life of me, know why I can't remember it.
Well, you've got a great deal on your mind, madam.
Show business can be very difficult.
You are lucky you're in another line of work.
Listen, all I know is I sit here, I watched you, in my mind I'm no expert, to me, you're a great dancer.
Well, thank you.
Is that your lunch, Lieutenant? No, madam, I've already eaten.
Actually, this is the book your husband was reading before Before? Before he died.
Okay, take a break.
I'm really sorry to bother you about all this again.
I just want to be absolutely certain that it was suicide the way everybody thinks.
Do you see this? The page is dog-eared.
Yes, Henry had a habit of turning the page down that way when he finished reading for the night.
That's what I wanted to talk to you about, madam.
Your husband bought this book three days before he died on the 13th.
According to the butler, on the night of the 13th he read from this book.
The first dog-ear would indicate 66 pages.
I see.
The second dog-ear is on page 122 that would be the second night's reading.
And Raymond is sure he saw him reading that night, too.
On the third night, the night that he died, there is no dog-ear.
What particularly interests you about that? Well, that indicates that he didn't do any reading, but the butler is positive that he saw him reading when he brought him his sleeping pills and milk.
Forgive me, Lieutenant, I I'm missing what you're getting at.
Well, maybe I'm just a nut for details.
But the book was found closed on the night table.
Now, he must have closed it and put it there.
But why didn't he dog-ear the page? I don't know.
Maybe he just forgot to.
From my experience, madam, I've discovered that people don't usually forget to do that which they usually do.
That's very confusing.
It sounds that way.
I'm trying to reconstruct exactly what Dr.
Willis was doing just before he died.
I'm afraid I can't help you.
I was watching the movie.
I know that, madam.
If he finished reading the book and closed it, merely forgetting to dog-ear it the way you suggested, and then put it on his night table, then he would get up, he would go to his desk, take out his medical report, he would read it, it would depress him, and he shot himself.
Poor Henry.
You see, if it happened that way, I still have the problem with the gun.
The gun? Yes.
You remember that I told you that his slippers had no scuff marks on the sole.
He might have brought the gun in with him when he came home earlier.
Well, then I have another problem.
Did you read this? The Transformation of Mrs.
Mc Twig.
No.
Mmm-mmm.
You see, if Henry already brought the gun in If he was already thinking about suicide Okay, let's go.
before he went to bed, then I don't believe he would be reading this.
It's a light, funny book, not the kind of thing that a man would be reading just before shooting himself.
It deals with an Irish scrub woman 7, 8.
she wins a sweepstake.
Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, you know, you're so involved with details that Maybe I can see something clearer than you.
What is that, madam? My husband was a revered and distinguished man.
Eminent in his profession and loved at home.
Who Hold it, please.
Who would want to kill him? Grace? We're ready for you.
Thank you.
Excuse me.
From the chorus again, huh? Ready.
Get back into first positions with your canes.
Ann.
I do believe you're over here.
On this side.
Columbo.
Lieutenant Flaherty.
Long time no see.
You ought to try coming downtown once in a while.
I'm gonna get down there this week for sure.
You know a Sergeant Leftkowitz? Sergeant Leftkowitz? Oh, the lady with the computer.
Yes.
You've been giving her the run around.
Me? No.
No, I explained to her that my records regard to my going to pistol practice got loused up in the computer.
You were right about that.
The read-out said you hadrt fired in five years.
She double-checked it.
It was 10.
Gee, you gotta be kidding! You better get out to that range right away.
Gee, I can't go now.
I gotta go someplace.
Columbo, you could be suspended.
But I don't have a gun.
What do you mean? It's downtown.
You could get busted for that, too.
All right.
Make it tomorrow.
But make it! You be there! Absolutely.
I'll be there tomorrow.
Now, that's tomorrow for sure.
Are you sure that it was when you went up to his room? Unquestionably so.
Well, how can you be so certain? Me, sometimes I forget whether it's morning or afternoon.
Lieutenant, I'm positive it was 10:50 because right after I went directly to the projection room, where at precisely 11:00 I put on a film for Mrs.
Willis.
Uh-huh.
Isn't that kind of late to be watching a film? Not at all.
Mrs.
Willis' films invariably begin at 11:00.
Is that as far up as it goes? There's been a death in the family.
Of course.
Yes.
This one, too? Yes, thanks.
Does Mrs.
Willis watch a film every night? Dr.
Willis was a reader.
Madam's the film buff.
I see.
My wife and I, we like to watch television.
We just adore Johnny Carson.
And he goes on at 11:30? Precisely.
And he goes off at 1:00? At which time I went to the projection room, and then to Dr.
Willis' room.
If you're considering the possibility of my wife or myself Oh, no, don't get that idea, sir.
It's just that certain things don't fit.
Planning a trip around the world.
A lot of things.
Well, he did have problems with his health.
How long ago did Dr.
Willis stop his practice? About six months.
Though he did continue as a consultant to other doctors.
Where did he keep his files? He must have had some files.
In a filing cabinet in the cellar.
I'd like to see them.
Now, Mrs.
Willis instructed me to cooperate to the full.
But if you don't mind my saying so, Dr.
Willis' files, sir.
Well, he was a diagnostician.
I mean, that Dr.
Westrum, he told me that he diagnosed himself.
Now, if his health was bad, real bad, the files might show it.
Oh, well.
This way.
That policeman is starting to get on my nerves.
What's he still hanging around for? He says he's searching for a crystal-clear reason why Henry killed himself.
I've tried to be patient, helpful, but the point is, Henry did, and he just keeps bringing up painful memories.
That's I really don't wanna talk about that anymore.
Ned, there's something I wanna discuss with you.
My new partner What's his name? Fred Loring.
Yeah.
Fred Loring.
I'm really not pleased with him.
Can you find a replacement? Look, Grace, he's a fantastic dancer.
We're lucky to have him.
He'll be a smash.
Are you insinuating that I'm not strong enough to carry the show by myself? Oh, come on.
You know I didn't mean that.
You've always thought that, haven't you? Ever since that stupid driving accident and your foolish drinking.
When our careers were in full bloom.
Those are not very pleasant memories for me.
I can imagine.
What about me? What about how I feel? No one would hire Wheeler without Diamond.
Well, that's all changed now.
It's my show, it's my money.
And I want I demand a new partner.
I'll see what I can do.
Grace, I loved you.
I wanted to marry you.
And now? I still feel the same.
Uh-uh.
Not too fast.
You'll knock it out of the cone.
Captain Siegel, Internal Affairs.
Internal Affairs? Well, what's wrong? Tomorrow afternoon, or I pull your badge.
Grace, how are the rehearsals coming? Just beautifully, thank you.
It's such fun to be dancing again.
Oh, I bet.
And, well, Ned He's just done beautiful things I mean, exciting Ned, how about a number from the new show? What a lovely idea.
That beautiful old tune from the second act curtain.
Please, Ned.
All right.
Ladies and gentlemen, would you clear the floor, please? We're going to do a number from the new show and I want you to use your imagination and imagine a fantastic and lavish production.
And if you can use your imagination a little further, a newer and younger partner for Grace.
Speak low When you speak, love Our summer day Withers away Okay, this won't take long.
Look at your face.
You got ice cream all over your face.
You think I'm gonna wipe it, you're crazy.
Wipe off your face.
Look at you.
Now listen, I'm not gonna be long.
So when I come out, then we go to the park and you get your run.
Love is a spark Lost in the dark Too soon Too soon I feel Wherever I go Psst.
That tomorrow is near Tomorrow is here Madam is entertaining.
Yes.
I don't wanna disturb her.
That's fine.
I just want to take another look at the bedroom.
Only take a few moments.
I suppose it's all right.
Thank you.
And time a thief I'm sure you know the way by now.
Yes, sir.
I do.
Darling we're late Darling we're late The curtain descends Everything ends Too soon, too soon, I wait Isn't it wonderful when everybody Darling I wait Will you speak low to me Speak love to me, and soon Darling we're late Darling we're late Darling we're late The curtain descends Everything ends Too soon Too soon I wait Darling, I wait Will you speak low to me Speak love to me, and soon Don't come under here, because I'm gonna drop.
Grace, what movie are we going to see? We're going to see Paradise, the very first musical Diamond and Wheeler ever made together.
Wonderful.
Right this way, everyone.
Raymond.
Just sit anywhere.
It really doesn't matter Where you sit.
Raymond, you start the film.
I'll be right back.
Go away! Would you go away! Now, I told you.
Go away! Go on.
Go away, dog.
Get on back.
I'm gonna drop.
Hey! Didrt I tell you to stay in the car? Hmm? Didrt I tell you to stay in the car? Have you taken leave of your senses? Suppose I landed on you? Well, I guess it looks that way, doesn't it? Sorry.
Here.
Let me help you.
Thank you very much.
Did you wanna see me? Or do you just enjoy swinging from trees? Well, I saw you had guests.
I didn't wanna bother you.
Oh.
Well, now that you have You know, you're right.
You can't climb up that tree on to the balcony, but you sure as hell can climb down.
I know, because I just did it and if I can do it, almost anybody can do it because I'm in very bad shape.
I almost broke my neck.
I see what you mean.
You know, I don't think you're being completely candid with me about your frequent visits.
Well, as a matter of fact But I think I know the reason why you persist in popping up.
You simply enjoy being around the magic of show business.
Well, you're a very magnetic lady, there's no doubt about it.
But I do have guests.
Would you care to join us? We're running a film.
Thank you very, very much.
No, I can't.
This is Sunday and I promised my dog, I'd take him to the park.
You promised your dog? How sweet.
Well, then perhaps one night during the week.
That'll be wonderful.
Thank you.
Okay.
Goodbye.
Pat, can you take a little wider swing about another foot on that end, to put on this end? All right.
Come up this way.
I'll catch you at the next rehearsal.
Can I help you? No.
Who are you? I'm waiting for Lieutenant Columbo.
But I requested that he meet me here.
Right.
Well, where is he? I don't know.
Are you a policeman? He told me to be here.
Columbo, I wanted to talk to you, not to anyone else.
Right, sir.
And I wanna talk to you.
Fine.
Now.
Privately, in my office.
Absolutely, sir.
Immediately.
Cross the wrists up there.
What's up, Columbo? You sounded panicky on the phone.
I want you to do me a favor.
It's my day off.
Here's my badge.
Go down to the pistol range take my test for me.
That's against the rules.
They'll never know the difference.
Here's $5 for your trouble.
You bribing me, Lieutenant? I can't hit the target.
You gotta give me a break.
You owe me one, Columbo.
Lieutenant, I thought I made it very clear to you that you were to stop bothering Grace.
Well, sir, I've got some problems Look, she's in dreadful shape.
I was up to breakfast the other day and she's She came apart right in front of my eyes and it's all your fault.
I want you to leave her alone! Yes or no? Yes or no? Sir, I can't do that.
What's your precinct number? I don't believe that Dr.
Willis killed himself.
That's ridiculous.
A man is found in a locked room, with a gun in his hand, papers beside him indicating he needed surgery.
What more proof do you need? Well, the surgery wasrt that serious.
Prostate operations are highly successful.
As a doctor, he would know that.
There was nothing to fear.
That's not the explanation.
Why did he kill himself? You tell me.
Lieutenant, you must be aware of the fact that men who retire from very active lives very often go into severe depression for no apparent reason whatsoever.
I know.
I've been there.
You didn't shoot yourself, did you? Big difference between being old and unappy and putting a gun to your head.
Has to be a reason.
I'll tell you why I, I can't leave Miss Wheeler alone.
I have very good reason to believe that Miss Wheeler killed her husband.
If you think I'm gonna stand here and listen to that, I'll get a lawyer! I'll get a battery of lawyers and the least that can happen will be the end of one very unimportant career! Out! I think I can prove it, sir.
How? Ordinarily Dr.
Willis takes one sleeping pill before going to bed.
Each capsule contains five milligrams of phenobarbital.
The autopsy reveals that he had twice that much in him.
So, what does that prove? It's not enough to kill him.
No, sir, it wasrt enough to kill him.
But it is enough to put him into a very deep sleep.
Deep enough so that someone could put a gun in his hand without waking him and then pull the trigger.
But we're not talking about someone.
We're talking about Grace.
There were only three people in the house.
The maid, the butler and Miss Willis.
So it had to be suicide.
The door was locked and bolted from the inside.
No one could get out.
I got out.
I jumped from the balcony to the branch of the tree and then to the ground.
It's not easy.
But I did it.
And she's a dancer and in very good condition.
She could do that.
But why? Why would Grace wanna kill Henry? For her career.
To get the money to finance her career.
But he offered to give her the money.
Dr.
Willis would never have done that.
How the hell would you know? Let me tell you something, Lieutenant, about being a A star.
Which Grace was.
It's a crazy, ecstatic expulsive blow to the ego.
Very few people are lucky enough to be able to handle it.
And unfortunately Grace wasrt one of those.
She's overly ambitious.
I know that.
But murder? By someone I've known and loved for years.
I can't accept that.
I won't accept that.
I think she did it.
She invited me to her house tonight to watch her film.
I'm going.
If she means anything to you, you ought to be there.
'Cause I think she did it.
I don't think it's quite right.
Let's try the pearls.
All right.
I'll put those on.
You rang, madam? Oh, yes, Raymond.
I wanna be sure everything is in order.
After all, Mr.
And Mrs Columbo, mum.
Oh, yes, thank you, Alma.
After all, they are very old and loyal fans, and I want them to have an absolutely regal evening.
Of course, madam.
The '68 champagne and caviar? Lovely, lovely.
Oh, that's them, they're here already.
How do I look? Just like in one of your movies, mum.
Good evening, sir.
Is that Mr.
Diamond's car? Yes, it is.
Where is Miss Wheeler? She's upstairs getting ready.
Where is Mr.
Diamond? He's on the patio, I think.
There's champagne in the living room.
Help yourself.
Miss Wheeler will be down right away.
Thank you.
You are looking unusually elegant, I must say.
How long has Mr.
Diamond been here? Few minutes.
Good evening.
Good evening.
They say she'll be right down.
That's what I was told.
Care for a cigar? No, thanks.
I ought to give these things up.
I just can't seem to manage it.
The running time of this film is one hour and 45 minutes.
I have a problem with this case, sir.
Oh, Raymond.
I think we should put the hot hors d'oeuvres in the viewing room.
Someone may wanna nibble during the screening.
Very good, madam.
Ned, darling.
Lieutenant, you look simply smashing.
Oh, Ned, be a dear and pour some champagne.
Now, where's your wife? Well, she's a little under the weather, madam.
That is a shame.
Well, as they say, I guess the show must go on.
Did you tell Raymond which film you wanted to see? Yes, madam.
I took care of that this afternoon.
Let me guess.
Walking My Baby.
How'd you know? I don't know.
Maybe because it's my favorite, too.
Though I think Ned prefers Paradise.
I like them both, Grace.
Thank you, darling.
To your enjoyment of the film.
Oh, please excuse me.
I must tell Alma there'll only be three for dinner.
Alma, there'll be three, dear.
I believe in that case, I'll sit here and the Lieutenant there The running time for Walking My Baby is an hour and 45 minutes.
I even checked out another uncut print.
It was owned by the film museum.
Hour and 45 minutes.
Raymond.
So? Raymond? Raymond! How come the night Dr.
Willis died it took two hours? I don't understand.
The film runs an hour and three quarters, as I just said.
The night Dr.
Willis died, it took two hours.
I'm asking why.
Well, how do you know it ran two hours? Raymond Something that might interest you.
The original premier program.
Oh, they turned out beautifully.
We had them leather bound and they just came back.
Perhaps the Lieutenant would like to see one.
Oh, I certainly would.
I was hoping you'd say that.
I wonder where I put them.
You'll be amazed at the number of faces you'll recognize.
That's what's such fun.
How do you know? How do you know it ran for two hours? Raymond told me that the film started at exactly 11:00 and at 1:00 when The Johnny Carson show was over, he returned to the projection room and Miss Wheeler was still watching the film.
It was just ending.
Just a couple minutes past 1:00.
If that's too much trouble, don't bother.
Oh, not at all.
No.
From 11:00 to a couple minutes past I can't account for that.
Ned, was your champagne properly chilled? It's fine, Grace.
Good.
Thank you.
You know who else likes champagne? Raymond.
Don't say anything.
Sure doesn't show it.
He could've fooled me.
He is darling, isn't he? Anyway, what difference does it make? It doesn't mean anything.
Oh, it means a great deal, sir.
It goes to the very heart of the matter.
I just have to ask him.
Raymond, may I see you for a second? I can't seem to find those programs that came today.
Never mind.
Here they are.
I found them.
Why the additional That's the question that first turned my suspicions towards Mrs.
Wheeler.
It has to be answered.
It can't be dismissed.
Ned, remember that Caribbean picture we did? There was a tiny, tiny part of the hotel clerk.
We werert even in the scene.
Well, guess who it was? I don't know.
Donald Meek.
Donald Meek.
Donald Meek? I had no idea.
There's Edward Arnold.
I knew he was in it, but Donald Meek? I mean Well, one second, I'll find Walking My Baby.
It's your job to answer questions, Lieutenant.
The film broke.
The film broke.
You can see the actual splicing.
You can see where the film was mended together.
Well, that's innocent enough.
That accounts for the missing time.
The film broke and had to be repaired.
That would depend on how long it takes to repair it, wouldn't you say? The film's ready.
I don't follow you, Lieutenant.
Gentlemen, we are ready.
Oh, that picture.
It's just marvelous of you, but it's horrid, just awful of me.
Lieutenant, you want a laugh? Look at those shoes.
They are funny, aren't they? Arert they? But you look pretty.
They didn't affect your eyes.
Oh, my, you are a dear.
Well, the hors d'oeuvres are here.
Make yourselves comfortable.
Would you like your drink freshened? No, thank you.
All right, Lieutenant.
Why don't you sit over there? You may start the film, Raymond.
Very good, madam.
Not now! What the hell is that? That's what happened the night her husband died.
You're responsible for this.
Yes.
I tampered with the film to make sure it would break.
You've lost me completely, Lieutenant.
Let's see how long it takes her to repair the film.
Seems to know what she's doing.
Knows how to work the splicer.
You see, actually this is a very simple procedure.
Even a child could do it.
How you doing, Miss Wheeler? I could scream.
It makes me so mad I could scream.
I get nervous when things don't go right.
But It'll be just a minute.
I'm almost ready.
It's been 30 seconds.
She said she's almost done.
Do you see the problem? We have to account for 15 minutes.
Let's say it takes her four minutes to repair the film.
How do we account for the remaining 11 minutes? It has to be one of four possibilities.
She was sitting here watching the film and the film broke.
One, she could go out in the kitchen and ask Raymond to fix it.
We know she didn't do that.
Or two, she's sitting here and the film breaks and all by herself she sits here for 11 minutes and she watches a white screen and then she decides to go in there and she fixes it.
It takes four minutes.
Or three, it breaks.
She goes back there.
Takes four minutes to fix it and then she stands on her head for 11 minutes.
Or four, the film breaks, but she doesn't know it because she is not in the screening room.
She's not watching the film.
She's upstairs in her husband's bedroom firing a pistol.
And while she's out of the room, this film is not running and that accounts for the 11 minutes.
Now, she comes back and she sees that the film is broken, she takes four minutes to fix it and that adds up to 15 minutes that the film is not running.
And that, sir, is why the film took two hours instead of an hour and 45 minutes.
It's almost done.
It's been about three minutes.
There's no doubt she did it.
But I have a problem with this case.
I went looking in Dr.
Willis' files to see what I could find out about his health.
I found this under the name of Rosemary Landon.
Now, as you can see, the patient has an inoperable aneurysm of the brain.
That's a weak spot in the artery.
Rosemary Landon.
Rosie! Rosie.
That was Dr.
Willis' code name for his wife.
He didn't want her to know anything about it.
That is a progressive memory disease that knocks out the memory cells.
She can recall things from a long time ago, but she's very shaky about anything now.
That's how I knew that Dr.
Willis would never consent to her resuming her career.
Because the strain of performing could literally kill her at any moment.
My God! And he never told her! How long has she got? A week, a month, two months on the outside.
My problem, sir, is, I don't believe that she even remembers killing him.
But to kill Henry? All you've got is proof that it wasrt a suicide.
What are you talking about? Are you still saying that my husband was murdered? Yes, madam.
How can you possibly think that someone in this house killed my husband? He took his own life! No, madam.
No, he didn't.
Just a minute, Lieutenant.
I want to know once and for all what this Lieutenant is trying to say! Madam, the other evening we learned Grace, this has gone on long enough.
I killed Henry.
I took the gun out of the glove compartment.
I came through a rear window.
I went up to his room and I shot him.
And I made good my escape over the balcony.
You don't know what you're saying! It's true, Grace.
It's true! No! No, it can't be true! Why? Why would you do anything like that? Why? For you, Grace.
For you, Grace.
For you.
For me? Henry was preventing you from assuming your rightful position as a star.
What am I gonna do? You'll be all right, Grace.
My Grace will be all right.
No, I can't do anything without you.
I'll just wait.
That's what I'll do.
I'll take a long rest.
I'll rest, I'll just rest.
Isn't that a good idea? That's what you should do, Grace.
Now, you just sit over here and you watch Rosie.
Just watch Rosie.
Shall we go, Lieutenant? It's not gonna take much to break your story.
It might take a couple of months.
Yes.
Yes, it might.