Columbo (1971) s07e03 Episode Script

Make Me a Perfect Murder

I looked over Jordan and what did I see Coming for to carry me home A band of angels coming after me Coming for to carry me home Yankee Doodle went to town A- riding on a pony Put a feather in his cap and called it macaroni In a cavern, In a canyon Excavating for a mine Lived a miner, forty-niner And his daughter Clementine 15-12 , I've got a siren.
15-14 , meet me on Tech 2.
Roger, go ahead 15-12.
I'm at Riverside and Laurel.
My ETA is one minute.
Proceed to Magnolia and Hollywood Way.
Stay on Tech 2.
15-14 I've got a reckless driver in front of me approaching the intersection.
Roger 15-12.
I am eastbound on Magnolia from Riverside.
He's driving a white or a gray early model Look out! I think I hurt my neck.
Where are the gun effects? Bring 'em up, fellas.
Looking for it.
The music's too big.
Okay, now, when he gets into the alley, what I want to hear is just the pulse track on the music.
Let's take it from the top.
Okay, John? Everything's okay with me.
I'm just the producer.
Going back, Allen.
Kay, you're a very busy lady.
Why don't you get out of the grease pit and let me dub the film? Because you boys at the studio get to have all the fun.
While we, over at the network, all we get to do is pay for these pictures and try to let you know what we want and how we want it.
How's that for a massage? So how's the picture look? Getting there.
Like pulling teeth.
Hmm.
Lunch? Mmm-hmm.
Shrimp Salad.
Peace.
Peace.
He in? Yeah, meeting.
But New York is getting a little anxious.
Do you really have to tell me that? Gentlemen.
Kay.
Hello.
Let me worry about New York.
Clay Gardner, what's he really gonna cost us? Henry, did you check his agent out? You want a price on Clay Gardner? His agent just smiles and smiles.
Did you see the final dub? Don't we wish.
At that studio, another three days.
Let me put it this way.
Can I show The Professional to the New York bunch, and will I want to? Yes, you can show it and yes, you will want to.
You heard that Kay Freestone guarantees a 40 share.
Okay, friends, thank you much.
Jonathan, fill me in.
I ran the network demographics on the six Clay Gardner movies.
Believe it or not, his strongest appeal Yes, Madge.
Mr.
Flanagan in New York, on three.
Hello, Mark.
Hello, Frank, how are you? How's that great New York weather? Well, how do you think? It's still snowing.
I hate to tell you this but I went sailing yesterday.
Mark, how tough would it be to give up sailing in the winter? What did you have in mind, Frank? New York.
For how long? Long as you want.
Forever.
It'll be out Tuesday, definite.
Hated California It's cold and it's damp Hey! Breakfast! Happy Sunday.
Well, Saturday wasn't too shabby.
You can read me the funnies.
Frank Flanagan called.
I got New York.
The whole damn network.
Baby, we did it, we did it, we did it.
When do we leave? I want you to stay here, Kay.
Your job! You are giving me the job? What's going on here? I can't give you the West Coast, babe.
Well, now.
I thought I'd earned something.
At what you do, Kay, you're the best there is.
You're the very best.
But you don't make decisions.
You make guesses.
There's a difference.
Guesses just aren't good enough.
But you'll learn.
Right.
Right.
I'm learning already.
Don't make it any tougher than it is.
Poor baby.
Here I am worrying about myself.
Poor, precious Mark suffering through the awful truth.
Farewell, my dearest, the time has come.
Great secret lovers.
Super corporate team.
But onward and upward.
Whoop-dee-doo.
Kay in the end all we really owe each other is a little bit of affection.
Nobody was keeping tabs, were they? So much for overtime, so much for double time, so much for playtime.
Kay.
You wanna sue me? Shoot me? That make you feel better? Right through the heart.
Make me a perfect murder, babe.
Kay.
You were supposed to find these out there.
A 450SL.
The silver one.
It's the one you always wanted.
It's still at the dealer showroom.
But it's registered in your name.
You can drive it home.
The license plate says, "Kay #1.
" Well, that's a comment from the management.
Goodbye, Kay? Sit up, Lieutenant.
I want you to relax.
Tilt your head back.
What What are you gonna do? Just give your neck a little adjustment.
What do you mean by adjustment? Don't worry, Lieutenant, it won't hurt at all.
I'll tell you, Sam, I don't think it hurts anymore.
It won't hurt at all.
Sam, it already doesn't hurt at all.
Relax.
Relax.
You have one minute and 20 seconds.
You have one minute and 10 seconds.
You have one minute.
You have 50 seconds.
You have 40 seconds.
You have 30 seconds to go.
You have 20 seconds.
You have 10 seconds left.
Nine seconds.
Eight.
Seven.
Six.
Five.
Four.
Three.
Two.
One.
Out.
Oh, hello, Kay.
Sorry, Jonathan.
I'm going to need all those Clay Gardner demographs first thing in the morning.
Kay, that's gonna take all night.
Well, unless you'd like to explain your troubles to Mr.
Flanagan, you'd better plan on spending the night.
Condolences, Junior.
Comes with the territory.
Well, who says Clay Gardner's ready to do TV? Just once I'd like to sit down to a hot meal.
At $7 million a season, let's just say he might be tempted.
His agent take the hook yet? No, I'm still setting it.
Planes don't count.
That's toy food.
It's really up to Frank.
What do you think, Pete? Before, I got to be a VP Now I put it between bread.
We'll still come out of it.
Do you really want to lay out that kind of cash, Frank? If we start paying $7 million, every actor we have will wanna renegotiate.
Clay Gardner isn't every actor.
Thank God.
Mr.
Flanagan, gentlemen.
Kay.
Hi, Kay.
Soon as you've had your ice cream and cookies, we'll go to the movies.
All right, guys, let's go.
This way, gentlemen.
That's right.
What have you got? I hope I'm gonna see you guys in my office later.
We'll see you later.
Mark.
Let's roll the dice on Clay Gardner before I change my mind.
You got it.
Pete, listen, we're gonna go with Gardner.
So, first thing tomorrow set up a negotiating session.
I'll call Herbie Stone.
You all right? I'm fine.
No, I mean really.
I mean, I'm really fine, Mark.
Good.
He can handle it.
Well, this picture is very much a Kay Freestone effort, I understand.
Oh, yes.
You'll find little flecks of my blood on each and every frame.
Gentlemen, I'll be in the booth.
Enjoy yourselves.
Thank you.
Frank, do you really think that William Morris will cave-in that much on the price? A million at least.
You got to be kidding it's seven.
Nobody believes seven.
Evening, Walter.
Hi, Kay.
VIP time, huh? Oh, it's murder.
You got all nine reels here? Ninety minutes, nine reels.
Okay.
You watching back here again, huh? Walter, I wrestled this bloody film through that nutty studio for six months.
If you so much as make one mistake in a changeover, I'll kill you.
Yowsah, Miss Freestone.
Your film is gonna go through this gate at the incredible rate of 90 feet per minute.
You just watch this little old counter here.
And no sooner will this first reel finish up when I will see two little flashes of light out there in the upper right hand corner of your lovely picture.
And then I will, with lightning speed, switch over to this projector right here.
And not only will your big-shots not know that I have switched a reel, they'll not suspect one little old thing.
Bravo.
Kay, roll when you're ready.
All right.
Okay.
What's this called? The Professional.
Mmm.
Good luck.
Thanks, I'll need it.
Frank, has Standards and Practices seen this yet? Changeover.
Flash.
Go.
Couldn't have done it better myself.
Marius? Not exactly the family hour, is it? Walter, where are those other reels? What other reels? Screen tests that I ordered for Broad Land.
Flanagan might want to see them.
Oh, somebody goofed.
They must still be down in Shipping.
Well, you better go get them.
Four reels.
Well, there's a changeover coming in about two minutes.
I'll take care of the changeover.
You just get those reels for me, please.
You have four minutes.
You have three minutes and 50 seconds.
You have three minutes and 40 seconds.
You have three minutes and 30 seconds.
You have three minutes and 20 seconds.
You have three minutes and 10 seconds.
You have three minutes.
You have two minutes and 50 seconds.
Finished already? Yes.
Finished.
Honey, wait a minute, wait a You have two minutes and 10 seconds.
Mark? You have two minutes.
You have one minute and 30 seconds.
You have one minute and 20 seconds.
You have one minute and 10 seconds.
You have one minute.
You have 50 seconds.
You have 40 seconds.
You have 30 seconds.
You have 25 seconds.
Twenty seconds.
You have 15 seconds left.
You have 10 seconds.
Nine.
Six.
Five.
Four.
Three.
Two.
One.
Make the changeover okay? Like a champ.
All right.
Well, how's it going? Well, no one's left yet.
How long are they gonna keep putting that stuff on television? Kay, would you come in here a minute? What? I'll be right in.
Walter, no more picture tonight.
Kay, I'm so terribly shocked.
I'm so sorry.
Yeah, we're all very sorry.
I'm sure he'd be the first one to say there's no disrespect in our just doing our jobs.
What is there for today? They asked for you in Mark's office.
Soon as you came in.
Kay, steady, love.
Good morning, ma'am.
Lieutenant Columbo, Homicide.
And you're Miss Freestone? Yes, Lieutenant.
No disrespect intended, ma'am, but that's where Mr.
McAndrews was lying, just like that.
When he was shot, that is.
Is there any way I can be of help, Lieutenant? I don't believe so, ma'am.
Nice of you to offer.
We think it's a whiplash.
The doctors are making tests.
I'm so sorry.
No, I I meant, is there any way I can help you with your investigation? Oh, the investigation.
Yes, ma'am, I think there is.
Now, I understand that you worked very closely with the victim.
Yes, I was his executive assistant.
Yes, ma'am.
And would you agree that these were his glasses? They look like them, yes.
Then would you mind coming through that door, ma'am? Excuse me? If you would just go out and come through that door, please.
Come on in, ma'am.
Come on in.
Stop right there, ma'am.
Now, if you'll just hold out your arm.
Where? Just point it at me, ma'am.
Like you were holding a pistol.
Thank you very much, ma'am.
My father wore glasses just like these.
And when I was a youngster, I used to like to put them on.
Made me feel like a grown-up.
There's something I wanted to ask you about Mr.
McAndrews, ma'am.
An item that I found here on his desk a little piece of paper.
Well, it will turn up.
My mother used to grab the glasses off me.
"They're bad for your eyes," she used to say.
You know, in those days, everything was bad for your eyes.
Not wearing mittens was bad for your eyes.
Wearing rubbers in the house, that'd strike you blind on the spot.
I don't know what I did with that damn paper.
Well, it will turn up.
That must be very uncomfortable.
Ma'am? Oh, this? Well, it's better than a gallstone.
Did you ever have a gallstone, ma'am? Whew! No, I don't think so.
If there's nothing else, Lieutenant I've got 12 men searching, Lieutenant.
Is that enough? As many as you can get, Sergeant.
We haven't found the weapon, ma'am.
We think it still might be on the premises.
I know there was a paper on this desk.
Oh, Sergeant Burke, this is Miss Freestone.
She was Mr.
McAndrews' executive assistant.
Found you.
I think you're wanted in your office.
Something about Mr.
Flanagan.
Oh, thank you.
Lieutenant, I think there's something you should see.
Would you mind coming with me? Certainly, ma'am.
Keep searching, Sergeant.
Yes, sir.
We lost a hell of a lot more than manpower.
No, they don't know anything yet.
Yes, I'll be staying around until we can get the pieces back together.
Kay, I hope I didn't take you away.
You all right? Your men have everything they need, Lieutenant? Well, it's very confusing, sir.
I mean, there were only so many people in the building last night.
You and your people, Miss Freestone and the projectionist and the young man working next door.
Every single one of them is accounted for.
With your terrific security and all, no one else could get in or out of the building.
So the question is, who killed Mr.
McAndrews? That's why I want you to look at these, Lieutenant.
You personally won this award yourself, ma'am? Indeed she did, Lieutenant.
"For Best Documentary Production.
" Well, you certainly are a very clever woman, ma'am.
That's why she's with us.
Very clever indeed.
Let's just say I work like an ox.
Please sit right here, Lieutenant.
Thank you, ma'am.
Kay.
Under the circumstances, I'm gonna ask something of you.
We'd like you to help us by taking over all of Mark's duties, at least for the time being.
Of course.
Anything I can do to help, Mr.
Flanagan.
Good.
I knew I could count on you.
You can start by locking up Clay Gardner in The Broad Land.
Oh, Mr.
Flanagan, I wanted to talk to you about The Professional, the film last night? I think we should talk about that some other time.
Good luck, Lieutenant.
Oh, thank you, sir.
I'm sure it'll be off in a few days.
I call it weird, ma'am.
All these crazy crank letters.
Have you ever told the police about these threats? Yes, I certainly have.
You'll notice that the network gets blamed for everything that's going, be it communism, fascism, atheism, abortion, sex, violence.
You name it.
Up, down or in the middle.
It's all the same thing.
"Support decency or we'll kill you.
" Signed in blood.
So, naturally, when this happened, it occurred to me That one of these nuts slipped in here and killed Mr.
McAndrews? Well, other attempts have been made, twice on Mr.
Flanagan.
I don't think so, ma'am.
Not in this case.
Granted, there's a lot of nuts running around, some of them dangerous.
Not in this case.
You seem very sure, Lieutenant.
That's because Mr.
McAndrews recognized his murderer.
He knew the person who shot him.
I find that very hard to believe.
I don't wanna distress you, ma'am, but there's no doubt about it.
I know I had that paper somewhere.
Why is there no doubt about it? We know the angle of the bullet, ma'am.
We know that the murderer didn't shoot from the door.
He entered the office.
I'd say he was 18 feet in by the time he pulled the trigger.
Well, why couldn't a stranger be 18 feet into a room? Well, let me put it to you this way, ma'am.
If you were alone in a room at night, lying on a couch, and a stranger entered, wouldn't you take a good look at him? Wouldn't you wanna see what he looked like? Yes.
That's the point, ma'am.
Mr.
McAndrews didn't bother to take a really good look.
It's these glasses, ma'am.
He had them up here on his forehead when he was shot.
When the murderer came into the room.
So Mr.
McAndrews must've known exactly who that person was, or he would've pushed them down, like this.
Because with these type corrections, ma'am, these bifocals, this is the only way that Mr.
McAndrews could see his killer.
If the killer was a stranger, that is.
Which he couldn't have been.
But I'll keep your theory in mind.
Interesting, isn't it, how you can work these small things out if you just think about it? Like you got a tiny voice whispering right in your ear, trying to tell you who did it.
You're a very attentive listener, Lieutenant.
Oh, yes, ma'am.
Why that's all we got to go on.
Listen and look, look and listen.
You see, you watch your counter for the blip and then you stand by for the blip.
You mean to tell me that all these years, every time I took Mrs.
Columbo to the theater, those flashes were on the screen? They have been on the screen even before Mrs.
Columbo, Lieutenant.
The upper right hand corner.
In a regular theater? A regular theater.
If I go to the movies tonight, a dollar and a half, and I walk in and sit down and watch the movie, you mean to tell me that I will see those flashes on the screen? Right.
That goes to show you, you learn something new every day.
Now, the flashes tell the projectionist when he's supposed to change his reel.
All right, all right, watch.
Flash.
Now, you tell me when you see the second one.
Flash.
Mr.
Mearhead, I would say you did that like an artist.
Listen, you wanna see art, Lieutenant? Lieutenant, this is art.
Isn't that remarkable? You did that yourself? That I did, sir.
When I was a kid, I used to build model airplanes.
I'd start them but I could never finish them.
I'd always wreck them.
Miss Freestone, she made the changeover last night when you went out for The Broad Land screen tests? Yeah, about two minutes after I left.
I checked that counter.
You checked the counter, Miss Freestone, she changed the projector.
Did Miss Freestone make the splice, too? What splice? You mean the film didn't break? Isn't this one of those editor's gloves? Right.
I mean, she could've fixed the film if anything happened, but nothing happened to the film.
You see, I use these gloves because of the glue.
Well, thank you very much, sir.
Do you think it would be asking too much if I took one of these things for my nephew? Sure, help yourself.
The kid's 15-years-old and he sold all his stereo stuff to make eight-millimeter movies.
When I was a kid in my neighborhood, we had heroes.
DiMaggio, Rizzuto You know who he's got on the wall? Francis Ford Coppola.
Sorry, ma'am.
Excuse me, Lieutenant.
Oh, Walter, you can send those test reels back to Shipping anytime.
Oh, those tests, ma'am, the tests, they've already gone back to Shipping.
I spoke to the gentleman in charge.
Oh.
Fine, then.
Ma'am.
Ma'am.
About those tests that you sent out for last night.
Those were tests for a new series called The Broad Land? Yes, Lieutenant, they were talent tests.
Yes, well there's something that I don't understand, ma'am, and maybe I should I probably should Lord knows I'm not the brightest guy on the force.
Another detective, he could cut right through all this.
I understand, Lieutenant.
Just ask your questions.
That's the problem, ma'am.
When I ask the questions, I know I'm putting you on the spot.
It's perfectly all right, Lieutenant.
It's your job.
I appreciate that.
Thank you very much, ma'am.
If only more people felt that way.
The question is Mr.
Flanagan says that he already approved Clay Gardner to star in that new series.
So I had to ask myself, if he already approved him, why would you wanna show him more tests? You see my problem, ma'am? Yes, I do, and I wondered exactly the same thing myself.
Did you? Mmm-hmm.
This time I think you're listening to the wrong little voice in your ear, Lieutenant.
I was just following instructions.
Mr.
Flanagan's instructions? Mr.
McAndrews' instructions.
Written instructions, ma'am? Verbal instructions, Lieutenant.
I see.
Well, we certainly can't ask Mr.
McAndrews, can we? I'm afraid I do have to go, Lieutenant.
Oh, ma'am.
Excuse me, ma'am.
I know you're pressed.
I don't wanna hold you up.
Can we walk and talk? Let's.
I know that Mr.
McAndrews was an important executive, and I know that CNC is a big television network.
But I have no idea what he did all day and night, from what I can see around here.
Well, I can hardly speak for his nights, Lieutenant.
I didn't mean to imply, ma'am.
His days were mostly like mine.
We run a fire department around here.
Do you want to look at some of the flames? Flames, ma'am? Yes, mostly we put out fires.
Nancy, monitor two.
One, please.
Thank you, sweetheart.
Yeah, now, that's the angle I want for the third position.
Looking nice kids.
Looking very good.
Start from the top and I'll watch it up here.
Oh, Kay, we've already lost two hours.
Where is she? Luther will tell you.
Oh, Lieutenant, I'll be busy for a minute.
Just help yourself.
Don't worry about me, ma'am.
Luther? Coming down.
You can take a break now, Nancy.
Thanks.
All right, everybody, five minutes, please.
Where are we? Replace her, Kay.
Valerie? She's never gonna make it.
Not a live show.
Not in this world.
Oh, come on, we're on tomorrow night.
She's terrified, she's hysterical.
She's losing her mind.
I mean, she doesn't even understand that this is not an MGM sound stage 20 years ago.
She hates the blocking, she hates the camera, she hates me.
You, I don't know about.
Look, a few times a day she'll have a nice rush of confidence for 10 minutes and then she'll remember it's a live show, bite one of the dancers on the leg and run to her dressing room and hide.
Aside from all that, her work is lousy.
Where is she? Dressing room.
Luther, is she on anything? Oh, please.
You mean it's gonna be live TV, just the way it used to be? A little bit better, Lieutenant, we hope.
This is where the director will sit.
Here, sit down.
This is a technical director's console.
Does that bother you? That's just whiplash.
I mean, I think it's a whiplash.
My doctor thinks it's a whiplash.
The chiropractor, he thinks I just got a bad massage.
And my wife's osteopath, he thinks it might be a back problem.
It doesn't look like a back problem.
That's what the orthopedic man said.
Listen, all these screens for just one show? That's a line monitor.
That's what's going on the air.
Preview monitor is what the director wants up next and those are what the four cameras see.
I do the switching.
Hey, all these beautiful machines in here, all these buttons to push.
I know it costs millions and I know that everybody works very hard.
But I gotta tell you the truth.
To me, it looks like fun.
It is, but I wouldn't swear to it in court.
And Miss Freestone, she understands all about this, too? I'll tell you about that.
If there's one thing worse than a television lady who thinks she knows everything, it's a television lady who knows everything.
I'll see you later, Lieutenant.
Valerie.
Val, it's Kay.
Whose side are you on? Whose do you think? Prove it.
You can keep the key to my apartment.
Oh, Kay.
Give me a hug.
Oh, I thought you'd never get here.
Did Luther get over his snit yet? How about yours? Big deal.
I tried to tell that genius where to put my key light and the roof fell in.
Big man from New York.
Luther's very good.
He's the best in the business for live shows.
He'll make you look like a million.
A million years old.
Is that how you feel? Want your key back? Val, are you clean? Oh, my God.
I look like a junky, huh? I've had no booze, no pills, no sniff and no smoke.
Except these damn things, that's all.
Can you look at me, babe? How scared are you? I'm terrified.
I can't do it, Kay.
I just don't know how to do it anymore.
I don't know what you have to do.
Sing, dance, be funny in front of 40 million people.
I'd do it myself if I had the time.
Come on.
And then we'll go to four after the crane shot.
Luther.
Mmm? Take a look at this.
What's that? Oh, boy.
Eddie, give me a tight two-shot on Kay and Valerie, would you? Valerie Kirk.
Valerie Kirk? Wait till I tell my wife.
Hey, boss, you want a willing worker? Well, what are we waiting for? And the lighting is terrific.
I don't believe it.
What are you waiting for? Let's go to work.
Anything else, maestro? Yeah.
How about walking on water? Oh, yeah.
Valerie, I'm coming right down.
Wait for me.
Ma'am? Lieutenant, you frightened me.
Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am.
Your secretary said you were coming here.
I'll just take that.
Are you supposed to take that off? Well, I thought I'd cheat for a while.
An hour won't hurt.
What do you think? I think you're very attractive without it, but that's not a medical opinion.
Well, I'll tell you, ma'am, it's the nicest opinion I've heard yet.
She said, your secretary, that you used to live here.
Yes.
My mother raised three of us in this place.
I guess nothing sends you scurrying back to your roots like somebody else's death, does it? Oh, I thought, ma'am, now that you have this new, important job you might have paid a visit just to see how far you've come.
Excuse me.
I'll just get another chair.
May I, ma'am? Let's dine by candlelight, Lieutenant.
That'd be very nice, ma'am.
You know, I always knew this place was small but I never realized it was quite this tiny.
Four of us cramped in here.
Never a chance to be alone.
I took a trip a few years ago.
Took Mrs.
Columbo back to the house where I grew up.
It looked all shrunken.
I had five brothers and one sister, Miss Freestone, and that was really terrific.
There was always someone around for company.
We were never lonely.
You're a very special man, Lieutenant.
You accept things as they are.
I try to change them.
That's to your credit, ma'am.
Your success and ambition and all.
Now, I'm supposed to ask you questions about all that.
You're supposed to? Well, nobody told me to, but that's the way I'm supposed to do my job.
They're certainly not personal.
Whenever anyone says it's not personal, that's exactly when it's very personal.
It's not by choice, ma'am.
Sometimes I get all tense when I have to do it.
Well, then that's your problem, Lieutenant.
We have to do something to relieve some of that tension.
Oh.
Be careful, ma'am.
I won't touch your neck.
Just relax.
That's a real relief.
What I wanted to ask you, ma'am, would you have gotten this new job, in charge of West Coast production, if Mr.
McAndrews hadn't been murdered? Go on, ma'am.
You're not hurting me.
No.
I don't think Mark would have given me the job.
May I ask, ma'am, why you say that? He never mentioned it.
Now the fact is, he never mentioned it to any of his executive staff.
But you were his main assistant.
Perhaps Mr.
Flanagan had objections.
Well, I don't mean to pin you down, ma'am, but it was Mr.
Flanagan who gave you your promotion.
Yes.
But it's not a permanent promotion, Lieutenant.
Remember that.
Well, Mr.
Flanagan told me that it would have been okay with him if the murdered man had given you the job.
Then it was Mark's decision.
I hear those little voices going around in your ear, Lieutenant, asking could I possibly have miraculously murdered Mark for his job? Oh, no, ma'am.
I don't think that at all.
You were up in the projection booth.
And I don't think people kill people for just a job.
Even an important job like yours.
A little lower down, ma'am, if you don't mind.
Either there was no motive at all, like in these crazy kind of murders that you read about in the newspaper, or there was a very good motive.
One that makes terrific sense.
And that's what keeps going around in my mind.
The motive.
No, I couldn't think those thoughts about you, Miss Freestone.
Not as long as all you had with Mr.
McAndrews was a business relationship.
Well, I'm sure you've checked that out with the executive staff, haven't you, Lieutenant? Not by choice, ma'am.
I wish I could help you, Lieutenant.
You have, Miss Freestone.
I'm gonna try sleeping tonight without this thing.
Well then, if you'll forgive me.
I've had enough of my olden times.
Yes, ma'am.
How do you like that? I almost forgot again.
That item that I found on the victim's desk.
The one that I lost.
Well, I found it again.
It was a slip of paper.
Like a note that he was making to himself.
Some numbers and the capital letter "K.
" Take a look at this, ma'am.
Maybe you can help me.
You see the capital letter "K" and the numbers 280, a circle around it, Now, the "K" with those numbers.
Does that mean anything to you, ma'am? Not a thing.
No.
You see, the numbers part, I think that they form some kind of a pattern.
I think they got something in common and it's right on the tip of my tongue but I can't put my finger on it.
You can't help me? Sorry.
Well, thanks a lot anyway.
What's your first name, ma'am? Katherine.
But they call you Kay.
Yes.
And there's this capital letter "K" on the note.
Yes.
Does that ring a bell, ma'am? No.
Nothing at all? No, no help at all.
In this case, the "K" must simply be a "K.
" Can't blame me for trying, ma'am.
You see, Mrs.
Columbo, she never believed the doctor right from the start.
She claimed I was sleeping in a draft.
Well, last night she insisted upon closing the windows.
Well, I woke up this morning, I tell you, Sergeant, my neck felt terrific.
That's very good, Lieutenant.
I was getting so desperate that I was gonna go to this clinic where my brother-in-law goes for his back problem.
What they did, they said they had to deaden the nerves in his nose.
His nose, Lieutenant? His nose.
They stuck a needle in his nose.
Sticking right out of his nose, like this.
That's how he had to walk around, with a needle in his nose.
What do you think of that, Sergeant? That's very interesting, Lieutenant.
I think so, too.
Don't let me hold you up, Sergeant.
You go ahead.
Yes, sir.
Mr.
Mearhead? Oh, hi, Lieutenant.
Come on in.
I just wanted to say that I dropped the glove off for my nephew.
He figures it'll improve his editing 100%.
Well, you tell him he ought to become a surgeon.
That way he won't have to see so much blood.
You got any opinions about violence on television? Well, I work nights a lot.
I wanna tell you something.
The other night, I come back from Film Shipping and the first thing I see is some guy blowing his brains out.
I mean, you think that's right? I got a change coming up.
You know, it's crazy, Mr.
Mearhead, but since I've been hanging around here I think I've become a button freak.
Buttons and switches.
Mmm-hmm.
You don't suppose I could try to make one of these changeovers myself? I don't see why not.
All it is, is a writer watching an old movie.
All right, when you see your first flash, buttons up.
Button up.
Round before your dowser.
Dowser up.
On your second flash, Lieutenant, button here, button there, press.
Button, button.
Dowser down.
Down on dowser.
Left light off.
So, on the first flash, buttons up? Buttons up.
And the dowser up.
Flash coming up.
First flash.
Flash up.
Second flash coming up.
Second flash.
Now the buttons go on the flash or before? Did I miss? It goes on the flash, Lieutenant.
On the flash.
There it is.
On the flash.
Okay.
What happened? Walter, we lost our film in here.
What's going on? Walter, can you hear me? What the hell are you playing at in there? Walter.
Sorry.
Excuse me.
Lieutenant.
Lieutenant! Lieutenant! Can I talk to you? Certainly, Sergeant.
Can we go in here? I'd rather not.
McAndrews? Uh-huh.
Got anything to go? No, nothing to go.
All right.
Hold on.
I heard your promises last night and the night before.
Now, out of the carousel location by midnight tonight.
Kay, Luther's on one.
You have to talk to him.
What it is is a 90-minute melodrama.
Now, you get that on tape tonight, by midnight, or I am personally coming out there to pull the plug.
It's about Valerie.
Yes, Luther.
Valerie is gone.
What do you mean, she's gone? I mean she's gone.
Gone is gone.
Up the chimney.
Nobody's seen her since we finished the dress rehearsal on the USO number.
And we go on the air in three hours and 20 minutes.
Well, did she leave the building? Has anyone checked with the guards? Kay, she left the building.
She's at your place.
Line four.
I'll get right back to you, Luther.
Valerie? She's gone.
I'll get her back.
I'll get her back.
Valerie.
Val! Valerie! Did you call, madam? You call me, "Madam," but never call me, "Late for dinner.
" Come on.
Don't you touch me.
I don't want to! I have to do the show.
I'm gonna do the show.
Luther's scared.
Luther's so scared.
Valerie's gonna do it live! Kay, please.
Sure.
Please.
I hurt myself.
Me, too, kiddo.
Me, too.
I told you I couldn't do it! Nobody listens.
They'll listen when I sing.
They'll listen when I sing.
They'll listen when I sing.
Please, give me a hug.
No more hugs.
We're fresh out of hugs.
I tried.
I'm just not good anymore.
Anymore.
Mr.
Ames, please.
Henry, Valerie Kirk's at my apartment.
She won't be able to make the show tonight.
It doesn't matter right now.
Look, just get control of yourself.
We'll put in something else.
We'll put in a picture.
What else have we got? Run The Professional.
It's the right length.
I got it made, didn't I? Just tell the press that she fell down some stairs and hurt her leg.
What did you do? What all good girls do.
The best I can.
Come on.
Give us a hug.
I really did it to you, didn't I, Kay? I mean, I really did it.
It doesn't matter.
It's only a show.
I've got a million of them, kiddo.
Closed.
You promised.
What? You promised.
Closed.
What? Promised what? My television set.
Lieutenant Columbo.
You brought it in this morning.
Yeah, I wanted it for tonight but I had to work late.
I'm working late myself on your television set.
Well, you see, sir, working nights, I don't get to see much television.
Mrs.
Columbo, she does a lot of reading and she takes a lot of night school courses.
So the real TV fan in the house, that's my dog.
Boy, you got it going.
That's terrific.
He likes television.
He can't get enough of it.
You see that.
You like that? He like it? Yes, sir, I think he likes it.
How do you know he likes it? He never saw nothing yet he didn't like.
Well, if he didn't like it, how would you know he didn't like it? Well, he would look very bored, sir.
All droopy and listless.
I'll tell you the reason that we wanted to see TV tonight is, we wanted to see the second half of The Valerie Kirk Show.
Not on.
Not on? I said it's not on.
This is the channel.
They got something else on instead.
Something called The Professional.
Oh, The Professional.
Would you believe I know the lady that made that show? Not a bad picture.
Spy stuff.
Spies.
Your favorite.
You gonna start that again? Come on, we gotta Up where the view is here.
All right, move over.
That's it.
There, are you comfortable? Come on, up here where you can see.
Is that all right? Sorry, Lieutenant.
Still not right.
Not bad, sir.
Not bad at all.
You just keep working.
I could fix you up with a terrific new one.
Under $400.
Your dog would love it.
No.
I gotta buy a new bumper for my car, maybe a new pair of shoes.
I think I'll pass.
Okay with you? It's okay with him.
If it's okay with him, it's okay with me.
Good night, Lieutenant.
Good night, sir.
Not bad.
Not bad at all.
New York.
Average rating 5.
4, average share 9.
3.
Los Angeles, a little worse.
You want the numbers? No, and I don't want a hatpin in the ear, either.
We should probably get the nationals by tomorrow.
All right, it comes with the territory, Junior.
Wendy, you still on Flanagan? He's been out all day.
I'll keep trying.
What time did the carousel location wrap up last night? They didn't.
Get me that genius Benjamin.
Lieutenant.
You're working rather late tonight, aren't you? Yes, ma'am.
Working late like a television executive.
That's a very impressive desk, ma'am.
You could run the world from a desk like that.
The world doesn't count.
Just the West Coast.
Through for the day, ma'am? No.
Not quite.
Mr.
McAndrews, he wasn't married? He wasn't married.
Was he ever married, ma'am? I don't know.
Engaged? Engaged? Engaged, ma'am.
I don't know.
What about women? Did he run around a lot? Kay.
Can I help you? Yes, I'll be moving in here tomorrow.
Would you please call the beach location and let them know that I'm coming out there tonight? And then that would be all.
Okay.
Good night.
I was asking, ma'am, if he ran around with a lot of women.
I don't know.
He must've had companions.
Would you say that women found Mr.
McAndrews attractive? I'm sure his secretaries did.
You, personally, did you find him attractive? Yes, Mark was a very attractive man, in his way.
You're an attractive man, in your way, too.
I guess I told you that.
Yes, ma'am.
Please sit down.
Now, I ask people questions and they answer.
Now, I ask them the same question another time and they answer in a different way.
That's not because they're lying, ma'am.
I know that and I appreciate that.
There's been a death.
People are in shock, confusion.
People misremember.
They misspeak themselves.
Have I said something wrong? Well, let's go all over again.
You said you knew nothing about how Mr.
McAndrews spent his nights.
That had nothing to do with you? Mmm-hmm.
Sometimes we dined together if we worked late.
And dates, girls.
Maybe somebody he lived with.
We never asked each other.
Well, that holds with what you said before.
But I'm surprised, ma'am.
And I don't mind telling you, I find it all very troubling.
Because I was at Mr.
McAndrews' house yesterday.
The beach house.
And some cleaning was delivered, some slacks and this blazer.
And that's the problem, ma'am.
This blazer.
You see, I noticed that the buttons are on the wrong side.
It buttons right over left, the wrong side for a man's jacket that is, because this is a woman's blazer.
There's a tailor's label in it.
And I checked on that.
This jacket was made for you.
It's your jacket.
Would you like to try it on, ma'am? No.
Well, since you were sending your cleaning out from Mr.
McAndrews' house, I can only assume All right, Lieutenant.
You've done very good work.
You've caught me in a lie.
I would say so, ma'am, yes.
Well, the corporation being what it is, Mark and I didn't feel it would be very discrete to advertise our relationship.
Now, you can understand that, can't you? Yes, ma'am, I can understand that.
But being discrete with the police, that's something else again.
Is it so really important to the police? Well, you might have been able to tell us things.
Now, we're gonna have to talk about that.
All right.
I'm due on location now, so perhaps we can talk about it later on tomorrow.
As you say, you're not racing the clock and I am.
I guess another day won't make that much difference.
And I promise not to change my address or renew my passport or leave town or ever tell another lie.
Well, you weren't even under oath, ma'am.
But what we have here, it's a matter of civic responsibility.
All the way down, ma'am? All the way down.
I mean, if everybody kept their little secrets from the police, we'd be forever getting to the bottom of our cases.
My goodness.
I'm not supposed to do this in the elevator.
Excuse me? I was talking about cooperation, ma'am.
I had a case once.
A man was cheating on his wife and he was a very important witness, but he was afraid to tell me.
I understand.
I hope you do, ma'am.
I apologize, Lieutenant.
I hope you forgive me.
Well, it's not my place, ma'am.
Oh, just so we have a meeting of minds.
Oh, about that note, the one that was on Mr.
McAndrews' desk.
The one with all the numbers on it, the 450, the 280, the 230, the 250.
Nothing to worry about, ma'am.
It came to me.
Those were just some automobile models, different kinds of Mercedes cars.
So I guess, Mr.
McAndrews, he must have been in the market for a new car.
Aren't you coming, ma'am? No, there's a phone call I forgot to make.
Good night, Lieutenant.
Good night, ma'am.
Good night.
Miss Freestone, a young fellow from the agency left it.
I was supposed to give you these.
I don't know anything about it.
This And this.
And these two pages.
It only hurts for a little while, boys.
And they'll never miss what they don't know.
Now, at least you're back on schedule for tonight.
Where's the AD? Kay, got a minute for me? Mr.
Flanagan.
Of course.
All right if we sit in the car? If you like.
Oh, Carl.
Does this bother you? No, not at all.
I want to talk about some of the difficulties you've been having.
Valerie Kirk.
I understand she's a close personal friend.
Yes, that's true.
I also understand that her director tried to warn you about her incompetence.
That's also true.
Well, we'll put that aside.
The decision to use The Professional as a replacement for Valerie's show, I'm sure you know the ratings were very poor.
Well, under the circumstances Well, you created the circumstances.
Now, Kay, nobody knows better than you that The Professional cost us $1,600,000, including a second run.
Now, you wasted the first one.
You threw away an impressive film.
I was under the impression that you didn't like that film at all.
You had no right to make an assumption about what I like.
We'll We'll put that aside, too.
I've also been told that you're You're planning to To move into Mark's office tomorrow.
Why not? I'll be needing more space.
The office comes with the job.
But you don't, Kay.
Nobody ever told you that your present duties were permanent.
Also, I question your taste in leaping so quickly behind a dead man's desk.
Well, I seem to have made quite a big hit.
All in all.
Now, you don't have to rush looking for a new position.
We'll, let's say, make it official at the end of the month? I'll try to consult you in the press release.
Do you expect hysterics? I hope not.
I'm as tough as you are.
I'll survive.
And you'll want me back.
I hope so.
Let's go to the party, Carl.
Dinner break, one half hour, folks.
Excuse me.
I'm looking for Miss Freestone.
Search me.
We're on dinner break.
Miss Freestone! Miss Freestone , ma'am, are you here? Miss Freestone.
We're very busy where I am, Lieutenant.
You're going to have to forgive me.
We have problems.
Too many problems to speak now.
So I'm sorry, you'll have to forgive me.
I can't speak right now, Lieutenant.
Oh, I get it.
The cameras.
Oh, you're up in that control place.
You can see me on those big screens? I'm right.
You can see me.
Right, ma'am? Lieutenant, can we speak tomorrow at the office? No, I I'll call you.
I definitely promise I'll do that, Lieutenant.
I'll call you.
Well, it's very important that we talk tonight, ma'am.
I'm afraid that's impossible.
I'm afraid I'll have to insist, ma'am.
I really have to do that.
I can't accept that.
I can't speak now! Please bear with me, ma'am.
It has to do with the car.
The 450SL, the silver one that's registered in your name.
The one that Mr.
McAndrews bought.
That's all very puzzling, ma'am.
And there are other things.
There's your picture, The Professional, and this connection with whoever murdered Mr.
McAndrews.
And there is a connection.
I'm pretty sure of that, ma'am.
I'm afraid it's necessary.
I know you're under a lot of pressure, ma'am, but there are these things that we should talk about tonight.
I don't like to have to talk to you this way, ma'am.
I know how you feel.
But it's very hard not being able to see you.
Ma'am? I told you I have work to do, Lieutenant.
This show needs a lot of work.
The script needs work.
Ma'am, like I asked you before, this new job you got, would you have it if Mr.
McAndrews hadn't been murdered? No.
I already told you, I don't think so.
I don't think so either.
Is that why he bought you the car? Sort of a parting gift considering your relationship, like he was getting rid of you? I find that very intrusive, Lieutenant.
And I don't think you have a right.
Oh, I have the right, ma'am.
But I understand your feelings.
Please, keep bearing with me, ma'am.
Sit down.
You know, maybe it was fate.
But I came within 30 seconds of not seeing your TV movie The Professional.
But I did see it, ma'am.
And I noticed something very peculiar.
So peculiar that I had the projectionist run it again today.
And that Technical Director that I met, he made this up for me on television tape.
It's your movie, ma'am.
The part where the fella's in the hotel room and he's gonna shoot himself.
Now, the Technical Director told me that there would be an eject button, blue.
Yes.
And a slot right here.
And an RT button one.
Here.
There it is ma'am.
Now, we'll just watch this together, ma'am.
There it is now, there.
There he is.
He's by the sink.
And there he's washing.
There, right there, you see the flash? Yes, Lieutenant, it's a cue blip.
And now the second one.
There.
There's the second cue.
Now that's the cue for the projectionist to make his changeover.
Am I right, Miss Freestone? Yes, Lieutenant, I'm very impressed.
Excuse me, ma'am.
I don't mean to interrupt.
Right there, that high shot where the man's lying on the hotel bed.
That's where the new reel begins.
Just watch it, ma'am.
And there, that's where the man commits suicide.
And that's what the projectionist saw right after he got back from the shipping room.
That's what Mr.
Mearhead told me.
He came back into the booth, looked up and he saw a man blowing his brains out.
You had to make the changeover right before Mr.
Mearhead got back from the shipping room.
Not a few minutes earlier, not sometime before, like he thought.
I'm afraid, in this case, Walter must be confused, Lieutenant.
He checked the footage counter before he left.
You must've fooled him about that, ma'am.
What I think, I think you changed the footage counter to place yourself in the projection booth at the time of the murder.
But really, ma'am, you had time enough to leave the booth and get to Mr.
McAndrews' office.
Just enough time.
Because when you rushed back to make the changeover, that's when you must've dropped this glove by the projector.
It's Walter's glove.
Walter's projection booth.
I don't think you have a case against Walter.
No, ma'am.
Not the way he kept that booth, so immaculate and all.
I don't see him just throwing a glove on the floor.
And the lab says that this glove has powder burns on it.
And then there's the gun.
Mr.
McAndrews' gun, the gun that murdered him.
The one that you put on the elevator.
Our people found it this afternoon.
And then we took a second gun, one that looked like this gun and we put it back on the elevator.
But we put it where it could be seen as if the continuous movement of the elevator had jiggled it so now it became visible.
Watch this, ma'am.
That's a TV picture of where we placed the second gun, just before you got on the elevator with me, ma'am.
There it is.
Now, there That's the way it looked right after you got back on the elevator and came off it.
And you'll notice, there is no gun.
Not anymore.
Because you got rid of it.
But this gun This is the gun that you murdered him with.
I see.
I'm sure you do, ma'am.
It's very odd.
They say there's a great sense of relief that comes when something like this is over.
I don't feel that at all.
Quite the opposite.
Will you be taking me? Yes, ma'am, into town.
After that After that, I think I know what will happen.
I'll fight.
I'll survive.
I might even win.
Yes, ma'am.
Should we turn this off, ma'am? It doesn't matter.
Yes, ma'am, the power shortage.
I think I know the right button.