Prescription: Murder (1968)

TV Movie   |  TV-PG   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Prescription: Murder (1968) Poster

A psychiatrist uses a patient he is having an affair with to help him kill his wife, but his perfect alibi may come apart at the hands of a seemingly befuddled LAPD lieutenant.


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14 August 2010 | garrard
| The TV-movie that introduced Peter Falk as "Columbo"
42 years ago, NBC aired a "movie of the week" featuring entitled "Prescription: Murder," a tight and engaging film that starred Gene Barry, Katherine Justice, William Windom, Nina Foch, and Peter Falk as "Lt. Columbo." Little did the producers or the actors know that this would be the film that would introduce one of television's most enduring characters.

Fans of the long-running series will notice a marked difference between Falk's Columbo in this film and his subsequent incarnation. In "Prescription" Falk is relentless, at times abrasive, and missing his trademark raincoat. That said, he still delivers and is equally matched by the suave and calculating Barry as the murderer.

Justice is effective as Barry's mistress who is the weak link in his murder of wife, Foch. Foch is also very good as the victim, showing why she had a long career in film and as an acting teacher. Windom plays Barry's best friend who threatens Columbo for the detective's pursuit of Barry.

Also, veteran character actress Virginia Gregg - who provided one of the voices for "Mother" in "Psycho" as well as gave life to "Tara" on the animated "Herculoids" series - has a small part as Barry's receptionist.

The jazzy Dave Grusin is another plus in a film that is a cut-above the norm of the period and stands as great television viewing, then and now.

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