Thursday, May 22, 2014

Columbo: Publish or Perish (1974)

     Columbo: Publish or Perish (1974) [D: Robert Quine. Peter Falk, Jack Cassidy et al.] Publisher Riley Greenleaf arranges the murder of Allan Mallory, his best selling author, in order to prevent his defection to a rival house, staging an alibi of obnoxious drunkenness for the time of the murder, so that he will appear to be framed. Columbo must break the alibi and discover the link between Greenleaf and hit man Eddie Kane. A split screen is used to show the murder and the alibi at the same time. The acting is barely a cut above wooden, and even Falk seems to sleepwalk through his part. Mickey Spillane (in real life a hard-boiled pulp fiction writer) plays Mallory, and demonstrates that he can’t act. A below average entry in the series, barely complicated enough to fill the 73 minute screen time. *½

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