Mysterious Re-Appearing Cigar" and other "Columbo" Goofs and Flubs
Every television show or movie has its share of
technical and continuity errors.
In Butterfly In Shades Of Gray As radio commentator Fielding Chase, William Shatner wears a pencil-thin mustache, so wispy and light that it's barely visible even in most close-ups.
Except while he is talking to Columbo at the murder scene, when the mustache is suddenly, dramatically darker brown. Part of his disguise at the murder scene? Not likely, since the mustache was lighter during the murder itself, and is already back to its light and thin appearance when Fielding brings Columbo into his home afterward.
(Thanks to Steve and Gina Carvin for spotting this goof.)
A Murder Next Door Maybe?
In "Make me a Perfect Murder", the image of Columbo's car, sitting in the parking lot, can be seen reflecting off the glass of the CNC building as Kay enters it -- BEFORE she commits the murder!
(Thanks to "The Imposter" for spotting this goof.)
“Just in the Neighborhood”?
“Columbo Cries Wolf” features
a similar pre-mature appearance by Columbo’s car – it’s under the
opening titles, before Columbo is introduced and before the story even
begins. Look closely, and you will notice the familiar Peugeot making a
U-turn behind the white limo, probably a filming crew error.
Thanks to Stephane Douchain, from
France, for spotting this Goof!
Name Change III
In "Murder Under Glass," Mr. Gerard first refers to Mary Choy's restaurant as "The House of Choy" when Columbo asks him about her name appearing in Vittorio's datebook. But later, Columbo meets with bankers over coffee cake, and Mary Choy's restaurant is referred to as "The House of Shanghai".
(Thanks to Lissy Friedman for contributing this goof.)
The Leaping PaintingsIn the opening scene of "Suitable For Framing," we see Dale remove several paintings from the wall. Then, when Tracy enters, we see her admire the paintings still on the wall -- including two of the paintings that Dale had taken down already.
These two paintings not only have jumped back onto the wall -- they have also mended themselves where Dale had sliced them with a knife.
(Thanks to Lissy Friedman for spotting this goof.)
Self-Straightening Sleeve"Double Shock": When Columbo helps Dexter in the cooking show, watch his shirt sleeves: Columbo rolls up his left sleeve, then his right.
Then, half a minute later, the left sleeve has neatly rolled itself down, and even re-buttoned itself at the cuff, forcing Columbo to unbutton and roll it all over again.
(Thanks to Linda Miller for spotting this goof.)
Alternating Ashes"Agenda For Murder": In the scene where Columbo leans into Oscar Finch's car, Columbo's cigar ash switches back and forth from long to short.
It's short when we see Columbo from the front, then long each time we see Columbo from behind.
(Thanks to Royal Berglee for spotting this goof.)
In An Exercise In Fatality When Columbo is speaking with Milo Janus in his office after he's been doing exercise his track suit is all sweaty, but when they meet in the corridor a moment later it is clean.
Sent to us by Vergara from Spain
In "Blueprint For Murder," Goldie asks Columbo to turn around while she puts on her robe -- "Lieutenant, I don't want to corrupt you." As Goldie ties her belt, we clearly see the belt go across her back, and around her waist.
Moments later, and for the rest of the scene, Goldie's belt is no longer around her waist -- it is just tied at the front.
Thanks to Tony Molinaro for spotting this goof.
Multiplying Candy Wrappers
In Lady in Waiting, Beth's sitting on her bed, waiting for Bryce to come home, and she opens a box of chocolate and reaches in for a piece. There are no wrappers on the bed at this point. But as she puts the piece of candy in her mouth, the bed is suddenly littered with candy wrappers.
(Thanks to Lissy Friedman for spotting this goof.)
In Murder By The Book, Lily LaSanka dips strawberries in sugar and eats them, while talking to Ken Franklin. In a shot looking toward Franklin, we see that Lily is holding an entire strawberry, still coated with sugar at the tip. A moment later (and also in the previous shot), before she can take a bite, we see that Lily's strawberry is half-devoured.
(Thanks to Linda Miller for spotting this goof.)
Flip Side: Legs
In “Last Salute To The
Commodore”, Columbo sprawls out on the pier with his left leg extended
beneath him, and his right leg up and bent.
Then he instantly switches to having his right leg extended below, and his left leg up – then switches back again.
(Thanks to L. Vergara for spotting this goof.)
“Uneasy Lies The Crown”, Columbo complains to Wesley that he has a
“sensitive tooth on the left”, as he chews his bagel on the right and
holds his hand to his painful jaw – on the left.
when Columbo goes to the dentist, the dental work is done to a tooth on his
right. And afterward, at the outdoor café, Columbo holds his hand to his
painful jaw – on the right.
dentists might call this “referred pain”, but we diagnose it as a goof!
to L. Vergara for spotting this goof.)
“The Conspirators”, when Columbo goes to the pier to harass Joe Devlin ,
Columbo gets a flat tire (and it was “practically a brand new recap!”).
The flat is on the front right side.
spare tire is at home (“very sensible”, says Joe), so Columbo borrows a
dime to get the car towed .
But when we see the Peugeot being towed, the tire is good as new . Now why would he need a tow when the tire is fixed ??
In “Blueprint For Murder”, Bo Williamson’s car is specially outfitted with a silver six-gun on each door-handle. It’s a great touch of character, big and gaudy enough that we should see the revolvers at considerable distance.
But in the longer views of the car, driving through the construction site near the beginning, the guns are missing. In fact, it might be a different gold Cadillac than the car used in close-ups, because we are also unable to see the decorative air-vents aft of the doors.
Thanks to Fran Serafin for spotting this goof!
When Cathy Goodland gets the telephone call from “kidnapper” Jarvis Goodland, we see that the bedside photo of her husband is turned toward her, on the nightstand. Only its edge is visible, propped against the clock-radio.
Cathy gets up to find that her husband is indeed missing. When she returns to her bedroom, the camera pans across her nightstand to show that the photo of Tony is now turned around 90 degrees, facing toward the camera. Also, the photo has moved over to the far side of the clock-radio. Who turned the picture around?
Thanks to Lorena Manara for spotting this goof, and
for sending us these pictures from Italian televison. Lorena is an
architecture student in Venice, who noticed this goof while she was studying
the set-design features in “The Greenhouse Jungle” as part of a University
Blueprints ‘n Blackboards
Observant fans have spotted two
separate Goofs in the scene where killer Elliot Markham writes on a blackboard
in “Blueprint For Murder”.
Gary Nolte points out that when
Markham reaches up to erase the blackboard (because Columbo is too short to
finish erasing it!), we can see a large, prominent chalk mark on Markham’s
left shoulder. But in the conversation that follows, the chalk mark is gone.
And Tenna Hoeyer, a great fan from
Denmark, notes that if you watch the text on the blackboard, it tends to shift
and disappear as the camera angles change. Especially prominent is Markham’s
drawing of an Egyptian pyramid, which is seen behind him, then disappears,
then reappears until he finally erases it.
Thanks to Gary and to Tenna!
another “Blueprint For Murder” goof, Columbo pays an
Matt Sissman for spotting this Goof!
“Columbo Goofs” will notice that “Blueprint For Murder” might
be emerging as the “Goofiest” episode in “Columbo” history.
In "Murder By The Book", if you listen to the police radio at both murder investigation scenes (Ken Franklin's house and Lake LaSanka), the tape used is exactly the same. It seems they were a little lazy and didn't bother to look for a different tape.
And other fans have reported hearing this same bit of tape in at least one other episode.
Thanks to Ed Barczak for spotting this Goof!
BONUS “COP-RADIO” TRIVIA, sent by Suzanne Menapace: In “A Friend In Deed,” we hear Columbo being paged over his car’s police radio, and for the first and only time, Columbo’s call number is revealed: it is “194”. Thanks, Suzanne!
“His ‘n Hers” Hair Goofs
“Etude In Black,” Alex Benedict has long hair, in the Maestro tradition --
curling over his ears, covering his neck, flipping up in back, and generally
flying around in disarray. But there is a memorable (and largely irrelevant)
scene where Columbo visits Alex Benedict’s home, and ends up asking about
how much he pays in taxes, how big the house is, etc. And in this scene, John
Cassavetes’ hair is visibly shorter than before or afterwards – trimmed
farther up on his ears, neatly poufed all around, and shaved in back to expose
likely explanation is a bit of “Columbo” history: this scene was probably
part of the extra footage added after the network ordered director Cassavetes
to lengthen the episode, from 90 minutes to 2 hours, and Cassavetes apparently
got a haircut before the additional scene was shot.
Thanks to Larry Prager for spotting this goof!
what is it with the hair in this episode? Another Goof occurs with Janice
Benedict’s (Blythe Danner’s) hair, at the end. Just before she accompanies
Columbo and Alex into the screening room to watch the incriminating video, we
see her hair swept up in a bun behind her head. But when she enters the room
(it’s a continuous scene, leaving no opportunity for Janice to change hair
styles), her hair is down in a long ponytail.
This Goof was spotted both by Lissy Friedman, and by Harriett M. Chomen, sent to us by Harriett’s friend, Ira Fink. Many thanks!
Eyes Wide Shut
“Murder With Too Many Notes,” we see that the victim’s eyes are
peacefully closed as he lies on the rooftop, thoroughly drugged, until he is
shoved off the building. But when Gabe’s body hits the pavement, his eyes
are wide open.
Jeffrey Cava admits, with humor and grace, that everyone failed to spot this
goof in multiple screenings during production. So, special thanks and
congratulations must go to Stephanie Butcher, age 11 -- the youngest
“Columbo” fan ever to spot a Goof!!!
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