Unlike most Columbo cases "Death Lends a Hand" centers on murder that is not
premeditated and carefully planned. The killing is an accident. Still, Brimmer
lacks the monumental vanity of Jack Cassidys Ken Franklin, yet there is a
controlled fury about this character that makes his somewhat more threatening.
There is a nice moment, Levinson said, when "Culp is eating in his office,
and Peter leans over the table and gets his tie in the food. Culp just picked
it up and mopped it off. Thats not in the script. It just happened on the set."
Gracing the episode with his presence is Oscar-Winning actor Ray Milland
( The lost Weekend ), a veteran of such suspense films as The Ministry of Fear
and Circle of Danger, The Thief and Hitchcocks Dial M for Murder, Cast as an
iron-willed publisher, he is nonetheless lets great love and sorrow show through
Arthur Kennicuts stern exterior. Levinson , Link and Falk had argued about Columbo
being introduced as a police officer with an expired drivers license. Falk thought
this was taking Columbos sloppy nature too far. Ironically, the scene Falk agreed
to shoot was cut out because of time considerations. But a scene left in the final
cut shows Columbo on line at the motor vehicle bureau.
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