Written by / 9/07/2015 / No comments / , , , , , ,

SPIELBERG DIRECTS MULTI-VILLAIN JACK CASSIDY ON COLUMBO

Martin Milner types his last page in COLUMBO: MURDER BY THE BOOK
A far better, much more fitting tribute to the late Martin Milner would be a write-up of a particular episode of ADAM-12 or ROUTE 66, or a review of the movie COMPULSION or... so many things, but let's take a quick glance at an episode of Cult Film Freak's favorite television series of all time, COLUMBO, and an episode directed by a young man by the name of Steven Spielberg, creatively opening the curtain using a gliding camera panning back from a car on the road into an office building with the sound of a typewriter; the old classic keys being pounded by Milner himself, playing the talented half of a team of successful mystery authors: the other, one of the greatest returning villains on the show, Jack Cassidy...

Jack Cassidy
Sure, Milner was the SPECIAL GUEST STAR, meaning he's the unlucky person killed during the first act, but it's a longer-than-usual intro, and he's our rudimentary human image from this terrific episode, MURDER BY THE BOOK, that you can view anytime on Netflix Streaming...

Martin Milner
The taut chemistry between Milner and Cassidy is taut, awkward and palpable, deliciously adding to the suspense of a very clever "perfect crime" that... as would catapult an iconic show lasting seven years in the Seventies and then continuing from 1989 until 2003... is eventually figured-out by Peter Falk's title character, constantly acting dumb as a box of nails while the villain's conceited hammer winds up sealing his own fate...

So as a series, BOOK is required viewing since it follows two mediocre pilots (before Falk became completely disheveled) and is in fact the first great COLUMBO venture and is, technically, the first episode when the show became a series (although back then, each was considered a "mystery movie")... For fans of Spielberg, you can see the master's touch was apparent years before JAWS... Cassidy can be enjoyed committing two more COLUMBO crimes (until his untimely real life death)... And here's to the late Martin Milner, who could headline or guest star and always leave a lasting impression.
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