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110 Messages

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3K Points

Sat, Jul 21, 2018 5:43 AM

Two False "Columbo" Rumours

Hullo,
Here are two "Columbo" rumours which are patently untrue but are still listed on IMDb. I've tried to remove them a few times but have never been successful.

1.) First of all is the most egregious one. Namely, the persistent rumour that Peter Falk & John Cassavetes directed "Etude in Black" instead of Nicholas Colasanto. This is completely untrue and hugely offensive to Mr Colasanto who was a skilled and experienced TV director and who's since helmed another highly rated Columbo episode, "Swan Song".
Even though it's been confirmed by Peter Falk that Nicholas Colasanto directed the entire episode and that the most revered book on "Columbo", "The Columbo Phile" by Mark Dawidziak states so too, the IMDb page for "Etude in Black" still lists all three men as directors. It should only list Nicholas Colasanto who was the sole director on "Etude in Black".
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068398/

2.) The other (and most easily corroborated) false fact is that George C. Scott played the uncredited TV technician on "Make Me a Perfect Murder" when anyone with any eyes at all can see it is obviously not Mr Scott. And yet he's still credited on the IMDb page as an uncredited performer. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077353/
You can read more about this persistent (and entirely false) rumour here: https://columbophile.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/was-george-c-scott-actually-in-columbo/.

The "Columbo" community will be most grateful if you make these changes and help correct misconceptions about this brilliant TV show.

Best wishes,
Mateja

Responses

Employee

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967 Messages

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27.1K Points

2 years ago

Hi Mateja,

I have filed a ticket with our data editors to investigate these credits. Regarding the directing credits for Etude in Black, do you have any evidence you can provide that Peter Falk & John Cassavetes had no participation in the directing of the episode. If you can provide this evidence, our data editors will be able to review and take any action as necessary.

Thanks
Meredith

110 Messages

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3K Points

Hullo,
I only have a physical copy of "The Columbo Phile". I'll see how to get relevant quotes to you.
However, let me put it this way. Can you find any proof (not quoted from IMDb, of course) that Cassavetes and Falk had any participation in the directing of the episode?

Best wishes,
Mateja

474 Messages

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18.6K Points

The trouble with a lot of trivia items and "uncredited" credits is that contributors who want to remove them are put in the often difficult position of proving a negative. Sometimes that can be done, but more often it can't.

5.8K Messages

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147.1K Points

J., that may often be the case. but the IMDb staff should be able to easily tell of the contributor who put the false information there in the first place was an unreliable person.

110 Messages

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3K Points

Hullo,
It's quite easy to disprove the George C. Scott one. If you watch the episode you'll see he's not there. There aren't that many extras in that episode and only two or three of them match the given description of "Television Studio Technician".
The "Etude in Black" one is harder to deny but there has over the years been no evidence at all to confirm it. Just malicious rumours.

Best wishes,
Mateja

Champion

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3.4K Messages

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224.9K Points

I always thought that Cassavetes and Falk directing the episode was a proven fact. Weird. 

110 Messages

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3K Points

Hullo,
Nope. Not a single relevant reference book lists it as a fact. The Dawidziak book claims its nothing more than malicious rumours.

Best wishes,
Mateja

Champion

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3.4K Messages

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224.9K Points

2 years ago

There might be another problem with "Columbo": Jack Nance is listed as having an uncredited appearance in Suitable for Framing (1971) as a gardener. The problem is that gardener in the episode, indeed portrayed by an uncredited actor looks like older Jack Nance from the era of "Twin Peaks" (1990), while Nance himself in the 1970's looked nothing like it and couldn't have considering he was of much younger age. 

474 Messages

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18.6K Points

I hoped that Aveleyman knew who played the gardener, but they don't have the information either.

https://www.aveleyman.com/TVEpisode.aspx?FilmID=78&Episode=6

Champion

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3.4K Messages

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224.9K Points

Aveleyman is a great resource for that matter, but they only screencap whom they can confirm at the time, rarely returning to the page afterwards. 

I also find habit of some of the contributors to photoshop images to the point of uncanny valley (as evident here) a bit puzzling. 

110 Messages

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3K Points

2 years ago

Hullo,
Any news?

Best wishes,
Mateja

Champion

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3.4K Messages

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224.9K Points

Hello, Mateja. 

About Nicholas Colasanto situation: I have conducted a research through assorted literature and, while the situation was largely exaggerated and "(credit only)" was removed reasonably, there are numerous claims that Falk and Cassavetes stepped in to direct some scene because of Colasanto's illness. There's no reason not to believe that because Colasanto indeed had a severe heart disease which was diagnoes somewhere in the middle of 1970's but was evident earlier. I think listings should remain in that case. 

110 Messages

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3K Points

Hullo,
OK, but what about George C. Scott whose name still remains on IMDb but who is most certainly, 100% not in "Columbo"?

Best wishes,
Mateja

Employee

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967 Messages

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27.1K Points

2 years ago

Hi Mateja, 

Apologies for the delay, our data editors have now removed the George C Scott credit as they were unable to verify it. Regarding the Nicholas Colasanto credits, based on the information provided we believe these credits should remain. 

Thanks
Meredith