HomeMovieJack Cassidy’s Killer Trio From ‘Columbo’

Jack Cassidy’s Killer Trio From ‘Columbo’


Peter Falk & Jack Cassidy went face to face in three episodes of “Columbo.”

I’ve
all the time been keen on Columbo and the
“thriller film” sequence was one in all my first go-to nostalgia binges in the course of the
Covid period. Humorous factor, as a lot as I liked Peter Falk as an actor, I used to be by no means
loopy about Columbo as a personality. The rationale I nonetheless discover Columbo so watchable many years later is
for the nice plots and visitor villains. Columbo’s
killers got here in two classes: those that discovered the detective’s persistence
irritating, and the others who had been charmed by his dogged methods. I’m with the
first class, however nonetheless love the present!

When Jack Cassidy’s “Columbo” villain presents victims champagne, actual ache follows!


Columbo
typically invited favourite visitor villains again for encore performances. One
frequent flier star was Jack Cassidy. With three visitor pictures, Jack Cassidy was
a basic Columbo killer. Jack’s
villains had been good, supercilious, and elegantly sinister. And sure, all three
of Cassidy’s killers discovered Lt. Columbo nerve-grating!

The primary aired “Columbo”episode is without doubt one of the greatest, directed by Steven Spielberg.


Steven Spielberg, then 24, obtained on properly with “Columbo” star Peter Falk.

Jack
Cassidy’s first look as a visitor villain on Columbo aired Sept. 15, 1971. This was Columbo’s debut as a NBC
sequence, although “Homicide by the E-book” wasn’t filmed first. The episode was
thought-about so good that it ought to kick off the present. Younger Steven Spielberg
and Steve Bochno directed and wrote the episode, which had a lot to do with the
recent tackle the acquainted detective trope.

Martin Milner of “Adam 12” is visitor sufferer to Jack Cassidy’s villain in “Columbo.”


Martin
Milner, within the midst of his profitable Adam
12
sequence at NBC, performs the visitor sufferer. These stars appeared to get the
brief finish of the stick, however Columbo was
a very talked-about sequence, so it was most likely a straightforward gig for excellent publicity.

Cassidy
and Milner’s characters are a money-making thriller writing staff. As Jim Ferris,
Milner’s author does many of the precise work, and desires to strike off on his
personal; Cassidy’s Ken Franklin is the smoothie who does many of the media
promotion. Franklin lives excessive on the hog and doesn’t take kindly to the skilled
divorce. Ken additionally has a giant insurance coverage coverage on Jim, and decides to money in, by
killing his former money cow.

Jack Cassidy’s fashionable killer works the media & bell bottoms with buttons up the calves’ sides!


Ken
lures Jim to his rustic getaway for one final hurrah collectively. He beforehand
trashed their LA workplace to make it appear like violence had occurred. Ken shoots
Jim and dumps the physique on Franklin’s personal garden, to seem like successful job.

One
downside: the gal who runs the native retailer by his “cabin” noticed Jim in
Ken’s automotive. However the true downside for Ken is that Columbo is on this case and
which means continuously on his ass!

Jack Cassidy, stylishly directed by Steven Spielberg, in his first “Columbo” visitor shot.

This
episode was one in all Steven Spielberg’s final TV sequence gigs and it is terrific: tightly
wound, with delicate notes of favor. I really like the opening shot of the writers’
workplace home windows and their nice view, as Cassidy pulls up outdoors, accompanied
by the sound of a typewriter—keep in mind these? How about smarmy Cassidy’s automotive,
with its “Have a pleasant day” bumper sticker? Spielberg’s digicam angles
for Cassidy’s duplicitous assassin make the viewers really feel they’re seeing his
hidden facet.

With
two earlier pilots behind him, Peter Falk eases into his Lt. Columbo function and
would proceed refine the character because the present went on. Falk particularly shines
reverse clean felony Jack Cassidy, along with his bumbling demeanor, and theirs
turns into a sly duel of wits. 

Barbara Colby, memorable as a storekeeper with a crush on Jack Cassidy & his money!


Barbara
Colby is a standout as Lilly La Sanka, the blackmailing storekeeper who’s in method
over her head. Colby was an actress who was a unusual standout within the ’70s, an period
when performers may appear like actual individuals. Regardless of her questionable actions,
Colby makes her Lilly sympathetic, humorous, and horny. Sadly, Barbara Colby
was a real-life homicide sufferer 4 years later, when she and actor/boyfriend
James Kiernan had been randomly shot in a parking storage July 24, 1975. Colby was a
common on Cloris Leachman’s Phyllis
and had simply turned 36.

Jack
Cassidy’s actual life character and persona parallels his portrayals as suave
criminals. Cash all the time was a motive. The murders had been meticulously plotted. As
Ken Franklin, he is coasting, not contributing, however seeks revenge when the true
expertise decides to interrupt away. With Cassidy’s piercing pale blue eyes, aristocratic
profile, flashy smile, and cultured voice, Jack jogs my memory of WB star Zachary
Scott and all the aesthetic cads he
used to play.

Jack Cassidy, turning on the appeal as “Columbo” visitor killer Ken Franklin.


In
actual life, Jack was arduous dwelling, a heavy drinker and smoker, and a celebration
animal. As Ken, he is continuously obtained a smoke going, and it is a bit of a shock
that Jack was solely 44. Or to place it in context, Jack was simply two years youthful
than Paul Newman. Nonetheless, Cassidy’s good-looking and on his performing sport right here. He provides
delicate variations of the elegant villain he performs on Columbo. Right here, Ken
Franklin’s phony performs the press like a violin and he’s additionally a girls’ man.

Jack Cassidy’s second “Columbo” visitor star function finds him once more within the ebook enterprise.


For
Jack Cassidy’s second Columbo outing,
1974’s “Publish or Perish,” he’s a writer relatively than a author. But, it is
once more the case of a author desirous to half methods with him that incurs Cassidy’s
character’s grasping wrath.

Riley
Greenleaf, homage to The Proficient Mr.
Ripley’s
Dickie Greenleaf, is a writer about to lose a profitable author
that he found. Just like the earlier episode, Cassidy’s character has taken out
an enormous insurance coverage coverage on his golden goose. Greenleaf hires a creepy
Vietnam vet with a ardour for explosives to take author Alan Mallory out…
and never for dinner. Wily Riley creates a superb alibi for himself by going
on bender, creating public scenes, getting right into a fender bender, and at last
getting arrested as drunk and disorderly. The overly-planned homicide takes
place, however just a few tell-tale twists of destiny screw up the situation. This raises
Columbo’s suspicions and the match between felony and cop is on.

Jack Cassidy’s Riley Greenleaf consorts with a killer in “Columbo’s” “Publish or Perish.”


Columbo
was crammed with in-jokes, and one is when Columbo meets Greenleaf’s rival
writer on the famed Chasen’s eatery. Columbo is chagrined at a menu with no
costs, and asks for a bowl of chili. The snooty previous waiter is horrified,
natch, however rustles some up. That is humorous as a result of Chasen’s chili was famend, a
favourite of Elizabeth Taylor, who had it flown in to the set of Cleopatra in Italy. Columbo is in
disbelief when a bowl of chili and glass of ice tea units him again $6.75. He
factors out in the course of the sequence, as a detective, Columbo makes $11,000 a 12 months. We’re
speaking practically 50 years in the past, of us!

Whereas
Columbo is on the crime scene, he rambles on about subjects with no relation to
the crime scene, typically referring to his spouse. Right here, he talks about how Mrs.
Columbo stored him as much as watch a Bette Davis film on the late present. He goes on about
what an ideal actress Davis was—Falk obtained a Greatest Supporting Actor Oscar nomination,
co-starring with Bette in ’61’s A Pocket
Stuffed with Miracles

Mickey Spillane, killed in a chocolate brown leisure swimsuit, as “Columbo” visitor sufferer!


Some
enjoyable ’70s visible type goes on in “Publish or Perish.” The primary homicide is
depicted with three cut up screens: the killer-for-hire; the sufferer at work; and
mastermind Riley enacting his alcohol-fueled alibi. The style type finds
Cassidy’s villain sporting a number of turtle necks, whereas the author, performed by
Mickey Spillane, sports activities a chocolate brown leisure swimsuit! Mariette Hartley is a
whole ’70s babe with flowing Cher hair, a slinky braless jersey robe, and a pink
California western woman have a look at Chasen’s, full with a pink cowboy hat.

Mariette Hartley wanting ’70s horny within the “Columbo” episode “Publish or Perish.”


John
Chandler all the time performed psychos that creeped me out as a child, who’s killer Eddie
Kane right here. Apparently in actual life, Chandler got here from a rich household,
studied performing, and was a yoga fanatic! All this, regardless of the actual fact he seems
like Steve Buscemi, Sr. His character Eddie jogs my memory of the gruff vet that Seinfeld’s Elaine hires to write down the
Peterman catalogue. Aspect observe: In his first two appearances, Cassidy’s characters
ply with superb champagne, earlier than inflicting deadly ache on their secondary
victims.

John Chandler, TV boomer villain, seems like Steve Buscemi, Sr. in “Publish or “Perish.”

Chandler’s “Columbo” killer/sufferer jogs my memory of this “Seinfeld” weirdo!


Paul
Shenar may be very good-looking and no-nonsense as Sgt. Younger, who works with Columbo.
Followers will keep in mind him because the evil drug lord in Scarface. Mickey Spillane is surprisingly relaxed and fascinating
because the pulp writer who desires to take his writing to the following stage, and with a
new writer.

Good-looking Paul Shenar performed a fellow detective in “Columbo’s” “Publish or Perish.”
That ’70s man Jack Bender seems like a cuter Stuart from “The Large Bang Concept!”
Unhappy sack Stuart from “The Large Bang Concept.”


Jack
Bender as Wolpert, the man who delivers the writing is a complete ‘70s man, with
his curly fro, huge brown eyes, and trendy ’70s shirts. He jogs my memory of a
better-looking Stuart from The Large Bang
Concept
. Paradoxically, he went on to turn out to be a prolific TV director, together with
a TV bio of The David Cassidy Story!

Jack Cassidy’s Riley Greenleaf units up his “drunk” alibi & insults just a few strangers, too.


Paradoxically,
Jack Cassidy later repeated Riley Greenleaf’s faux bender later for actual, on December
12, 1976. Cassidy tried to get associates to hitch him for an evening out, however settled
for barhopping by way of West Hollywood. When Jack returned residence, he handed
out with a lit cigarette, and died within the subsequent hearth.

Jack Cassidy’s finale as a “Columbo” visitor killer solid him as a magician.


Jack
Cassidy’s closing Columbo look
was in “Now You See Him.” Cassidy performs “The Nice Santini,” a magician who
desires to make his blackmailer boss disappear. This episode aired February of
1976, the 12 months Cassidy died.

“The Nice Santini” VS “The Nice Columbo” in “Now You See Him.”


This
episode was directed by Harvey Hart, a prolific TV director who was good with
actors. Nehemiah Persoff is the sweaty and surly restaurant membership proprietor who
blackmails his star attraction when he discovers his Nazi previous. Persoff
initiatives such an animalistic antagonism that you just truly really feel unhealthy for the
magician was an SS jail guard as a younger man. Robert Loggia is the robust head
waiter, who appears extra suited as a bouncer. Bob Dishy is relatively grating than
ingratiating because the dogged youthful detective who’s all the time at Columbo’s heels. Besides
for old-school Cassidy, Loggia and the remainder of the middle-aged males all sport
that shaggy hair to attempt to appear like the younger ‘70s dudes.

Nehemiah Persoff is a good “Columbo”visitor villain/sufferer because the blackmailer boss.


It
was an period of much less viewer repeat choices, however I’m nonetheless puzzled as to why Columbo had the identical actors as visitor
stars a number of instances. As memorable as they’re, stars like Jack Cassidy and
Robert Culp performed the identical superior, snide, and impatient characters. And
whereas Columbo had some golden period
visitors like Janet Leigh and Anne Baxter, I’d like to have seen some greats like
Crawford, Davis, Natalie Wooden, Edward G. Robinson, Tony Curtis, or Henry Fonda,
to call just a few that had been doing tv at this level.

Jack Cassidy is “The Nice Santini” in disguise; this “Columbo” is “Now You See Him.”


As
The Nice Santini, Jack Cassidy’s character is a little more empathetic, since he
is the sufferer of blackmail. When it’s obvious that his boss desires greater than a
pound of flesh, Cassidy’s illusionist feels he has no different choice than to
kill. The magician conjures up an extremely convoluted plot to off the boss
throughout his act, and likewise present himself an alibi. Whereas ingenious, it’s additionally a
little bit of a watch roll. When Columbo comes to research, the alibi makes it even
extra of a problem for the detective. By this level, Falk is properly into his run
as Columbo, and his dumb like a fox routine is absolutely polished, particularly
in opposition to Cassidy’s grasp illusionist.

A Jack Cassidy villain with an ascot, natch. In his closing “Columbo” ep., Jack was 49.


Cassidy’s
grace and elegance make him fairly plausible because the magic man. Whereas The Nice
Santini is simply as impatient and perturbed by the persistent Lt. Columbo, he’s
additionally a bit melancholy, which Cassidy conveys effortlessly.

Jack
Cassidy’s type urged a distinct period, along with his dapper seems and elegance, in
the laid-back ‘70s. In reality, his type was so studio period basic that Cassidy
was referred to as upon to play John Barrymore in 1976’s W.C. Fields and Me. Even Jack’s appearances on Columbo discovered the
actor elegant in an array of turtlenecks and ascots, leather-based, hound tooth, or
corduroy jackets, and even his bell bottoms had been creased and in a single case,
adorned with buttons.

Jack
Cassidy’s villains had been all smiling appeal and confidence on the skin, however
threatened with having all of it taken away. Whereas related, Jack’s killers got
Cassidy’s appreciable charisma and expertise as an actor.

If there had been a “Mildred Pierce” remake within the ’70s, Jack Cassidy would have been good
as Mildred’s playboy Monty!

Right here’s
my have a look at Faye Dunaway’s Emmy-winning activate Columbo:
https://ricksrealreel.blogspot.com/2020/07/faye-falk-are-flirtatious-fun-in.html

FYI: I put all of the film overflow on my public FB film
web page. 

Test it out & be part of!  https://www.fb.com/teams/178488909366865/

 

 

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