Inspector Columbo celebrates 50 years of investigations in Los Angeles
With the famous “Gee, I almost forgot…”, the beautiful shiny Peugeot 403, his basset hound called “the dog”, his wife that nobody has ever seen and the iconic raincoat, Columbo is one of those cult characters that traverses the decades but is never outdated. Topping off at only 1m68, the inspector knew how to command respect and surprise his adversaries or his companions with his sharp mind and incredible determination.
This hero that we admire so much has in fact taken inspiration from others before him. Inspector Fichet in the film Diabolique, Porfiry Petrovich in Crime and Punishment, and probably Georges Simenon’s character Petit Docteur who also often refers to his wife and drives a Peugeot 403.
What’s different about this series which ran from February 20th 1968 to January 30th 2003 remains the large number of scenes filmed outside or at the homes of the suspects and witnesses. Few episodes show the police station, the morgue or simply the inspector’s home. As such, by following in the footsteps of the inspector whose statue can be found in Budapest, the viewer discovers numerous panoramas of Los Angeles and its surroundings. From Santa Monica Pier appearing in episode The Most Crucial Game to Hollywood Bowl in the episode Etude in Black, not forgetting Big Bear Lake in Murder by the Book, the inspector drives around this small corner of California where strange things often happen.
“Gee! I almost forgot”, for the more nostalgic amongst us a DVD box set picturing the iconic car and comprising the DVDs of all Columbo’s enquiries is available. A way to celebrate in style 50 years of good and loyal service.