Video of the Week: “Dead Weight”

UPDATE 09.17.15: And it’s gone! I guess we should be thankful…

OK folks. This week’s video is a prime example of how not to present a video online. As today is the birthday anniversary of the late great Peter Falk, I was hoping to share one of the three episodes of Columbo in which Timothy appears. I found this one on YouTube. It’s “Dead Weight,” first broadcast on October 27, 1971 and the second of Tim’s two outings as chili-slinger Bert. Now, I realize that YouTube constantly gets on people’s cases about uploading copyrighted material. But does that explain the annoying frame around the actual video, the fact that the sound is notably and gratingly slowed down, or the fact that the same episode plays twice in a row? All of these things render the video basically unwatchable, at least to my mind. I’ll let you make your own decision on that.

Until we get an official dedicated Columbo channel on YouTube, or maybe Hulu or someplace picks it up, this looks like the best we have to work with as far as the internet goes. It’s a damn shame, really.

Video of the Week: “Fade In to Murder”

Our last video of the year is a full-length Columbo episode! It’s “Fade In to Murder,” first broadcast on October 10, 1976. It was the last of the three episodes of that well-loved detective series in which Timothy appears. Also on hand are William Shatner, Lola Albright, and of course, series star Peter Falk. Tim first appears at about the 9:55 mark.

Several folks have uploaded a bunch of Columbo episodes to YouTube, of varying frustrating quality. This is the best one I could find. Enjoy, and happy New Year, everyone!!

Pic of the Day: “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie” revisited

We’ll be closing out the week by taking another look at Flo, the enigmatic muscle behind a gang of mediocre Hollywood gangsters in John CassavetesThe Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). In a film full of great close-ups, this is one of the best.

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Ara Corbett tells us in the Filmfax article “Rebels With a Cause: The Timothy Carey-John Cassavetes Partnership,” “Plans to film Confession, a script that Cassavetes wrote with his son Nick, three years later never materialized, though the plan was to reunite the acclaimed A Woman Under the Influence team of Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands along with Cassavetes’ daughter, Zoe, and Carey as a gangster named Ibizza.” Good Lord – how epic would that have been? We can only dream.

Pic of the Day: “Ransom for a Dead Man” revisited

Columbus Day? Forget that. Here at the TCE it’s Columbo Day. Presenting our first glimpse of Bert, confidant of Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) and the friendly chili slinger of Barney’s Beanery in the inaugural Columbo episode, “Ransom for a Dead Man”. The date was March 1, 1971. Bert got his own diner later on in the episode “Dead Weight” (10.27.71).

Ransom for a Dead Man

Barney’s Beanery really exists. It’s been a Los Angeles landmark for nearly one hundred years, favored by movie stars, rock gods and the average Joe alike. Apparently they still serve a mean bowl of chili. Heck, you can even order online now. Will wonders never cease.

Pic of the Day: “Dead Weight” revisited

We wrap up the work week with another look at Bert, affable owner of Bert’s Diner and creator of  Lt. Columbo’s (Peter Falk) favorite chili. The Columbo episode “Dead Weight,” first airing on October 27, 1971, was Bert’s second and final appearance in the series. Timothy himself appeared on the show one more time, in “Fade In to Murder” (10.10.76).

Dead Weight - 1971

Directing “Dead Weight” was Jack Smight, an old friend and college chum of Tim’s Bayou (1957) co-star Peter Graves. He became a successful television and feature film director, helming such notable films as Harper (1966), The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968) (both with Paul Newman), and The Illustrated Man (1969) with Rod Steiger.