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Columbo - Ashes To Ashes 1999
Description: After a much maligned Hollywood gossip columnist is murdered by her former lover, Columbo tries to search a method to prove he was responsible for the crime.
Released: 08 Oct 1998 Director: Patrick McGoohan Writers: Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by), Jeffrey Hatcher Actors: Peter Falk, Patrick McGoohan, Rue McClanahan, Richard Riehle Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Columbo - Ashes To Ashes Reviews:

A tremendous cast, by latter-day Columbo standards, including Rue McClanahan, Sally Kellerman, Edie McClurg, Richard Libertini, Aubrey Morris, and Ron Masak have a field day chewing up the scenery in intelligent stage after intelligent scene. Legendary tap dancer Arthur Duncan even shows up to add the proper element of theatre d'absurd to the proceedings. The dialogue is well-above average in the cleverness department as well. The twists and turns are ingenious. McGoohan has a field day as director and actor. The last line puts the proper icing on the cake. This is one of the very greatest of the latter-day Columbo movies.


I'm a nice Columbo fanatic and Ashes to Ashes certainly didn't disappoint me in any way, shape or form. Peter Falk, as usual is splendid as Lt. Columbo. Patrick McGoohan, as stern and sometime wry undertaker Eric Prince, plays his role precisely and believably. He had played in previous Columbo movies. Rue McClanahan plays gossip columnist Verity Chandler with such magic and charm that we wish to see much, much more of her. Sally Kellerman plays Liz Houston convincingly. Along with the rest of the actors in this unbelievable movie, the viewer will not be disappointed at the end of the movie. If you adore mystery and Columbo, this film is for you! It's to be noted that it's not just the main actors that create this film work. All actors enjoy their parts exceptionally.


As a Patrick McGoohan fan, I'd been trying to catch this one for a while, having missed it in the late 1990's when Columbo was still prime-time. This episode was broadcast on a Sunday morning in England, at 11am. How the mighty are fallen, the nice humbled, and the classics a mere space-filler. Time waits for no boy and all that.The episode is a rip-snorter, full of delicious performances and hero combinations. It was essentially the final filmed performance by the nice actor, Patrick McGoohan (barring some unexpected late-life cameo) and as such, it is as excellent an adieu to the medium as there should be. McGoohan often likes to add private notes to his Columbo movies, and so in this plot his character's would-be nemesis (Golden Girl, Rue McLanahan) refers to his Eric Prince hero as having been a "never-was actor from England, who never-was over here either!" Adding a further layer of subsumed reference is the presence of Catherine McGoohan, as Rita, Eric Prince's efficiently innocent mortuary assistant. She is given the task of beginning the end of her boss when she advises Eric Prince that, "Someone's waiting for you in the display-room." A corpse might be expected in such a setting, but whilst any corpse would barely ruffle the arch mortician that was Eric, the thick cigar-smoke wafting above the launch coffin signals to us that Eric's time-clock is actually ticking. Columbo has arrived! By the time Peter Falk shuffles in, we are already twenty mins into the show. When we see him we realise why he is only putting in half a shift. Man! Columbo is old! He's grey, wizened and almost gap-toothed. His speed is gone. But what he lacks in speed has been replaced by wisdom. Heck, he's done so many of these situations he figures out what has gone on, in the twinkling of an old dog's eye.McGoohan's Prince, is flabbergasted. He's on a hook and no matter how cleverly he shifts his weight, he knows he's being reeled in. he doesn't know how the another guy knows, but he knows he knows; and the another guy knows he knows he knows. Time to party! Two old boys (McGoohan was 70, Falk 71) decide to fun with us young 'uns by testing up the fact we're all gonna die! Ashes to Ashes! We are taken to a Funeral Directors' "Man of the Year" ceremony! Death is all around: we have an uneasy fear of it. These guys laugh at it! They even create up witty songs about it. Death is a part of their life. The very last line has one telling to the other: "It's your funeral!" What a method to go.By pure possibility this viewer watched an old 1955 movie for the first time, on a DVD at 11pm the night before this show. In the 1955 movie Patrick McGoohan was testing scenes with Errol Flynn! Forty-three years soon he played his final scenes with Peter Falk. Half a century after Errol Flynn became ashes, this viewer feels privileged to have been able to watch, in the zone of twelve hours, what took these boys a lifetime to achieve.We'll seeing you, in all the old familiar places.



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