Columbo (1971–2003)
27 user 5 critic

Now You See Him 

A stage illusionist kills his employer and makes it look like a contract killing; it's up to Lt. Columbo to trick the master trickster.


Harvey Hart


Michael Sloan, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Jack Cassidy ... The Great Santini
Bob Dishy ... Sgt. John J. Wilson
Nehemiah Persoff ... Jesse Jerome
Robert Loggia ... Harry Blandford
Cynthia Sikes ... Della
George Sperdakos ... Thackery
Thayer David ... Clerk
Redmond Gleeson Redmond Gleeson ... George Thomas
Patrick Culliton ... Danny Green
Victor Izay ... Lassiter
Robert Gibbons Robert Gibbons ... Rogers
Michael Payne Michael Payne ... Jefferson


A stage illusionist kills his employer after the latter threatens to expose his true identity and past occupation as a prison guard for the SS during WWII to the Israeli government when the illusionist refuses to be a victim of his employer's blackmailing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 February 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'illusionista See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jesse T. Jerome was born on August 3, 1923. See more »


When Columbo makes his first visit to the cabaret to interview Santini, he finds Santini practicing card tricks on stage to an empty room. Santini wears a gray sports jacket, but the close-up hand shots of the card tricks he does show that they are being done by someone wearing a jacket with a black-and-white checkered pattern. See more »


Santini: Why, Lieutenant, you've been checking up on me.
Lt. Columbo: Well, I really don't have any choice, sir.
Santini: Why are you so preoccupied to find out my real identity?
Lt. Columbo: Your origin may be more humble than you make it appear.
Santini: And what about you, Lieutenant? Beneath that ruffle exterior there ticks away the heart of an empiricist philosopher, probing for the truth at all costs.
Lt. Columbo: I'm just doin' my job.
Santini: You make it sound so proletarian.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original German version from the 1970s was censored due to the Nazi topic. The dubbing changed Jack Cassidy's character Santini from the ex-Nazi Stefan Mueller to a wanted British bank robber named Stanley Matthews. Also this Columbo episode was slightly cut in places where the dubbing changes would have become obvious (i.e. the last few seconds of the scene where the name "Stefan Mueller" can be read on Jerome's letter). In the 1990s the German TV network "RTL Television" had the uncut version of this episode re-dubbed, now sticking to the original plot and preserving the Nazi-topic. See more »


References Charade (1963) See more »


Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by cabaret singer and incorporated into the background score
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Murderous antics with a mad magician
19 April 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

Jack Cassidy returns for the third and final time as a Columbo villain in this thoroughly entertaining episode of the show. Cassidy had previously essayed villainous turns in PUBLISH OR PERISH and MURDER BY THE BOOK so by now he was an old hand at the show and his turn as a murderous magician is delightful. Columbo would later turn back to the magic world in COLUMBO GOES TO THE GUILLOTINE, but this earlier episode is definitely the stronger one.

Aside from Cassidy, this TV film has plenty of reasons to watch. The magical backdrop means there's a whole smoke-and-mirrors feel to the story, with mystery lurking in every corner. The supporting cast members include a reliable Robert Loggia and a fine and sympathetic turn from Bob Dishy as one of the detective's helpers. Humour comes from Columbo's new coat, which is a poor fit in comparison to his beloved overcoat. There's nothing really to dislike about this story, which is one of the strongest of the series.

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