Columbo (1971–2003)
34 user 5 critic

Try and Catch Me 

A mystery writer suspects her niece's husband of murdering her, and she exacts revenge by asphyxiating him in her house safe.


James Frawley


Gene Thompson (teleplay by), Paul Tuckahoe (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Ruth Gordon ... Abigail Mitchell
Mariette Hartley ... Veronica
G.D. Spradlin ... Martin Hammond
Charles Frank ... Edmund Galvin
Mary Jackson ... Annie
Jerome Guardino Jerome Guardino ... Sergeant Burke
Marie Silva-Alexander Marie Silva-Alexander ... Dance Instructor


An aging but successful and wealthy crime fiction writer blames the death of her niece on the girl's husband. One night she invites him up to the house to sign their wills before getting him to leave and return within a few minutes so she can spring a trap (locking him in her soundproof safe). Detective Columbo arrives and suspects the writer of murder but clues are few and far between. Written by Scott Dawson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alter schützt vor Morden nicht 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?


"This Old Man" is the song often whistled or sung (in part) by Columbo throughout the show. Towards the beginning in "Try & Catch Me," Columbo plays the first couple bars of "This Old Man" on his own. Decades later in Murder with Too Many Notes, which aired on March 12, 2001, Columbo asks Rebecca to teach him how to play "This Old Man" on the piano. See more »


When Columbo is stacking the safe deposit boxes in the safe, there are four boxes for him to stack. He stacks the first two, then, when the camera cuts to a close up of his hands for the next box, he's stacking the fourth box, not the third. See more »


Lt. Columbo: My car's right here. It's French. Very rare.
[Abigail looks at Columbo's car, dust-covered, front grill manged, and with license plate askew]
Abigail Mitchell: Uh, yes. Oh, I can see why.
See more »


References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »


This Old Man
Traditional English children's marching song
[First two lines played by Peter Falk on piano. Later he whistles it.]
See more »

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User Reviews

A must catch!
29 March 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Try and Catch Me has to be one of my all-time favourite episodes of the Columbo series, of which I am a big fan of. The production values are as slick as ever, and the music is outstandingly composed and atmospheric. Try and Catch Me also has one of the wittiest Columbo scripts, and one of the most original and completely diverting(apart from a tad pedestrian first 10 minutes) story lines. Peter Falk once again embodies Columbo, and Mariette Hartley is appropriately sly, but other than the delicious writing Try and Catch Me is memorable for the unforgettable performance of Ruth Gordon, who looks as though she is having the time of her life, whether with Columbo or not. As much as I loved the performances of Susan Clark(Lady in Waiting) and Janet Leigh(Forgotten Lady), enjoyed the episodes and found their characters interesting, Gordon for me was the best guest villain actress on Columbo, she really is that good. Overall, a must catch, one of the best of the series, and certainly a favourite of mine. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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