Columbo (1971–2003)
27 user 6 critic

Make Me a Perfect Murder 

An Emmy-winning TV executive kills her lover (who is also her boss); Lt. Columbo is on the case.


James Frawley


Robert Blees, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Trish Van Devere ... Kay Freestone
Laurence Luckinbill ... Mark McAndrews
James McEachin ... Walter Mearhead (as James Mc Eachin)
Ron Rifkin ... Luther
Lainie Kazan ... Valerie Kirk
Bruce Kirby ... TV Repairman
Kip Gilman ... Jonathan (as Kenneth Gilman)
Patrick O'Neal ... Frank Flanagan
Milt Kogan ... Dubbing Chief
Dee Timberlake Dee Timberlake ... Madge
Don Eitner ... Pete Cockrum
Morgan Upton ... Ames
Joe Warfield Joe Warfield ... Al Staley
George Skaff George Skaff ... The Producer


Kay Freestone is a West Coast TV executive whose boss, Mark McAndrews, is also her secret lover. When he gets promoted to a position in New York, he dumps her - and even denies her the job he's leaving. Her consolation prize is a new Mercedes. She's more interested in the gun he drops on the bed - after he jokingly invites her to shoot him. Joking or not, she takes him up on it. Later, he's found shot to death in his office. Kay seems to have been in the projection room when it happened. She was screening her pet project - a violent TV film called "The Professionals" - for her superiors. When our rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo investigates, he learns this Emmy-winning producer can commit a bloody act just as well as film it. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meurtre parfait 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
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Did You Know?


At 1:35, when Columbo is trying to fix the rear view mirror on his Peueot and causes an accident, his car already has the rear end damage attributed to the accident. See more »


At 0:25:38, the actress Trish van Devere looks briefly in the camera. See more »


Walter Mearhead: [watches the changed reel, sees a character shoot himself in the head, turns away in disgust] HOW LONG are they gonna keep putting stuff like that on television?
See more »


Features Bolero (1934) See more »


This Old Man
Traditional English children's marching song
Whistled by Columbo (Peter Falk)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Overall OK, but plot... eeeh!
11 January 2009 | by julien-neelSee all my reviews

I am a big fan of the series and have watched nearly every episode a least twice.

This episode is a little slow and the plot a bit weak. As others have pointed in their comments, the "murderess" played by Trish Van Devere doesn't fit the traditional brilliant and narcissistic bad guy profile. However, I enjoyed it : it is one of the rare Columbo episodes where you quickly feel she and her story are going to fall apart, and I felt for her character. Trish Van Devere is gorgeous and plays an interesting woman with a strange, cold warmth to her. I also loved the tension during the crime itself, with the off voice doing the countdown. In this sense, I liked the episode.

Regarding the plot, I was disappointed, especially for an episode that lasts an hour and a half! The murder is hardly planned, there are so many ridiculous mistakes that are barely concealed, and the case is cracked with hardly any effort. Earlier Columbo episodes from the first two seasons were much better from that perspective.

Like others, I really don't enjoy the gimmicks and comedy scenes with Peter Falk, it just kills the slow steady rhythm of the movie. Columbo isn't supposed to be funny deliberately. Stories about his wife and what not should just occur every now and then to build the character, but they shouldn't last more than 10 to 20 seconds. They were definitely too long for me in this episode, especially in the scene where Columbo plays around with the buttons and switches... Yawn...

Overall, I give it a 7 because I was really impressed by Trish Van Devere (I think I love her) and the fact that Columbo is my hero too...

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