Columbo (1971–2003)
28 user 6 critic

Murder, Smoke and Shadows 

An egocentric wunderkind director murders a childhood friend who threatens to expose his negligent complicity in the death of his sister years earlier.


James Frawley


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Fisher Stevens ... Alex Brady
Molly Hagan ... Ruth 'Ruthie' Jernigan
Nan Martin ... Rose Walker
Jeff Perry ... Leonard Fisher
Steven Hill ... Mr. Marosco
Jerome Guardino ... Sergeant Burke
Elizabeth Ruscio ... Fran
Al Pugliese ... Phil Crossette
Time Winters ... Stan
Gayle Harbor Gayle Harbor ... Lisa
Stewart J. Zully ... Sewell
Avner Garbi Avner Garbi ... Kardarsian
Meg James Meg James ... Tour Guide
Lisa Barnes ... Waitress


This time Columbo pits his wits against a movie director who murders an old friend on a set, because this friend is in possession of a damaging piece of film, on which the actress died and isn't helped by the movie director. Written by Maarten Hofman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ombres et lumières See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Leonard Fisher was born on May 5, 1957 and was murdered on February 20, 1989. See more »


Columbo spots a couple of ice-cream sodas left on the counter in Alex Brady's office, known as his "boys' club". One glass is almost full, the other about half-full. Not only can we see this, but Columbo comments on it at length, theorizing with uncanny accuracy how the full and the half-full glasses show what happened earlier, when the victim was visiting Brady's office. The moment Columbo leaves, Brady rushes to the soda glasses, to destroy the evidence. Inexplicably, he finds both glasses are now empty except for a milky residue. See more »


Columbo: Mr. Brady, sir.
Alex Bradey: What are you doing in my desert, lieutenant?
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References Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A good episode and entertaining!
18 May 2006 | by SylviastelSee all my reviews

What makes Columbo work in my opinion is that despite the seriousness of the crime which is always murder that there is light-heartedness. Fisher Stevens is the star of his own movie. The cast is excellent besides Stevens and Peter Falk as the dashing Columbo. You have Molly Hagen who is underused in the industry and has appeared in another Columbo as Fisher's girlfriend. They also have Nan Martin who is wonderful as the woman who helps and hurts the lead character. Anyway, the filmmaker played by Fisher Stevens does learns the hard way by trying to fool Columbo. You can't fool or mess with him around or you'll get caught. He always catches his man or woman. This episode could have been better but it's not bad.

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