Etude In Black
S02E01 - Originally broadcast Sept 17 1972
Directed by Nicholas Colasanto, Written bySteven Bochco
Starring John Cassavetes, Blythe Danner and Myrna Loy
Falk collaborator Cassavetes plays a classical symphony conductor with a simultaneous yen for shtupping the piano player … and murder! Falk and Cassavetes also take turns behind the camera. NBC requested that this episode be stretched out from a 90 minute runtime to a full two hours, meaning something like an additional twenty minutes had to be shot. There’s a scene in Cassavetes’ character’s mansion which is probably wholly a product of these two.
Speaking of the mansion. dumb trivia/coincidence: The mansion is a location in LA called The Bundy House and was used, among other shots, as the governor’s mansion in the opening of the 1980s Robert Guillame sitcom Benson. Likewise, Columbo first appears in this episode in his veterinarian’s office, and the name on the vet’s door is … DR.BENSON! Dunh Dunh dunnnnnnh!
Myrna Loy plays the symphony’s patron in a manner from a whole other era of film. I love Myrna Loy, but she’s definitely bringing a whole different sensibility of performance to this role than any other actor.
Tremendously hilarious voiceover/redubbing from a character named Sgt.Meyer, who seemed to be speaking through his nose inside a bathroom accessible only through a tin-can telephone.
Latest episode of the podcast is out, this is another super-fun one! And you can read Mallory’s article, The Case for Columbo, here!