Joe, let me help. Let's say a guy has been collecting this stuff for years. Not just since Japan came out with the complete 45 episodes on DVD (which are unedited, as far as I know), but since years before that, when Japan came out with Columbo on Laser Discs. You realize, the Japanese LDs and, later, the DVDs, have the original English soundtracks (as well as the Japanese dubbed dialog).
And let's say the same guy has been taping the "new" episodes in their first original broadcasts, since "Columbo Goes To The Guillotine" in 1989.
You realize, there's such a thing as copying DVDs, or even putting LDs onto DVD; you can even, say, lose the Japanese soundtrack.
And that, even though it won't be true DVD resolution, you can transfer, say, a 1989 tape onto DVD.
You realize, too, that it wouldn't be very smart for a person to explain too much about that process in a public forum, right?
I would also suggest that there's such a thing as studio promotional items, that get distributed to critics for example, and that have a way of getting around into the marketplace.
Some fans are touchier about this than others. Like anyone, you certainly don't have to approve, or to buy, but there's not much use trying to extract a full confession.
Hypothetically speaking, a guy like that is on the side of the angels.
I spent years and years keeping an eye out for every episode on UK TV, slowly putting a collection together. Then the Japanese DVDs came out and I cracked and went for them. It took a while to get them all just because of the crazy prices, but I've finally got the complete set. And now in this moment of triumph...I miss the fun of finding an unseen episode in the schedules!
What's left to get out there? Nothing. It's nice having them on the shelf, but it's just not as much fun as hunting them down and ticking them off, one by one.
Is there a Holy Grail left out there for Columbo fans to look for?
The "Holy Grail" for Columbo fans would be a copy of "Enough Rope" on DVD.
I just want to know if it is possible that maybe Rex has a complete copy of The Greenhouse Jungle with a scene I am all but certain exists. If it is not on the Universal issued DVD, well, DVDs are being issued for shows that are incomplete, that is, scenes edited out after the initial run/rerun have not been replaced. It is possible Columbo is among these shows. I am not trying to cause any trouble. My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.
Joe, Gee it's news to me about a missing scene in "The Greenhouse Jungle"? Can you give me a bit of a description? I've got prints of it from about 10 different sources. The only episodes I can think of that had any possible missing scenes are the 90 minute version of Etude in Black (but it has some angles and dialog not in the 2 hour version) and "Now You See Him" which curiously runs shorter than the other 2 hour episodes from the same period.
I know "Now you See Him" had some issues with part of the soundtrack which I understand was the reason it was not part of the Columbia House tapes and this may be the reason it's shorter (although I have the 1979 rebroadcast and it runs the same length). However, if I remember correctly that episode originally aired when something "National" was going on, like a presidential debate or something and I often thought it was purposely shorter than the rest due to some event going on at time.
By the way, Your DVD and everybody elses who asked me for one so far were mailed out today.
Hi, Rex. I swear, the original & repeat of Now You See Him did NOT feature the scene in the locksmith's establishment. NBC ran promotional junk for other series at the end of this greater than 90 but less than 120 minute broadcast. The missing scene, since readded, adds nothing to the plot, the astute viewer can figure out exactly what Columbo is up to.
As for Greenhouse Jungle, I believe that right after Columbo tells Jarvis Tony has been found dead, there is a brief missing scene. Columbo drives up to the crime scene. Officers are in the area with metal detectors. Columbo asks Freddie Wilson what the gadgets are and what and what the police are doing. Freddie explains that the cops are using metal detectors to try to find the murder weapon in case it was tossed into the nearby woods. Thus making Columbo' s use of a metal detector later in the episode more logical.
Oh, and of course thanks for the free DVD.
Hi Joe, There was a time that I could probaly quote the dialog to the early episodes from beginning to end without seeing the episode, but my memory is fading with age. I'm not sure if it's in the same part of the episode that you mentioned but there is a reference somewhere in that episode about a metal detecter. The question now is does that exist anywhere with the season 2 release on DVD or is this something I am remembering from another copy I have? Anybody else out there well verse on this episode?
As for Now You See Him, All of my prints have that scene but it still airs shorter than the rest of the 2 hour shows.
Very interesting, Joe, about those scenes in "Now You See Him" amd "The Grenhouse Jungle".
My Japanese DVD does not have cops using a metal detector in Columbo's presence -- although I agree with you that it would have made a better set-up for the ending.
The only scene with a metal detector (besides the ending) is when Sgt. Wilson and his boys are searching Mrs Goodland's place, looking for the murder weapon. We first see an investigator using the detector in the living room, then it is used to help find the gun in the linen closet, among the shoes. But I assume this isn't the scene you mean, because it would be pretty clumsy to cut that last part out -- the metal detector is what calls attention to the shoe-bags.
In the end, Columbo does give Wilson credit for inspiring Columbo to use "that technical stuff that you're so good at". The technical device that Columbo uses is of course the metal detector. But, as I've said, the Japanese DVD doesn't give Columbo the chance to watch a metal detector in action, or even to get Wilson's report explaining that one was used to find the gun. If an earlier use of the metal detector went missing from the original broadcast, unfortunately it is still missing.
Now that my memory has been refreshed, The scene in Mrs. Goodland's house is the only scene I recall with the metal detector as well. I don't think Columbo was in any scenes in any of my prints with the metal detector with Sgt Wilson. But the running gag throughout the episode was Sgt. Wilson having all these little tools of the trade, that give Columbo the idea of trying something he'd never used before. Although it probably would have played better had the metal detector been used in Columbo's Presence.
This has come up here before. And frankly, I find it all very confusing!!
Someone in the past posted about an early scene where Columbo does see Wilson using the metal detector. I have never seen this scene.
But even if there wasn't a prior scene to when Columbo uses a metal decector in the final scene...it doesn't take any credibility away from it. Columbo obviously knows that Wilson is into gadgets...and it can easily be assumed that the 2 of them may have talked about how the different gadgets worked...even though it wasn't shown in the episode.
Ok....now I am confusing myself!!
I just looked at an old tape of this episode that the BBC broadcast years ago - still no sign of the elusive scene. I tend to think it's a trick of memory. We see Columbo looking a bit troubled when he realises his idea for making casts of footprints is out of date, and then we see the metal detectors being established in a separate scene.
Having Wilson actually explain metal detectors seems too "on the nose" for me. I don't think it would establish it for the ending, rather it would make it too obvious. Much more likely, knowing his personality, that Columbo would have gone to someone at the department and said, "I hear you have things like night cameras and 3D photos now. What else do you have that might be useful to me?"
Just my take on it.
I received your DVD of, "Candidate For Crime" today and I'm in the middle of watching it now. The picture and sound is TOP QUALITY! Excellent all the way. I haven't seen that original intro since it first hit NBC-T-V many years ago!
I want to thank you so very much for being such a GREAT guy and making me and I'm sure the rest of us Columbo fans very, very happy!!
I also would like to thank Rex for the excellent DVD. I too was delighted to see the original opening credits for the 3rd season. Great sound, picture quality, etc.