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Columbo: The 1970s (Seasons 1-7) [20 X Blu-ray]
 

Directors include:

Steven Spielberg, John Cassavetes, Jonathan Demme, Bernard L. Kowalski,

Jack Smight, Nicholas Colasanto, Boris Sagal,

Leo Penn, Harvey Hart, Ted Post,

Patrick McGoohan, Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk

 

Columbo is the landmark series that set the standard for the murder mystery genre. Remastered in 4K by Universal, Columbo: The 1970s includes the first seven seasons of this enduring classic on Blu-ray! Starring Peter Falk in his four-time Emmy-winning role as the cigar-chomping, trenchcoat-wearing police lieutenant.

***

He's the disheveled detective, dismissed by his suspects as an erratic pest, but little do they know this keen investigator is lulling them into a false sense of security. His rumpled trench coat, bumbling speech, chomped cigar and battered Peugeot 403 convertible all help paint the portrait of a cop out of his depth, but we know it's just a matter of time before the evidence is revealed to ensure criminal conviction. Voted as one of the top TV detectives of all time, COLUMBO turned the mystery genre on its head by revealing the perpetrators of crime at the very start of each episode. It's no whodunnit! The suspense is in discovering how Columbo will eventually trick the criminal into letting their guard down and revealing key evidence.

Titles

Season One

Season Two

Season Three

Season Four

Season Five

Season Six and Seven

Television Premiere: February 20th, 1968 - May 13th, 1978

Reviews                                                             More Reviews                                                    DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Coming to the UK on Blu-ray from Fabulous Films in June 2024:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime

Pilot TV Movies: 1:39:19.411 / 1:35:13.679

Most episodes are around 1 hour 30 to 1 hour 11 minutes each 

Video

1.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Blu-ray One Size: 42,416,255,039 bytes

Sample Episode: 21,603,078,144 bytes

Average Video Bitrate: 24.01 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Average Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1604 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1604 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Effects + score tracks:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1580 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1580 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Blu-ray One Size: 42,416,255,039 bytes

Sample Episode: 21,603,078,144 bytes

Average Video Bitrate: 24.01 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Includes the 1968 Movie-of-the-Week "Prescription: Murder" and the 1971 Pilot "Ransom for a Dead Man"
• Shorter 71-Minute Cut of ÉTUDE IN BLACK
• Optional Music and Effects Tracks for All Episodes
• Episode Guide Booklet


Blu-ray Release Date: December 19th, 2023

Standard Blu-ray Cases inside Box

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (December 2023): Kino have transferred all seven season of the TV detective series Columbo to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from "Restored in 4K by Universal Pictures".

We reviewed every season on Universal DVD: Season One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven. We also compared Madman (Australia) Blu-rays that were released for Season's One and Two. This Kino Columbo: The 1970s (Seasons 1-7) package has 20 Blu-ray discs that cover 43 episodes and one 1968 Columbo Movie-of-the-Week ("Prescription: Murder") and the 1971 Pilot "Ransom for a Dead Man".

The 4K restorations are a notable improvement over both; past SD and 1080P Madman transfers. We've added framed matched samples below. Colors are richer and bolder, the image is generally darker, there is usually slightly more information in the frame, it is sharper, contrast is superior and these look brand new - far better than they did on CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TVs back in the 70s. The green hues of the DVDs are gone and the noise of the Aussie 1080P renderings is no longer an issue. These seven seasons of Columbo have NEVER looked better for home theater enjoyment.  

NOTE: We have added 78 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. There are instances of gunshots, loud airplanes, boats, aggressive dogs etc. in Columbo and the transfer produces some moderate depth. The series scores were by Dick DeBenedictis (The Earthling), Bernardo Segall (Moon of the Wolf, Custer of the West), Billy Goldenberg (The Legend of Lizzie Borden, Spielberg's Duel, Smile Jenny, You're Dead etc.) and even four episodes by Gil Melle (The Organization, The Andromeda Strain, The Deliberate Stranger, 7 episodes of Kolchak the Night Stalker and Frankenstein: The True Story) with a cool electronic vibe. In Suitable For Framing we also get Chopin's Etude in E major op. 10 No. 3 (opening piano sequence) and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (cocktail party.) But in the first pilot, Prescription: Murder the score is composed by the great Dave Grusin's (Bobby Deerfield, The Front, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, ...And Justice For All, 3 Days of the Condor). In Etude in Black we hear Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart. It all sounds flawless and consistent via the lossless transfers. Kino offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

There were fan complaints that initially published commentaries were no longer gong to be a part of the set. There are no commentaries that I found. What were on the DVDs were three of the Mrs. Columbo episodes. Mrs. Kate Columbo - Kate Mulgrew - follows in her husbands footsteps... as a reporter. These are also not here.  The Kino Blu-ray does offer the shorter (1:11:13), unreleased on television, version of Etude in Black in 1080P - as well as the full broadcast episode (1:36:14). All episodes offer 'optional Music and Effects Tracks' plus the package has an episode guide booklet. So, no real new extras beyond what was on the DVDs that starting coming out in 2004. Yeah, commentaries would have been grand (like the Night Gallery sets) but I suspect the budget was not there. I am delighted with the new image quality.

Season One had stars Eddie Albert, Jack Cassidy, Martin Milner, Robert Culp, Ray Milland, Suzanne Pleshette, Ross Martin, Kim Hunter, Don Ameche, Roddy McDowall, Anne Francis, James Gregory, Ida Lupino, Lee Grant, Susan Clark, Leslie Nielson and more.

John Cassavetes stars in the season two premiere, Etude in Black, as a philandering symphony conductor, with Blythe Danner and Hollywood legend Myrna Loy in support; Oscar winner Ray Milland is a scheming orchid grower in "The Greenhouse Jungle," co-starring Bradford Dillman and William Smith. Robert Culp and Dean Stockwell are a football team manager and owner, respectively, whose disagreements blossom into murder in "The Most Crucial Game". Jeanette Nolan offers stellar comic relief in "Double Shock," which features Martin Landau as identical twins--one of whom has murdered their uncle. Performances by Richard Basehart, Laurence Harvey, Leonard Nimoy, Anne Francis, Anne Baxter, and Mel Ferrer also highlight the season. Magnificent television!

In Season Three the substantial cast include far too many to name (ex. Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Robert Culp, Jackie Cooper, Donald Pleasance etc.) was another viable bonus, but Falk's enduring portrayal of slovenly Detective Lieutenant Columbo, would rise to become one of the most beloved and appealing characters in network television history.

Season Four of Columbo proves again the strength of the writing and the wonderful character acting of Peter Falk. The substantial cast support includes Gena Rowlands, Robert Conrad, Dick van Dyke, Oskar Werner, Patrick McGoohan, George Hamilton, Robert Vaughn  etc.

The fifth season features such acclaimed guest stars as Janet Leigh, Sal Mineo, Robert Vaughn, Diane Baker, Jack Cassidy (again), Ricardo Montalban, Hector Elizondo, Robert Loggia, Patrick McGoohan, and more.

The final two seasons (6 + 7) feature such acclaimed guest stars as William Shatner, Joyce Van Patten, Theodore Bikel, Ruth Gordon, Mariette Hartley, Nicol Williamson, Kim Cattrall, Louis Jourdan, Trish Van Devere, Laurence Luckinbill, and many others.

Kino's Columbo: The 1970s (Seasons 1-7) Blu-ray package is the ultimate Holiday present for a friend or for yourself! 60+ hours of the great detective surrounded by a cavalcade of transitioning cinema stars. These remain endlessly rewatchable entertainment with many stellar episodes; season two's A Stitch in Crime has Leonard Nimoy as a surgeon who has an ingenious plan for murdering his partner. Season three's Any Old Port in a Storm with wine connoisseur Donald Pleasence and A Friend in Deed has Richard Kiley as a police commissioner who provides a false alibi for a wife killer, expecting quid pro quo. Swan Song is a classic with Ida Lupino - it has Johnny Cash as a gospel singer wants to be rid of his zealous wife. But a murder made to look like an airplane accident does not fool the wily Lt. Columbo. In Negative Reaction of Season Four, we have a Pulitzer Prize wining photographer, Dick Van Dyke, who murders his wife and blames her death on a bungled kidnapping. In Forgotten Lady from season Five - Janet Leigh plays a faded dance star of film and stage who murders her husband and makes it look like a suicide with a perfect alibi. In season seven's Try and Catch Me, with Ruth Gordon and Mariette Hartley, a mystery writer suspects her niece's husband of murdering her, and she exacts revenge... Some of the best 70s TV... or of all time! - and now on 4K restored Blu-rays. Our highest recommendation! NOTE: It is 19% OFF, HERE, at the writing of this review.

Gary Tooze

 


Menu Samples

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Universal - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Madman - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Madman - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Madman - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Madman - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Madman - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Coming to the UK on Blu-ray from Fabulous Films in June 2024:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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