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Columbo : ウィキペディア英語版

''Columbo'' is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, popularized the inverted detective story format which begins by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator; the series therefore has no "whodunit" element. The plot revolves around how a perpetrator whose identity is already known to the audience will finally be caught and exposed (which the show's writers called a 'howcatchem', rather than a 'whodunit').
Columbo is a friendly, verbose, disheveled police detective of Italian descent, whose trademarks include wearing a rumpled, beige raincoat over his suit, and smoking a cigar. He is consistently underestimated by his suspects, who are initially reassured and distracted by his circumstantial speech, then increasingly irritated by his pestering behavior. Despite his unassuming appearance and apparent absentmindedness, he shrewdly solves all of his cases and secures all evidence needed for a conviction. His formidable eye for detail and relentlessly dedicated approach, though apparent to the viewer, often become clear to the killer only late in the story line.
The episodes are all movie-length, between 73 and 100 minutes long, and have been broadcast in forty-four countries. In 1997, "Murder by the Book" was ranked No. 16 on ''TV Guides 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time and in 1999, the magazine ranked Lt. Columbo No. 7 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list.〔.〕 In 2012, the program was chosen as the third-best cop or legal show on ''Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time''. In 2013, ''TV Guide'' included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time〔Roush, Matt (February 25, 2013). "Showstoppers: The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time". ''TV Guide''. pp. 16–17.〕 and ranked it at #33 on its list of the 60 Best Series.〔(TV Guide Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time )〕 Also in 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it No. 57 in the list of 101 Best Written TV Series.〔.〕
==Series format==

''Columbo'' reversed the format of the standard whodunit mystery, as in almost every episode the audience sees the crime unfold at the beginning and knows the identity of the culprit. The murder is not always premeditated, but in each case the killer makes efforts to hide their crimes, implicating a false scenario of how the death occurred and often attempting to lead the police to a false culprit. In almost all cases, the investigation is confounded by the careful planning of the murder, which usually includes numerous pieces of misleading evidence, as well as a water-tight alibi for the murderer. The central event of each episode involves Columbo's attempts to sift his way through the contradictions presented by the combination of the readily apparent and asserted version of events, and that suggested by the evidence he shrewdly discovers. This style of mystery is sometimes referred to as a 'howcatchem', in contrast to the traditional 'whodunit'.
''Columbo'' episodes tend to be driven by the characters. The audience observes the criminal's reaction to the ongoing investigation, and to the increasingly intrusive presence of Columbo. As a distraction, Columbo is generally polite and possibly even deferential to the suspect as the investigation proceeds. If they give him a hypothesis on how the murder must have occurred, Columbo often remarks on their intelligence and insight, only later showing that he sees problems in the story.
The objective is to observe the way Columbo finds and follows the clues that will lead him to the truth, and to enjoy the tricks he uses to obtain information or even a confession. This allows the story to unfold simultaneously from the point of view of Columbo and the murderer as they play cat and mouse. Describing the character, ''Variety'' columnist Howard Prouty wrote: "The joy of all this is watching Columbo disassemble the fiendishly clever cover stories of the loathsome rats who consider themselves his better."
Episodes of ''Columbo ''are generally split into two distinct parts. In the first, the soon-to-be murderer is introduced and the setting of the episode explored, generally themed by the profession or lifestyle of the murderer. The other characters, including the soon-to-be victim, are introduced through their relationship to the murderer. The murderer may be shown engaged in the activities of a normal working day, or already busy planning and arranging the murder. As the central premise and motivation for murder becomes apparent, the murderer typically puts into motion a well-arranged sequence of events, including the death of the victim and the establishment of a cover story for the death.
The second part begins with Columbo's appearance, following the discovery of the body, and usually opens to the scene of the crime some time after the arrival of the police. In some episodes, such as the original film ''Prescription: Murder'', Columbo therefore does not appear until halfway through the episode. Columbo usually begins investigating the case at the scene of the crime, where before long some detail catches his attention. The death is often considered accidental, or an unplanned event as part of a burglary or mugging, until Columbo's investigations lead him to suspect otherwise. Before long, the detective will find himself encountering the murderer, to make related inquiries, and in many cases to break the news of the death itself.
The murderer is usually keen to demonstrate their desire to assist Columbo in his investigations and to make themselves available to him for questioning, generally depicting themselves as grieving and in many cases passionately determined to see the killer found and brought to justice. Whether through instinct for the truth of the matter or the simple pursuit of the case, over the course of the episode this allowance is steadily stretched by Columbo until breaking point is reached. This often results in an outburst of some kind, with the murderer feigning shock, horror and disbelief at their implication in the murder. In almost all cases the murderer demonstrates a notable capacity for deception, maintaining their pretense until the very end. Once the murderer realizes that the game of cat and mouse has undeniably concluded, the act is dropped, and an honest dialogue with Columbo generally takes place, often without enmity. Occasionally the killer attempts to murder him, whilst some express relief at being caught; in 'Swan Song' Columbo even assures the killer that he 'can't be all bad'. Several killers compliment Columbo on his breaking the case and discovering their guilt before they are taken into custody.
While every detail of the murderer's actions and ruse is generally shown to the viewer, Columbo's true thoughts and intentions are almost never revealed until near the end of the episode. Columbo's manner and erratic behavior often leaves the murderer uncertain of whether they are succeeding in deceiving the detective, an uncertainty which may be shared by the viewer. Columbo generally maintains a friendly relationship with the murderer until the end, apologizing repeatedly for taking up their time with questions, even as his true suspicions become increasingly evident. The point at which Columbo first begins to suspect the murderer is generally not revealed, leaving the true motivations for the detective's apparently bumbling actions for the viewer to decide. In some episodes, Columbo reveals that his suspicions were aroused during the initial investigation, while in others he states he never suspected the killer until deep into the case.
Columbo's erratic behavior and absentminded manner is often key to solving the case, whether through causing the murderer to underestimate the detective's abilities, encouraging them to provide assistance beyond that which they might otherwise provide, or through irritating and infuriating the murderer such that they inadvertently cause critical information to be revealed. Throughout the case, Columbo generally remains friendly, apologetic and polite, even when faced with anger.
The ongoing dialogue between Columbo and the killer is a key component to the series. In solving the case, Columbo tends to work closely with the killer, visiting them repeatedly to ask further questions, and informing them as to the latest developments in the case. Columbo also often appears unexpectedly in the vicinity of the killer's home or place of work, making himself a persistent if apparently amicable presence in their lives. While apparently due to the necessity of their involvement in the case, this serves as opportunity for the detective to scrutinize, question and influence the killer. As further evidence is revealed, Columbo shares with the killer his thoughts on the case, pointing out contradictions between the new evidence and the killer's stated version of events in a generally amicable, conversational style. In response, the killer assists the detective by providing explanations for the discrepancies, whether through pre-arranged details or apparent improvisation. Columbo generally receives these explanations with great appreciation, often complimenting the killer's detective skills in a self-deprecating manner, before pointing out a flaw in the explanation.
Each case is generally concluded in a similar style, focusing on the dialogue between Columbo and the killer, and the impact on the latter of the revelation of a final and usually conclusive piece of evidence. In some episodes, Columbo visits the killer accompanied by uniformed officers, thus signalling to the audience that this is the final confrontation, and that the arrest of the killer is now imminent. During the final scene Columbo drops any remaining pretence of uncertainty, and shares with the killer details of the detective's workings and eventual arrival at the conclusion of the killer's guilt. Columbo's believed version of events is asserted and the killer shown that no room for doubt remains. The killer's reaction following the realisation that they have been caught varies, with some conversing in a friendly manner with the lieutenant about the error that closed the case, and others becoming aggressive or despondent. On occasion, Columbo will even sympathize with the killer over their motive for committing the crime. Following the killer's reaction, the episode generally ends, with no following or concluding scenes.
Class tension is often apparent between Columbo, a humble man with seemingly working class origins, and the killer, who is often affluent and well-positioned, and sometimes condescending. In some cases, the killer's arrogance and dismissive attitude help Columbo with his investigation, allowing him to manipulate his suspects into self-incrimination. In most cases, the killer initially underestimates Columbo, only realising the true extent of his shrewdness as the case draws near to its conclusion. At the conclusion, many affluent killers have a quizzical look as if to wonder how someone like Columbo could outsmart them.
Columbo's disheveled appearance is also often the source of initial confusion regarding his identity, to comic effect. Columbo is at times mistaken for a homeless man (as in "Negative Reaction"), a client or a bumbling passer-by, even by police officers. This is often due in part to his absentminded and unprepossessing manner, such as when inadvertently stumbling onto a television set during filming in "Fade in to Murder". Columbo's appearance sometimes prevents him from being admitted to places; and, only the flashing of his badge allows him to proceed unabated.
With the final arrest, the killer always goes quietly. In some instances, such as Ruth Gordon's avenging mystery writer in "Try and Catch Me", Janet Leigh's terminally ill actress in "Forgotten Lady", or Donald Pleasence's vintner in "Any Old Port in a Storm", the killer is more sympathetic than the victim or victims.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=DVD Talk )
There are very few attempts to deceive the viewer or to provide a twist in the tale. One exception is "Last Salute to the Commodore", where Robert Vaughn is seen elaborately disposing of a body, but is proved later to be covering for his alcoholic wife whom he mistakenly thought to be the murderer.

抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア(Wikipedia)

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