June 9th, 2020

Cooper and Bowie

All About Anne Baxter



What goes around comes around on Columbo, sort of. The 1973 episode, "Requiem for a Fallen Star", features Anne Baxter as the famous movie siren in decline, essentially the opposite of the rising young star she played in All About Eve. It's a fun episode, even if Baxter is a bit of a ham in it. Peter Falk still manages to squeeze some genuine sweetness from the story as the fan who truly didn't want to believe one of his favourite stars could be a murderer.



Just like her character in All About Eve, Baxter's involved with the cynical, razor wit movie critic, though in this case he's played by Mel Ferrer instead of George Sanders. Ferrer's neither as witty nor as charming as Sanders, though. Sanders, even when he was playing a complete bastard, had a subtle undercurrent of melancholy warmth to him. Mel's okay but he's no Jose or Miguel.



We could still think of this episode as secretly featuring Baxter in the same role she played in the great movie with Bette Davis, though. It's easy to assume she'd end up in a poisonous relationship with another critic twenty years down the line.



It's another episode with a great cast sauntering about mansions and cafes before the dishevelled detective shuffles in and spoils it all. Also featured are Kevin McCarthy and All About Eve costume designer Edith Head.

Columbo is available on Amazon Prime.