With Janet Leigh,
in the Columbo episode, “Forgotten Lady”, reality and fiction co-exist and one is indistinguishable from another. Memories are written, re-written, and forgotten. It is an episode about nostalgia, past glories, and deceptive clues. Continue reading about 5 things you may have missed watching “Forgotten Lady”.
Number 1: Hints of Grace’s memory problems come early
Grace shows hints of memory lapses very early in the episode. While riding back with Ned Diamond, discussing their Broadway musical, she has difficulty recalling a name. There is also a very subtle hint of repeating instructions to her driver, Raymond. You’ll have it to watch the episode again and pay attention to the cutaway of Raymond to make your own observation.
Number 2: Grace didn’t forget to murder her husband
One easy, yet misguided conclusion, is Grace decides to murder her husband after he refuses to finance a half-million dollars for a Broadway show that evening. In fact, Grace had already prepared her outfit beforehand. She chooses an assassin-black leotard underneath her white gown. She may have memory issues but no problems holding a grudge.
Number 3: Dr. Willis never goes to the garage in slippers
One of Columbo’s key evidence was Dr. Willis’ slippers. Without scuff marks, he suspects he couldn’t had made it to the garage to grab his gun. This theory only works if a) going to the garage undoubtedly leaves marks on slippers and b) Dr. Willis had never, ever considered walking in slippers to the garage as long as he had owned them.
Number 4: There is no around-the-world trip
While Dr. Henry Willis talks about going on a world trip with his wife, we know later she has little as a week to live. Dr. Willis knew this. Without a hint of preparation, a date was never given when their trip would kick off. Either the doctor tried to time his wife’s passing overseas, or it was only a rouse to keep her from committing plans for the future.
Number 5: Columbo’s film tampering could have killed Grace
According to Lt. Columbo, stress could kill Grace at any moment. But he goes ahead and messes with her favorite film anyways. Anxious and angry, Grace is on a verge of a stroke-inducting panic attack, when her film breaks. Columbo’s enthusiasm to prove his point almost goes too far.
Bonus: John Payne’s debilitating car accident is worked into his character
John Payne is Ned Diamond, in his final appearance on screen and film. Playing a famous actor and dancer,his career was cut short due to a car accident that ruined his legs. In real life, John Payne suffered a debilitating car accident that ended his career in dancing. And if you guessed, it was because of his legs. A great example of art initiating life. Read his bio on imdb.com.