The Rockford Files is an American television drama series which aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974 and January 10, 1980. It has remained in regular syndication to the present day. The show stars James Garner as Los Angeles-based Private Investigator Jim Rockford.
The show was created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J.Cannell. Huggins had created the television show Maverick (1957–1962), which had also starred Garner, and he wanted to try to recapture that magic in a "modern day" detective setting. He teamed with Cannell, who had written for Jack Webb productions such as Adam 12 and Chase (1973–74, NBC), to create Rockford.
The show was credited as "A Public Arts / Roy Huggins Production" along with Universal Studios and in association with Cherokee Productions. Cherokee was the name of Garner's own company, which he ran with partners Meta Rosenberg and Juanta Bartlett, who doubled as story editor during most of Rockford's run.
The series' theme by composers Mike Post and Peter Carpenter was released as a single and went to No10 on the Billboard Hot 100 remaining on the chart for 44 weeks and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arranagement
In 2002, The Rockford Files was ranked no 39 on Tv Guides fiftieth greatest TV shows of all time.
The Rockford Files continues to air in re-runs today. A pilot for a remake of the series was written and produced for NBC by David Shore in 2010, with Dermot Mulroney playing the title character, but was not picked up by the network due to complaints that it was not written well and the lead was miscast. NBC then gave it to Peter Berg to rewrite and produce. As of January 2011, the project is still in development at NBC.
Producers Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell devised the main character to be a rather significant departure from typical television detectives of the time; essentially Maverick as a modern detective, Rockford had served time in California's San Quentin Prison in the 1960s due to a wrongful conviction. After five years, he received a pardon. His infrequent jobs as a private investigator barely allow him to maintain his dilapidated mobile home (which doubles as his office) in a parking lot on the beaches of Malibu, California.
Each episode of the show begins with a Cold Open of a telephone answering machine recording, often made by a client giving excuses for not paying Rockford's rate of "$200 a day, plus expenses".
In early episodes in the show's first season, Rockford's trailer is located in a parking lot alongside the highway (address 2354 Pacific Coast Hwy) and near the ocean; for the rest of the series, the trailer is at Paradise Cove (address 29 Cove Road), adjacent to a pier and a restaurant (The Sand Castle now known as the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe).In contrast to most TV private eyes of the time, Rockford wears low-budget 'off the rack' clothing and avoids fights. He rarely carries the Colt Detective special revolver which he does not have a permit for, preferring to talk his way out of trouble. He works on cold cases, missing persons investigations, and low-budget insurance scams and repeatedly states in the series that he does not handle "open cases" to avoid trouble with the police.
Rockford's pursuit of these cases often leads to difficulties with his friend in the LAPD, Sgt. Dennis Becker, a homicide detective struggling to advance in the department under a series of overbearing lieutenants. The two most notable are Alex/Thomas Diehl during the first, second and fourth seasons and Doug Chapman in the third to sixth seasons. Those higher-ups invariably hate Rockford (and private investigators generally) because of their perception that either he is meddling in open cases or is trying to make the LAPD look incompetent in its handling of closed ones. Further, Rockford often calls Becker asking for favors, such as running license plates through the state computer system, sometimes annoying the already overworked cop. By the fifth season, Becker is promoted to lieutenant; it was stated in the story line that Becker's association with Rockford, considered by LAPD brass to be a shifty ex-con, had probably hampered Becker's chances for promotion. Chapman also intensely dislikes it when Becker becomes his "equal". Becker appears in 89 of the 123 episodes.
Rockford's father, Joseph "Rocky" Rockford, is an ex-Seabee, semi-retired semi-truck driver who often nags his son to get more stable (and less dangerous) employment, often urging him to follow in his footsteps as a truck driver (especially in early seasons). The relationship of father and son was an integral part of the show. Rocky appears in 101 episodes, and usually gets involved (whether he likes it or not) in his son's cases. Occasionally, he even hires Jim himself. Adding to the credibility of the casting was the physical resemblance between Garner and Beery. Jim Rockford's mother is never shown or named, and is only referred to indirectly.
Rockford's scheming former San Quentin cellmate, Evelyn "Angel" Martin (something of a comic relief character), almost always gets Rockford in trouble, usually by involving him in hare-brained scams, which as often as not result in either his arrest or being placed on somebody's hit list. In spite of this, however, Jim considers Angel as one of his best, if most exasperating, pals.
Rockford has a close relationship with his attorney, the idealistic, tenacious Elizabeth "Beth" Davenport. It is implied the two become romantically involved for a time. After Corbett was dropped from the show after the fourth season (allegedly due to contract disputes between Universal, which owned her contract, and Cherokee Productions, Garner's company), a new legal adviser (Jim's disbarred attorney friend John "Coop" Cooper), and a new romantic interest (Kathryn Harrold as Dr. Megan Dougherty) for Rockford were added. Megan Dougherty was a blind yet very independent psychiatrist, who makes three appearances in the fifth and sixth seasons. Rockford also has romantic flings with numerous other women, but none that last.
Garner's brother, Jack Garner, made 23 guest appearances playing (at various times) a policeman, a gas station attendant, and a stranger in a bathroom. The most regular character Jack played was that of police "Captain McEnroe" a number of times in the final season.
The show went into hiatus late in 1979 when Garner was told by his doctors to take time off because of his bad knees and back, as well as an ulcer. He sustained the former conditions largely because of his insistence on performing most of his own stunts, especially those involving fist fights or car chases. Because of his excruciating physical pain, Garner eventually opted not to continue with the show a number of months later, and NBC cancelled the program in mid-season. It was also alleged that Rockford became extremely expensive to produce, mainly due to the extensive location filming and frequent use of high-end actors as guest stars. According to some sources, NBC and Universal claimed the show was generating a deficit of several million dollars, a staggering amount for a nighttime show in those days, although Garner and his production team Cherokee Productions claimed the show always turned a profit.
The series pilot aired on NBC March 27, 1974 as a 90-minute made for television movie. In the pilot, Robert Donley played Rockford's father; Lindsay Wagner also starred and later made a return appearance. The pilot was titled Backlash of the Hunter for syndication.
Four written, but unproduced, season 6 episodes have been referred to in "Thirty Years of the Rockford Files" by Ed Robertson (2005). There is no mention of these episodes having been filmed. This would appear to be the source of the unsubstantiated rumour that four filmed but unaired Rockford episodes were destroyed in a fire in 1980.ROCKFORD FILES: 1ST SEASON
PILOT. THE ROCKFORD FILES (called BACKLASH OF THE HUNTER in syndication)
Rockford investigates a murder case that has been abandoned by the police, shoots the murderers' plane out of the sky, and then gets arrested for it! Some interesting features in this pilot are that Jim's father is played by a different actor and Jim admits he spent time in prison for an armed robbery he did not commit (Never mentioned again in the series). Guest stars Billy Mumy (Lost In Space) and Linsay Wagner.
1. THE KIRKOFF CASE
Though police have closed the case as unsolved, Larry Kirkoff remains a suspect. He hires Rockford for a $20,000 fee to "solve the case." Rockford has qualms about the case since he feels it could lead to Larry and a "no pay." His investigation, however, points to two other possible suspects: Tawnia, the late Kirkoff's mistress; and the cowboy Travis, believed to have been Mrs. Kirkoff's paramour. The trail leads to the underworld and some strange relevations.
2. THE DARK AND BLOODY GROUND
When private-eye Jim Rockford succumbs to the pressures of his attorney friend, Beth, to investigate a homicide involving a screenwriter, he suddenly becomes a target of would-be assassins himself.
3. EXIT PRENTISS CARR
Rockford, doing a favour for a longtime friend, checks on a philandering husband and finds him dead under mystenous circumstances. Police term the death a suicide but Rockford pursues further, uncovering a ring of blackmailers.
4. IN PURSUIT OF CAROL THORNE
Rockford is hired to trail a young beauty just released from prison in hope she will lead him to the recovery of a million dollars taken in a robbery three years earlier.
5. SAY GOODBYE TO JENNIFER
Rockfords uncanny knowledge of fashion models quirks leads to the solution of a homicide in which a model, a dentist, a photographer and the underworld are involved.
6.THE DEXTER CRISIS
Dexter hires Rockfordto locate Susan, who is missing from her apartment, shared by fellow coed Louise. While getting needed information from Louise, he is saddled with her "partnership" and the two follow a trail to Las Vegas. Susan is spotted, but the assignment is complicated by a second private detective, Higby, who seems to be following the same trail.
7. CHARLIE HARRIS AT LARGE
Playboy, Charlie Harris, suspected in the death of his wealthy wife, turns to his former prison cellmate, Rockford, to prove his innocence, claiming Linda, a mysterious beauty, as his alibi. Rockfords efforts to track Linda down are hampered both by her unsavory husband and the police, led by Sgt. Garvey, who would like to put Rockford and Charile away.
8. THE COUNTESS
While Deborah and rough-hewn Ryder enjoy the affluent life, she suddenly is confronted by hoodlum Carl, who remembers her jumping bail on a minorcharge some years back. When Carl is fatally shot, Rockford suddenly becomes the prime suspect.
9. FIND ME IF YOU CAN
A beautiful young girl hires Rockford to find Out who she really is.
10. AURA LEE, FAREWELL
Sara, operator of a boutique, is convinced her employer and friend, Aura Lee, did not die of a drug overdose, as police reported. Rockford's investigation reveals that Sen. Murdock gave Aura Lee a "lift" in his car shortly before she was found dead, and that conman Dirk also was a "friend" of Aura Lee's.
11. CALEDONIA, IT'S WORTH A FORTUNE!
Rockford, hired by a convict's wife to find a fortune stashed on a ranch, discovers obstacles on both sides of the law as he pursues the case.
12. TALL WOMAN IN RED WAGON
Sandra hires Rockford to find her six-foot-tall newspaperco-worker, Charlotte, who had cleared out with her red station wagon. The trail uncovers an underworld connection and leads to a cemetery, a pullman train and a strange doctor's office.
13. THE BIG RIPOFF
Working on a theory that an insurance company was taken tor $400,000 in settling with a lone plane crash survivor, Rockford turns up a plot laced with chicanery. Rockford is hired by Nancy to find out if her lover, Steve, died accidentally or was done in by his wife, Ginny, who "miraculously" survived the crash.
14. PROFIT AND LOSS- PART I
Kidnappers knock out Rockford while abducting a client from his trailer during stock market manipulations. Fielder, head of hugh conglomerate, Financial Dynamics, Inc., warns Rocktord that the "kidnapping" of his top aide never occurred and for Rockford to quit prying.
15. PROFIT AND LOSS- PART II
Rockford and his client, Doris, "burglarize" a print shop, searching for clues which will lead to stock market fixing and homicide. Their print shop 'caper not only draws police but smokes out the ugly side of Fielder.
16. COUNTER GAMBIT
Convict Moss hires Rockford under the pretext that he wants to find his girl when he actually is after her jewelry. Rockford finds the girl and the jewelry but needs help from his former prison buddy, Angel, to outsmart Moss and his partner, Crown.
17. THE FOUR POUND BRICK
After police writeoff a rookie's death as accidental, Rockford is hired by his father Joseph and the mother of the dead officer, Kate, an old family friend, to find out what really happened.
Claire persuades Rockford to check on a "friend" under the pretense that she is being 'victimized by a loan shark, but the "friend" is really a missing narcotics officer; and Claire has underworld connections.
19. SLEIGHT OF HAND
After Rockford and Karen return from an outing, she vanishes and her next-door neighbour is found slain. Rockford then launches a search for his girlfriend, and the trail leads to a fugitive syndicate chief.
Rockford travels to Las Vegas to deliver an insurance check to a beautiful young recording artist, Nancy, but discovers she is a prisoner of a syndicate which is exploiting her. Rockford finds Nancy in a dingy hotel room, where syndicate hoodlums assault him and steal the $10,000 cheque.
21. JUST BY ACCIDENT
Stock car driver Billy Jo dies in what police term a traffic mishap, but Rockford, hired by the victim's wealthy mother, Louise, reopens the case and uncovers a clever insurance claim racket.
ROCKFORD FILES: 2ND SEASON
22. CHICKEN LITTLE IS A LITTLE CHICKEN
Angel asks Rockford to find Joey Little, who he claims disappeared owing him $2,000. In the course of the search, Rockford discovers a $30,000 swindle is involved and further, that Sierra, head of an underworld faction, thinks both Angel and Rockford are infringing on his territory. To save his own life, Rockford employs a neat trick, complete with Angel's fake funeral, to pit Sierra against another underworld faction. This shell game approach, however, has its drawbacks.
23. THE GREAT BLUE LAKE LAND AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
Stranded in the desert town of Blue lake, Rockford stores $10,000 cash, money for a client's bail, in the land development company office. The following morning, the cash and attending salesman are gone. Rockford enlists the help of his father, Rocky, and an ex-con friend, Harry. Harry takes a job as a salesman and Rocky as a prospective land buyer.
24. THE ITALIAN BIRD FIASCO
Rockford is hired to purchase a rare sculpted bird at auction. As he leaves with his rare "bird", Rockford is attacked and he realizes that his employer was looking for something more than a collector's item.
25. THE AARON IRONWOOD SCHOOL OF SUCCESS
Aaron, who lived with the Rockfords as a child, is now highly successful selling his School of Success on the old pyramid franchise scheme. He induces Rockford to take title to the schools temporarily to prevent the underworld from muscling in. Rockford soon learns that both the underworld and the federal government are after Aaron, whose success story is somewhat tinged.
26. PASTORIA PRIME PICK
Rockford is towed into the small town of Pastoria and this is where his troubles begin. The Mayor, sheriff, and prosecutor are collaborating ins crime operation under the guise of progress, and Rockford soon becomes just another one of their victims.
27. JOEY BLUE EYES
Joey is being foreclosed by two underworld factions who lent him money at "shark" rates, and, in addition, assaulted his daughter. Rockford, with much difficulty, restrains Joey from physical action while he and his attorney, Beth, and an old friend, Angel, use finesse and a bizarre scheme to help Joey resolve his problems.
28.THE NO-CUT CONTRACT
When King Sturtevant, a small-time pro quarterback, is caught by federal agents and questioned about tapes with evidence against underworld figures, he finds Rockford's name in the phone book and tells the officers that Rockford has them. Rockford realizes he must work for King in order to clear himself.
29.THE FARNSWORTH STRATAGEM
A young writer, Audry, along with Becker, has purchased a share in a condominium. When they subsequently discover they own only a part of the lobby, they call on Rockford. With Joseph and Angel running an oil drilling operation at the swank complex, the conspirators now vie for mineral rights.
30. A BAD DEAL IN THE VALLEY
A sophisticated real estate woman uses her old flame, Rockford, to deliver escrow papers to another agent - but the package contains $100,000 in bogus money. Rockford also discovers that Karen's love for him is a fleeting thing.
31. THE DEEP BLUE SLEEP
After a frantic phone call to attorney Beth, model Margaus disappears. Beth hires Rockford to find her, but before he gets a good start, Margaux is found dead.
32. THE HAMMER OF 'C' BLOCK
Convict, Dandy Fitch, after serving twenty years for slaying his wife, hires Rockford to find the real assassin. Rockford, who once was a cellmate of Dandy, reluctantly takes the case.
33. WHERE'S HOUSTON
Rocktord searches for the granddusghter of Rocky's old pal, Preli, believed a kidnap victim, but his investigation uncovers a plot to gobble up real estate, including Preli's property in a rundown end of town.
34.GEARJAMMERS - PART I
Rockford's father becomes the target of assassins after he observes an underworld payoff, and Rock-ford searches frantically for him. While selling tickets to a truckers' ball, Joseph Rockford jknown as Rockyj sees mobster boss Hammel payoffs warehouse foreman as part of a hijacking scheme. In seeking Rocky, Jim learns his father is leading a "double life." Rocky has a girlfriend, Mary.
35. GEARJAMMERS - PART II
Failing to "get" Rocky the first time, assassins continue their efforts while Rockford and police zero in on a bizarre hijacking scheme...hijacked trailers are found, minus their tractors.
36. THE REAL EASY RED DOG
Working to recover stolen jewels for an insurance company that does not want police intervention, Tins hires Jim on a phony suicide investigation to throw authorities off her trail. Rockford soon learns he has been "had" - a suicide turns out to be a homicide and both he and Tins become targets of racketeers' assassination plans.
37. RESURRECTION IN BLACK AND WHITE
Magazine writer Susan Alesander hires Rockford to help her free a man convicted of homicide who she believes is innocent.
38. TWO INTO 5.56 WON'T GO
Colonel Bowie supposedly died when his jeep overturned, and his daughter, Shans Bowie, hired Rockford to investigate. The late Colonel had coincidentally called Rockford for help just before the mishap, and Rockford's phone number in Bowie's pocket have now made Rockford a suspect.
39. THE REINCARNATION OF ANGIE
While Angie is convinced her brother, Tom Perris, was abducted from a phone booth by the underworld, Rockford discovers other possibilities. He soon finds he isis the middle of Federal Agent Shore's investigation of the homicide death otan agent working with Perris. Rockford's probe is hampered both by the underworld and the law as he infiltrates the brokerage firm, headed by Sherm Whitlaw.
40. THE GIRL IN THE BAY CITY BOYS CLUB
After a successful evening of cards with Boys Club founder George Welles and other members, Rockford is tailed home by Kate Flanders. Her esplanation of her activities merely accelerates Rockford's probe, which leads directly to the District Attorney's office and a face-to-face cost ront a-lion with Deputy Kimball, who seems to have a double identity.
41. A PORTRAIT OF ELIZABETH
Comptroller Dave Delarous finds Rockford through Beth Davenport - his close friend, and Roclrtord's attorney - to investigale possible thievery of cashier cheques and what starts out as a routine job turns into a nightmare for Rockford and Beth.
42. IN HAZARD
Attorney Beth Davenport needs Rockford's help after she counsels a stock broker ins tax suit and suddenly finds herself in jail and the target of an assassination attempt.
43. FOUL ON THE FIRST PLAY
Rockford accepts an assignment from Mark Hayes, thinking he is still a parole officer. When Rockford discovers Hayes has become a private investigator named Mark O'Brien and is using him as a decoy in helping a client obtain a new basketball franchise, he puts his own game plan into motion.
ROCKFORD FILES: 3RD SEASON
44. THE FAMILY HOUR
As the Rockfords are about to start on a fishing trip, Mann shows up outside their trailer. Rockford proceeds to look for her missing father, Stu Gaily. He is not alone in the search, since the underworld and Federal narcotics agent Al Jollelt are also hot on the trail - but for different reasons.
45. RETURN TO THE 38TH PARALLEL
Brennan, Jim's buddy, shows up at Rocktord's trailerbroke and unemployed. Coincidentally, Marcy Brown arrives seeking Rockford's help to find her sister and, before he can turn her down, Brennan accepts the case. The search starts at the mansion of multi-millionaire Stabile, and it is soon evident that a 3,000-year-old stolen Shang-Vin vase - not the sister - is the real object of Marcy's quest.
46. THE FOURTH MAN
Lori, a stewardess friend of investigator Rocktord, is the target of an assassin in an airport parking lot, and Rockford soon discovers the prime suspect is a cold-blooded "hit' man.
47. DIRTY MONEY, BLACK LIGHT
Rockford enters the case after his father, Rocky, vacationing in Hawaii, receives huge sums of money in the mail at home, and suddenly both the mob and lederal agents are interested is his good fortune. Rockford inadvertently learns the money is from a Las Vegas skimming operation that the federal agents are watching closely. The case is brought to a premature head whens Rockford's questionable buddy, Angel, steals a couple of the bills and changes them.
48 THE ORACLE WORE A CASHMERE SUIT
Lt. Chapman is convinced that Clementi has supernatural powers and when he leads police along the beach to Jim's mobile office-home, they want somd answers from Rockford. The widespread publicity that always accompanies Clementi alerts the underworid to Rockford's possible involvement and they pay him an unfriendly visit thinking he has $80,000 the dead man received for a cocaine delivery.
49. FEEDING FRENZY
Sandy Baylock convinces Rockford that her father, Charlie, a reformed drunk, wants to return a half-million dollars stolen three years eartier. Charlie stashed the money in a sate deposit vault until the statute of limitations ran out. Rockford soon discovers that undeworld figures are also waiting for the statute to expire, figuring Charlie would lead them to the loot.
50.THE TROUBLE WITH WARREN
Rockford's attomey, Beth Davenport, pressures him into helping her brilliant cousin who is suspected of slaying his boss, and Rockford's investigation uncovers a web of bribery and conspiracy. Warren Weeks has a genius intelligence, but he is also a suspect in the death of his superior. It becomes obvious that he is being set up by someone.
51. COULTER CITY WILDCAT
Soon affer Rocky is awarded a parcel of federal land in a public drawing, two toughs rough him up, demanding he sign away his rights. When Rockford learns of the assault, he leads for the oil community of Coulter City and discovers an unsavory group with a bizarre scheme in action.
52. THE TREES, THE BEES, AND T.T. FLOWERS - PART I
Rockford succumbs to the pleas of his faf her, Rocky, to help get their old friend, T.T. Flowers, out of a senior citizens hospital, where his daughter and son-in-law have committed him. Before Rocky's eyes, his friend T.T. is whisked from his three-acre plot in the valley by two white-coated men in a green van. Rockford's investigation uncovers a conspiracy in which land developer Muellard has T.T.'s son-in-law, Sherm Royale, in a bind, and is forcing him to "sell' the old man's farm to him.
53. ThE TREES, ThE BEES, AND T.T. FLOWERS - PART II
T.T. is most grateful for Rockf ord's help in getting him out of Horizon Crest, but is determined to protect his three acres from his scheming sonin-law, Sherm Royale, and the ruthless land developer, Muellard.
54. RATTLERS ' CLASS OF ' 63
Rockford's former cellmate, Angel, suckers him into being best man at his wedding, which turns out to be part of Angel's scheme to swindle an Armenian family in a real estate deal. Soon after Angel is married to Regine Boyajian, Rockford discovers he has been used by his wily friend, but the plot has only lust began to thicken.
55. NEW LIFE, OLD DRAGONS
A Vietnamese beauty hires Rock-ford to find her missing brother and the investigation uncovers a bizarre ptot involving three en-soldiers, a CIA agent and $500,000 stolen from American payrolls in Saigon.
56.SO HELP ME GOD
Rockford, summoned before the Grand Jury concerning the alleged kidnapping of a union official, is cited for contempt and put in a Federal prison. When Rockford is released briefly on a technical charge, he is able to work up a defense. But before he gets full proof he is subpcenaed again and then jailed on the contempt charge.
57.DROUGHT AT INDIANHEAD RIVER
Rockford's friend Angel suddenly becomes wealthy and big in real estate, but the price of his affluence includes an unholy alliance with the underworld. While Angel is enjoying his new riches, Rockford learns that the mob plans to assassinate his friend as part of a big tax-swindle plan.
58. PIECE WORK
Rockford is hired by an insurance company to check out an accident claim and uncovers a gun-running caper that makes him the target of both the underworld and federal agents.
59. STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK YOUR BONES, BUT WATERBURY WILL BURY YOU
Rockford's clients are fellow privale Investigators who are being illegally forced Out of business by a conglomerate agency which goes to elaborate means, including homicide, 10 stamp out competition.
60. THERE'S ONE IN EVERY PORT
After being taken by a father/daughter swindel team, Rockford puts his own con game in motion while trying to recover $200,000 stolen from him and others in the robbery of a private poker party by masked bandits.
61. TO PROTECT AND SERVE - PART I
Police buff Lianne Sweeney, who follows police calls on her citizens band radio, causes problems for Detective Becker when she involves herself in Rockford's search for a mobster lawyer's missing fiancee.
62.TO PROTECT AND SERVE - PART I
Police groupie Sweeney jeopardizes the lives of Rockford and Patsy Fossler, the woman he is shielding from hit men, when she tells the thugs where Rockford is hiding her.
63. THE BECKER CONNECTION
Detective Becker is accused of stealing heroin from the police property room. Convinced he was framed, Rockford discovers that a "has-been' comedian, Marty Golden, and nightclub race-car owner, Alex Kasajian, were perpetrators of the set -up, along with Officer Dolan, Becker's "best friend".
64. JUST ANOTHER POLISH WEDDING
Ex-con Gandy Fitch, one half of a team of private detectives, competes with Rockford on a finder's fee case. Fitch reminds Rockford of their time in prison together prior to Rockford's pardon. When filch mentions that he wants to gel into detective work, Rockford steers him to his former parole off icerturned investigator, Marcus Hayes. Fitch inadvertently reveals Rock-ford's efforts to find a missing heir, and Hayes decides to use Fitch for his own purposes.
65. CRACK BACK
Counselor Beth Davenport hires Rockford to find a missing witness who can provide an alibi for her client, a football player who is charged with homicide, when she is suddenly harassed by phone calls and pornographic gifts. During his investigation, Rock-ford uncovers a link with a mysterious person who is trying to break down Beth's courtroom performance.
ROCKFORD FILES: 4TH SEASON
66. THE DOG AND PONY SHOW
Rockford agrees to help a frightened young woman overcome a mental problem and in the process touches off a bizarre national intelligence agency investigation centering on an underworld figure. And Rockford and his friend, Angel, are ordered to joins psychiatric therapy group after Angel implicates Rockford in a petty theft.
67. THE SECOND CHANCE
At a third-rate bar where he is a bouncer, Gandy meets and falls in love with Theda, a singer. When Theda's ex-husband, Joe - just paroled from prison - shows up and begins harassing her, Gandy hires Rockford, whose probe reveals that the Maha has a special interest in Theda in connection with a counterfeit poker-chip scheme.
68. THE COMPETITIVE EDGE
Rockford is hot on the trail of a "missing' banker who supposedly skipped bail on a theft charge, when suddenly his search lands him in an insane asylum, committed under a false name.
69. BATTLE OF CANOGA PARK
Troubles mount for Rockford when his gun is found at the scene of a homicide and his alibi - that the weapon was stolen from his cookie jar - adds little to his defense. After a series of dead ends, Rockford encounters a group of eccentrics who may provide a clue in the solution of the case.
70. THE MAYOR'S COMMITTEE FROM DEER LICK FALLS
Small-town citizens hire Rockford to linda used tire truck but later reveal they really want him to dispose of a girl who revealed their tan-dodge game to the IRS. Rockford sets Out to find the girl before the committee gets someone else to do the job.
71. IRVING THE EXPLAINER
Rockford is hired by Karen Hall who claims to be a free-lance writer, to do research work on the late famous director, Alvah Korper ,and come up with biographical material. Rockford soon discovers Korper was a Nazi sympathizer and that two French secret police are also in Hollywood inquiring into the man's past.
72. TROUBLE IN CHAPTER 17
The author of a best-selling women's manual hires Rockford to investigate threats that have been made against her life. The campaign of terror takes a deadly turn when Rockford uncovers an explosive domestic situation, which leads to homicide. Rockford puts his own life in jeopardy when he attempts to slop the assailant from striking a second time.
73. BEAMER'S LAST CASE
When Rockford retums from vacation, he discovers that someone has assumed his identity, run up hugh expenses and antagonized clients who now seek revenge.
74. THE PRISONER OF ROSEMONT HALL
Rocktord investigates the hazing death of a young college friend, and in the process uncovers a second homicide involving an Arab student from a wealthy family, who had been kidnapped.
75. REQUIEM FOR A FUNNY BOX
Though he doesn't find it funny, Rockford has the last laugh on a second-rate comedian who leaves him dangling with a homicide charge rather than admit he has a file-card index of jokes.
76. FORCED RETIREMENT
The head of a company claims to have developed a sensational new oft-shore oil drilling device, and Rock-ford risks his life investigating the promotion. Rockford masquerades as a rich Oklahoman and is zeroing in on the unsavory operahon until his old friend, Angel, meets him in a restaurant with Susan Kenniston, a high official of the group, and blows Rockford's cover.
77. QUICKIE NIRVANA
Rockford allows Sky Aquarian, a hippie throwback to the rebellious 60s, to use his mailing address to avoid bill collectors, but thugs working for attorney Alan Bayliss and his client, recording artist Maceo, find her. They accuse both her and Rockford of stealing $30,000 hush money Sky was to have delivered to a broadwalk blackmailer who was a witness to Maceo's crime. Rockford must work through a maze of "mind-benders" at the Gordon Borsher Sunshine institute to unravel Sky's entanglement.
78. HOTEL OF FEAR
The state provides Angel with luxurious protection in return for testimony against a syndicate hit man, and Rock-ford's vacillating buddy lives it up in posh hotels - until the suspect is found not guilty. When mobster Del Kane is turned loose, he adds Angel - and then Rockford - to his death contracts.
79.THE GANG AT DON'S DRIVE-IN
A washed-up author inveigles his old fhend Jim Rockford into researching a high school class of '62 and in the process Rockford uncovers a cover-up of a homicide committed several years ago.
80. THE QUEEN OF PERU
Rockford is hired by an insurance company to negotiate with cdminals for the return of a million-dollar stolen diamond when suddenly the gem inadvertently falls into the possession of a family travelling via camper. The race is now on, between Rockford and the crooks in the search for the family,
81. THE ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE
A retired FBI agent is determined to get revenge on an old underworld figure - who currently is a business partner with Rockford's naive father, Rocky, in a cafe. When retired agent Eddie LaSalle shows up at the truck-stop cafe to carry out his vendetta against Rocky's partner, Vince Whitehead, he assumes Rocky is also a mobster. Coming to his father's aid, Rock-ford not only must cope with the roughshod tactics of LaSalle, but fight ott members of the underworld, from which Vince had not totally retired.
82. THE DEADLY MAZE
An eccentric mental scientist who, under the guise of searching for his missing wife, puts Rockford through an elaborate stress exercise. Professor Von Albach gives Rockford obscure clues aboutthe missing Tracy, and then observes his reactions under frustration. But one clue leads Rockford to a skid row bar and discovery of Tracy's "other" life style, which involves a homicide not anticipated by the erudite professor.
83. THE PAPER PALACE
A prostitute hires Rockford to investigate mysterious death threats against her, and he quickly concedes her story to be true when two French-speaking thugs nearly do him in while he is staked out at her apartment. The trail lett by the suspects leads to a sophisticated businessman who hopes to prevent Rita from inheriting a fortune from his late partner.
84 SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST
Rockford is mistakenly abducted by federal agents and becomes involved in a plot to rescue an heiress from her husband, who is wheeling and dealing family materials to less-than-friendly countries. Atter Rockford is whisked to Mexico via private jet, Agent Guroll discovers he has the wrong man, but still convinces Rockford that he should contact international playgirl Christine van Deerline. Rockford's efforts in behalf of "national phde" to save Christine from her husband, Jon, are encouraged considerably by the woman's apparent romantic interests in his welfare,
85. DWARF IN A HELIUM HAT
After Rockford receives a death threat call, he deduces the message is meant for playboy Jay Rock-felt whose name is next to his in the phone bcok, and proceeds to warn him of the impending danger and protect him.
86. BACKLASH OF THE HUNTER - PART I
Rockford is approached by a young woman, Sara butler, to find out whether her father was slain or committed suicide.
87. BACKLASH OF THE HUNTER - PART II
Rockford's latest case becomes more complex when in the process of investigating, Rockford, the hunter, becomes the hunted.
ROCKFORD FILES: 5TH SEASON
88. THE CASE IS CLOSED PART I
Warner Jameson hires Rock-ford to investigate his prospective son-in-law, suspecting him to be a phony.
89. THE CASE IS CLOSED PART II
After a rough trip to Newark, and harassment by both the underworld and federal agents, Rockford would like to quit his current case but circumstances will now allow it. Then he learns that Jameson is prepared to go to grave extremes to protect his daughter.
90. THE HOUSE ON WILLIS AVENUE - PART I
Rockford is joined by novice detective Richie Brockelman to investigate the suspicious traffic death of a fellow private eye, Joe Tooley. So backtracking on Tooley's last investigation, they find an elaborate computer system at a house on Willis Avenue. This leads to conglomerate executive Garth McGregor, who, through his sophisticated detecting devices, is a jump ahead of them and even has plans for their demise.
91. THE HOUSE ON WILLIS AVENUE - PART II
Rockford and Brockleman continue to investigate the suspicious traffic death of a fellow private eye, and finally, it seems, they begin to get somewhere.
92. A THREE DAY AFFAIR WITH A THIRTY DAY ESCROW
Though Princess Khedra's husband is a philanderer, Khedra is condemned to death by her family when she runs ott with pseudo-writer Sean Innes. Rockford finds Innes, a gigolo living at the moment ott of the wealthy Miriam, and forces him to help find Khedra. Though Rockford uncovers the swindle between Innes and realtor Marguliex in which Khedra isa pawn, the princess's family still wants her to pay the supreme penalty.
93. A GOOD CLEAN BUST WITH SEQUEL RIGHTS
Rockford is hired as a bodyguard for an eu-cop, now a legendary figure with a TV show and toys patterned atter him, but the job becomes hazardous when past enemies try to kill him as well as his client.
94. ROSENDAHL AND GILDA STERN ARE DEAD
Rita Capkovic is present when her customer, Dr. Rosendahi, is assassinated on orders from Phil the Dancer, who wants revenge on thedoctorfor botching his hip surgery. Rita is arrested and charged with the slaying and it is up to Rockford to clear her and protect her from Phil, who wants all witnesses eliminated.
95. THE BATTLE-AXE AND THE EXPLODING CIGAR
Rocktord, broke and stranded in Las Vegas, ends up in custody when he innocently agrees to help drive a stolen car back to Los Angeles.
96. WHITE ON WHITE AND NEARLY PERFECT
When Rockford accepts an assignment to find a missing girl, he discovers he is on the case with a second private investigator, an eager, dashing young man, who, despite his energy, endangers both their lives.
97. HEARTACHES OF A FOOL
Recording star Charlie Strayhorn has diversified interests, including an Arkansas-based sausage company. Rockford's father, Rocky, becomes an innocent pawn in a war between members of a Chinese underworld mob and Strayhorn's crooked business managers.
98. A FAST COUNT
When a fighter's manager is accused of bribery and homicide, Rocktord, who owns a percentage of the boxer, investigates and the trail leads to a woman who does TV commercials for a used car dealership.
99. THE JERSEY BOUNCE
Rockford is accused of beating a man to death at a party hosted by Eugene and Mickey, recent arrivals from New Jersey who have been harassing Rockford's father and his neighbours. When Rockford hires high- powered attorney Wade Ward, he discovers Wade incompetent but finds that his researcher, Cooper, a diamond in the rough, has the brains. Rockford and Cooper work on the case and even get help from an underworld source,
100. KILL THE MESSENGER
Rockford jeopardizes his friendship with Detective Becker when he takes it upon himself to help investigate the slaying of Deputy Chief Towne's unfaithful wife. Though Towne assures Becker that he wants no favours, it becomes increasingly ditticult when the character of the Chief's wife is revealed - and the Chief himself becomes a suspect. Becker's task is further complicated because he is studying for lieutenant's bars; and he gets no help from his rookie partner, Dusenberg, who is preoccupied with his pregnant wife. But Rockford's unsolicited help proves to be of great assistance when he stumbles onto a telltale clue.
101. LOCAL MAN EATEN BY NEWSPAPER
Rockford becomes the target of a scandalous newspaper and underworld assassins when he investigates the shooting of, Dr. Hagans, a doctor who treats Hollywood's top stars.
102. THE EMPTY FRAME
At a party for Angel's brother-in-law, Aaron Kiel - just appointed a police commissioner - Rockford is an invited guest. Robbers crash the attair and order the males to remove their pants while they make ott with priceless pieces. In the ensuing days, Rockford is asked for help in solving the robbery.
103. WITH THE FRENCH HEEL BACK, CAN THE NEHRU JACKET BE FAR BEHIND?
Rockford enters the world of fashion when he suspects foul play after a model's death is written off by police as suicide. Designer, Masters, hires Rockford to investigate the model's death and the possible theft of an original dress design.
104. A MATERIAL DIFFERENCE
Angel inadvertently involves Rockford in his scheme of posing ass high-powered "hit man" - collecting half the fee up front, and then skipping out on fulfilling the death contract.
When Rockford agrees to investigate a shooting attempt on Valerie (a former romantic friend), and her pet dog, which occurred while they were walking on the beach, he finds himself forced into a painful side trip down memory lane. But the reopening of emotional wounds - at which Valerie is particularly adept - are minor compared to the danger he faces when caught in a deadly game of blackmail and inter-family treachery.
106. THE DEUCE
Jury duty leads to danger when Rockford stubbornly refuses to believe that an alcoholic is guilty of accidentally killing a legal secretary.
107. THE RETURN OF THE BLACK SHADOW
What starts out as a simple date between Rockford and Gail, a college physics researcher, soon ends tragically when The Rattlers, headed by Whispering Willie, attack at a gasoline station and kidnap Gail. Rockford manages to get a license plate number, and with this clue, Cooper -who at one time was a member of the rampaging Black Shadow gang
- sets out to square matters.
108. A DIFFERENT DRUMMER
Hospitalized by an accident, Rock-ford stumbles onto what appears to be a highly profitable organ transplant ring - despite denials from doctors. Though groggy from sedatives, Rocktord accidentally wanders into a room where Yost is extracting the organ. When he observes the donor, presumed dead, move an arm, he raises questions to hospital doctors, who dismiss the incident flippantly. As soon as Rockford is released, he pursues the investigation and discovers Yost is involved in an incredible scheme for his profitable organ transplant foundation.
NB: This episode also known as A CHORUS OF DRUMMERS.
109. BLACK MIRROR PART I
Dr. Megan Dougherty hires Rockford after being accosted in an elevator and later troubled by phone calls. After Rockford suspects one of her patients is responsible he finds himself ins dilemma - if he uncovers the assailant's identify, he will reveal Megan's mistake in orginally diagnosing her patient.
110. BLACK MIRROR PART II
Rockford's romantic involvement with his client, a blind and beautiful psychologist, increases the difficulty of his task.
111. THE MAN WHO SAW THE ALLIGATORS
Anthony Boy, a Brooklyn gangster who was caught "doing a job" in Calfornia, believes Rockford called the police, causing him to get arrested. Now released from prison, Anthony Boy craves revenge.
ROCKFORD FILES: 6TH SEASON
112. NEVER SEND A BOY KING TO DO A MAN'S JOB PART I
When Richie learns that his parents have been cheated by unscrupulous businessman Harold Jack Coombs, he calls on his former mentor, Rockford, for help. Reluctant to get involved, Rockford finally gives in and the two concoct a gigantic scheme requiring Rockford to assume his cowboy character of wealthy oil magnate Jimmy Joe Meeker.
113. NEVER SEND A BOY KING TO DO A MAN'S JOB PART II
Rockford and his ex- protege Richie Brockelman (from episode 90) have joined forces to pull off an elaborate con game, and are now struggling for the desired outcome.
114. PARADISE COVE
Mariette Hartley, who badgers Rockford in camera commercials on television, takes the harassment one step further as a hard- nosed court-appointed receiver out to collect a $35,000 judgementfrom Rockford. Alt hea Morgan arrives unexpectedly at Rockford's mobile home/office and begins taking inventory of his belongings to determine his ability to pay for bodily injuries suffered by neighbour C.C. Calloway, who was struck by the private eye's car. Things get worse for Rockford when Calloway leads Cove homeowners ins movement to oust him from the beach community.
115. LIONS TIGERS, MONKEYS AND DOGS PART I
Lauren Bacall, ins rare guest appearance, takes Rockford into the social swim
- the world of "beautiful people" - in her portrayal of a jet-setter mysteriously stalked by a would-be killer.
116. LIONS, TIGERS, MONKEYS AND DOGS PART II
Posing as one of her wealthy friends, Rockford quickly immerses himself in the social swim, attending a masquerade party aboard a yacht, dressed as a scholar - complete with robes, and mortarboard, At the party, a "hit" man masquerading as a monk attacks Kendall but is thwarted and chased overboard by Rockford. This is the beginning of a warm relationship as Kendall joins Rockford in the search for her assailant.
117. ONLY ROCK 'N' ROLL WILL NEVER DIE PART I
Rock star Tim Richie hires Rockford to find his missing producer, amid other frustrations - including a former live-in girlfriend suing him for half of his $30 million, mobsters bootlegging his music, and a female reporter dogging his tracks. Rockford gets the call from Richie through his old prison psi, Eddie, the current security chief for the rock giant.
118. ONLY ROCK 'N' ROLL WILL NEVER DIE PART II
After Rockford and his former prison pal, Eddie, escape with minor injuries sustained in a mysterious shooting attack, they stumble onto a clue through magazine wdter Whitney Cox which leads to the discovery of the body of the missing producer, Brian; whom Rockford suspected of being the connection to the underworld thett of the entertainer's latest album.
119. DEADLOCK IN PARMA
When Rockford reluctantly agrees to be a proxy for his friend, a small-town councilman, he is suddenly caught between two sinister factions who want control of the village for gambling and land development.
120. NICE GUYS FINISH DEAD
At the annual Private Detectives Association Awards Dinner, Rockford is seated with Lance White, a near perfect private eye, and Fred Beamer, a hapless mechanicturned-gunshoe. Rockford and the dashing White, both up for the association's Goodhue Trophy, share a table with Beamer, who finally got his license despite an earlier incident in which he stole Rockford's credentials. When Besmer goes to the rest room, he discovers the slain guest speaker and flees in a panic. Rockford and White now must work together - despite slight jealousy over the awards - to clear Beamer.
121. THE BIG CHEESE
A reporter on the trail of a mob-union expose ix slain shortly after mailing evidence to Rockford, who then faces frustrating postal service regulations in trying to recover the package, which has been temporarily lost in the mail. But both Rock-ford and his nemesis, Lt. Chapman, find the postal service an impregnable toe when they try to recover the package.
122. THE NO FAULT AFFAIR
Rita Moreno reprises her role of Rita Capkovic (from episode 94), the vulnerable prostitute - this time falling in love with Rockford, to the mortification of Rocky, his father. When Rita tries to quit the business and launch a career as a hairdresser, her procurer assults her. She seeks help from Rockford and soon takes on all the characteristics of a woman in love. Though Rockford thinks he can handle the problem, Rocky, like the good father he is, hovers over the pair like a sorohty house mother.
123. JUST A COUPLA GUYS
Rockford is not only out of his territory but out of luck when he flies to Newark, N.J., and discovers that his assignment there involves the underworld and two young minor mob hustlers trying to make a reputation for themselves. On arriving, Rockford's watch and rented car are stolen, and he is delayed at police headquarters. When he finally meets his employer, Renee Lombard, he learns she wants him to protect her father, Joe, a mob leader who had recently discovered religion and was "born again".
124. THE HAWAIIAN HEADACHE
Rockford and his father, Rocky, win a Hawaiian vacation but when they arrive, Rockford is shanghaied by his old Korean War commander, "Howling Mad" Smith, into a dangerous intelligence mission which turns out to be an intemational spy disaster.
125. LOVE IS THE WORD
When Rockford renews his romance with Megan, the beautiful blind psychologist (from episodes 109/110), he discovers the spark is still there but that he is the third part of a love triangle. Shortly after Megan tells Rockford she is going to marry architect Jeffrey Smith, the man disappears and becomes a prime suspect in a homicide. Megan now needs Rocktord's private eye expertise, and their love affair resumes. Rockford is faced with the prospect of absolving Smith, even though he is his competitor for Megan's love.
ROCKFORD FILES: MOVIE SPECIALS
I STILL LOVE L.A. (NOV '94)
Rockford works to uncover facts of the death of a wealthy socialite whose two grown children are accused of murdering her. Complicating matters are Rockford's omnipresent "friend" Angel, and Rockford's ex-wife Kit, a lawyer who represents the children.
A BLESSING IN DISGUISE (MAY '95)
Rockford's assignment to protect a movie star is complicated by Angel's success as a televangelist.
IF THE FRAME FITS (JAN '96)
Rockford is framed for the murder of another rival detective with whom Jim was seen having harsh words.
GODFATHER KNOWS BEST (FEB '96)
Jim Rockford tries to help Dennis Beckers' wayward son, only to become involved in the murder of a fashion model.
FRIENDS AND FOUL PLAY (APR '96)
Rockford's friend from the Sandcastle, Babs, is investigating the murder, 18 monthes earlier. She suspects a local mobster and is harassing him to get him to make a mistake that she can tell the police about. Unfortunately the mistake he makes is killing her when Jim Rockford is on the job. As usual a group of friends collects to help solve the crime, and Jim signs up for Lt. Chapman's class on criminology to get the inside track on the investigation, and becomes the class cut-up.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (SEP '96)
Rockford becomes embroiled in another case when he runs across an old flame, blind book editor Megan. Her no-good playboy cousin Patrick is involved with the Russian Mob, which puts everyone's life in danger. The weary Rockford must also deal with his old friend Angel, who is painting Jim's trailer to work off a debt.
MURDER AND MISDEMEANOURS (NOV '97)
Rockford helps a chum investigate two shady cops suspected of vice offences. One imagines he might have a mobile phone now, so you don't have to leave him a message.
IF IT BLEEDS, IT LEADS (APR '99)
Retired private detective Jim Rockford must investigate a series of child rapes when his friend Ernie Landale, a respected school teacher, is accused of the molestations. Through circumstantial evidence, Landale is hounded by the police, the media, school officials, even people he thought were his friends, even though he has not been found guilty in a court of law, nor even charged with the crimes through much of the film. As Landale, his wife Rita, his attorney Beth and police lieutenant Becker fight the battle of public opinion, Rockford realizes the only way to clear his friend's name is to find the real rapist.