Make your own free website on Tripod.com

THE

ROCKFORD

FILES

DEFINITIVE EPISODE Guide

The Movies, 1994 - 1999

 

 

Notes on layout FOR MOVIE GUIDE

§         The Transmission Date and Production Number are taken from various sources including TV Tome.

§         At the tone”, notes the message that is on Jim’s answering machine at the beginning of the movie.  There are only two machine messages in the eight movies. 

§         The quote from the movie is chosen by me.  I try and find a memorable quote from the story where possible.

§         The Episode Synopsis, I hope contains an accurate account of the Rockford movie.  (Please note that I contributed some of the synopses to the TV Tome Guide). 

§         While every movie stars James Garner, I thought it only correct to credit him.   

All other players are credited as they are at the beginning of the films.  

Some of guest star information came from sandbox.net or the TV Tome site.

§         The production crew are credited for each separate movie.

§         The notes section is a simple place for observations and trivia

The Man of Law

May 29, 2005

 

 

MOVIES COMMENTARY

In the 1990’s the C.B.S television network commissioned 8 Rockford Files TV movies.  The cast and crew reunited and the fun and games began.  Unlike other classic TV shows which made a special comeback, The Rockford Files was one of the few which could boast that a majority of the crew (which included the original Cherokee Productions staff of Stephen J. Cannell, David Chase, Juanita Bartlett and Chas. Floyd Johnson) returned and that the entire original cast featured.  Jim, Dennis, Beth, Angel, Chapman and Deihl all featured in all or some of the movies.  The notable absence is that of Noah Beery as Rocky, and while we miss his fatherly presence in the stories, the spirit of Rocky, I feel always exists.  Characters from the series also reappeared including Megan and Rita and the 15 year gap was filled with significant character development – who would have thought Jim would marry and divorce?   The writers zeal to tackle the modern issues came through again, tackling trial by media twice, as well as the straight forward sleuthing and the typical, but reliable favourite ‘Jim is framed for murder’.  While in the beginning in the 1974 pilot Jim was hired and only took closed cases, in the movies Jim is more relaxed and helps his friends or innocent strangers he happens to meet.

In conclusion, the movies are an excellent way of catching up with old friends, and while cynics dismiss the movies as old hat, the stories, acting, humour and enjoyment are all present, just as they were in the series.  It’s like they have never been away…


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

I still Love L.A.

Broadcast Date

27 November 1994

Production No

82501

At the Tone…

“Jim, its Benny, I know your sewer’s backed up but I can’t get out there today, maybe your buyers won’t notice.”

 

 

Quote

“Yeah, but where else would you get that kind of variety?”

 

 

Starring

 

Joanna Cassidy

Halley ‘Kitt’ Kittridge

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Geoffrey Nauffts

Josh Lansing

Shannon Kenny

Dorrie Lansing

Lawrence Pressman

Sidney Kornblum

Daniel Benzali

Doctor Ezo

Sherry Hursey

Mattie

David Purdham

FBI Agent

Joseph Campanella

As

Mickey Ryder

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Pam Malouf - Cundy

Production Designer

Anthony Cowley

Director of Photography

Steve Yaconelli

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Supervising Producer

David Chase

Producer

David L. Beanes,

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Written By

Juanita Bartlett

Directed By

James Whitmore Jr.

 

While trying to move from his trailer and the town, in the middle of the Los Angeles riots, Jim Rockford is hired by his ex-wife attorney Halley Kitridge to investigate the murder of old movie star Lila Lansing, however he gets more than he bargained for when he discovers the identities of the killers are in the fact her children Josh and Dorie Lansing.  When Dorie uncovers a repressed memory, which implicates their stepfather, legendary ballplayer Mickey Ryder as a Satanist and child abuser, Jim goes to great lengths to protect him, but Mickey is forced to confess to the acts and is later murdered too.  Jim connects Mickey to the corrupt attorney Sidney Kornblum and a Las Vegas mafia boss and so places himself as a target for the next killing…

 

 

Executive Producers

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

David Giella CSA

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Hoke Howell

Ed Emmenthaler

Lesley Woods

Myrna Emmenthaler

Sam Scarber

Lloyd Sanders

Lori Alan

Karen Kupfer

James A. Watson Jr.

Lieutenant Deke McCool

Jack Garner

Captain McEnroe

Eddie Mekka

Gus

Michael Bailey Smith

Philip Warsche

Bob Minor

Duty Officer

Shirley Anthony

Sally

Eliana Alexander

Officer #1

Diana Tanaka

Kornblum's Secretary

Jean Bartel

Lila Lansing

 

Paco

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

Assistant to Executive Producer

Luis Delgado

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

This picture is dedicated to the memory of Noah Beery Jr.

We love you and miss you Pidge.

 

§         This is the first of eight Rockford TV Films – some 20 years after its first transmission in 1974. The return of Jim Rockford is great, and the opening story is excellent.

§         The press attention given to Mickey Ryder and the loss of his character due to the serious allegations would be addressed again and be the central subject in ‘If It Bleeds… It Leads’.

§         The title; ‘I Still Love LA’, is explained indirectly in the final scene; Jim wants to move, because LA has lost its quality of life.  Despite all that happened to him over the two years that this story takes us, in the end, he changes his mind.

§         As one gathers from the dedication, Noah Beery Jr sadly passed away and therefore unable to appear in this story as Rocky. Noah Beery died on November 1, 1994 (the same month as this film was broadcast) due to complication arising from surgery to the brain. 

§         Rocky still lives in the story, on a ranch and phones Jim twice.  Rocky is not heard of again until If the Frame Fits… where we learn he sadly passed on himself.

§         Used Line Alert: When Jim tells Kitt it is not six months since they last met but closer to eight, the dialogue is similar to that between Jim and Rita in Rosendahl and Gilda Stern are Dead.

§         Director James Whitmore Jr is a familiar name to the Rockford Files, he played Freddie Beamer twice in the series (in Beamer’s Last Case and Nice Guys Finish Dead).

§         Joanna Cassidy has appeared in a number of shows, most recently Diagnosis Murder and films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

§         Joe Campenella appeared in the series episode In Hazzard, and guest starred in a number of Universal Productions in the 70’s and 80’s.

§         Daniel Benzali is known for appearing in “Murder One”


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

A Blessing In Disguise

Broadcast Date

15 May 1995

Production No

82502

At the Tone…

Jim, it's Paul. Hey, I've been waiting two months for that invitation, buddy. Are you gonna get that new sports channel before the Rams leave L.A.?

 

 

Quote

“I love a fist fight with a good downbeat…”

 

 

Starring

 

Richard Romanus

Vincent Penguinetti PI

Renee O'Connor

Laura Sue Dean

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Aharon Ipale

Branka Costa

Reuven Bar-Yoram

Milovan D'Sant

Eric Lutes

Danny Barkley

Morton Downey Jr

As

Himself

Robert Desiderio

As

Jerry Michaels

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Pam Malouf - Cundy

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Steve Yaconelli

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Supervising Producer

David Chase

Producer

David L. Beanes

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Written By

Stephen J. Cannell

Directed By

Jeannot Szwarc

 

In an effort to retrieve his favourite grey sport coat from Angel Martin, who is now a Reverend at the Temple of Holy Light Church, Jim becomes a bodyguard for Laura Sue Dean, a young actress whose life is being threatened before her new movie is released and which is being boycotted by Angel’s church, with violent results.  Jim protects her and investigates Angel’s Church, uncovering a major boycotting scam designed to make money for the sleazy producers who kill their main investor and the PI they hire to protect them…

 

 

Executive Producers

James Garner

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Juanita Bartlett

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

David Giella CSA

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Stuart Fratkin

Jerry Jamison

Mark Davenport

Marty Martinson

Vince Melocchi

Kyle Wendell

Bari K. Willerford

Zack – Zackary Irons

Joel McKinnon Miller

Mackie

Nils Allen Stewart

Stevie (Bouncer at the Phoenix Room)

Elsa Raven

Sarah Lanka

Sparkle

Woman #1

Christine Romeo

Sister Eve

Carl Ciarfalio

Brother Bob

Shane Sweet

Little Zeke

Joseph M. Hamilton

Man #1

Ken Tipton (uncredited)

Bodyguard

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

Assistant to Executive Producer

Luis Delgado

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

§         THE TITLE; ‘A Blessing in Disguise’ reveals to the viewer what Milovant and Branca must have thought on hearing Angel’s boycott, watch the film and you will see why…

 

§         While Jim has great dress sense, it is unclear why he takes such a special interest in a grey sport coat.   At first I thought it was because Angel stole it, but then we find out it is special (or sentimental) because Rocky gave Jim the coat.  Rocky is not heard from or mentioned at all in his movie, so there is possibly something underlying in this movie that Rocky has passed away.

 

§         Morton Downey Jr, was a well-known American presenter, and plays himself in this film.  This is the third time that a person has appeared on The Rockford Files  ‘as themselves’, the first being an appearance by jockey Laffit Picay Jr in the episode In Pursuit of Carol Thorne and later ex football player Dick Butkus in the No Cut Contract.

§         Richard Romanus, playing Vincent Penguinetti appeared as Sean Innes in series episode Three Day Affair with a Thirty Day Escrow.

§         Renee O’Connor playing Laura Sue Dean later became famous playing Gabrielle in “Xena – Warrior Princess”. 

§         Eric Lutes is known for playing Del Cassidy in comedy “Caroline in the City”.

 

 

 


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

If The Frame Fits...

Broadcast Date

14 January 1996

Production No

82601

 

 

Quote

“Do you know Bees can die of loneliness?  Well they can!”

 

 

Starring

 

Dyan Cannon

Jess Wilding

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Van Sant

Tom Atkins

Commander Alex Diehl

James Luisi

Captain Doug Chapman

Carmen Argenziano

Hector Gustovo

Steve Eastin

Agent Millard Weeks

Dyana Ortelli

‘Linda Gustavo’ – Linda Almaida

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Pam Malouf - Cundy

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Steve Yaconelli

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Supervising Producer

David Chase

Producer

Mark R. Schilz

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Written By

Juanita Bartlett

Directed By

Jeannot Szwarc

 

When Bud Monckton, a disliked Private Investigator, is killed, Jim is prime suspect under the circumstances of the death and the elaborate means someone has gone to do it. With the help of Jess Wilding, an IRS agent who was also a good friend of Rocky’s, Jim has only so much time to prove his innocence, which is difficult when the police, the FBI and a Latino gang all want a piece of him.  Jim finds the answers at Felicidad Records, where Monkton as head of security and also uncovers the fact that Monkton as investigating the record company on behalf of a State senator…

 

 

Executive Producers

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

David Giella CSA

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Shirley Anthony

Sally

Hershall Graber

Bud Monkton

Linden Chilles

Senator Phillip Aspel

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

Assistant to Executive Producer

Luis Delgado

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

§         THE TITLE; If the Frame Fits… is a play on words of “if the cap fits wear it”.

§         This is the best episode of the films largely because it mirrors quite well a typical Rockford Episode.  The ‘family’ are together again; Jim, Angel, Dennis, Beth, McEnroe, Diehl and Chapman (the latter two never met in the series) and with extensive Firebird action in the early part.  This is 90’s Rockford at its best.

§         The Rocky character has now sadly passed away.  It is fitting that the producers did not orchestrate the characters death on screen (probably at James Garner’s behest).

§         Beth Davenport moved on in the series to start her own law firm in Forced Retirement.  In truth, Gretchen Corbett had to leave the show, due to Universal Pictures increasing her wage.  The loss was a great one to the show, but her return to the fold is excellent!

Her character is now married to Roger Van Sant, and she is a writer of Legal Fiction.  Her first book ‘the Brief’ was a best seller for over a year (19 months for the sake of accuracy - her second book did even better!)  Gretchen Corbett appears in a further 2 Rockford Films as Beth – and rightly so.

§         Diehl has been promoted from Lieutenant in the Series to a Commander.  His Christian name was always something of a mystery, was it Alex or Thomas.  It seems that although the series finally settled on Thomas Diehl, the films favour Alex Diehl.  The debate continues…

§         Jim tells Jess that Rocky was an open book. This is not an essentially accurate statement.  In Gearjammers Part 1, Jim spends most of the episode looking for his father, and learns many unknown facts about him – such as weekend meetings with Mrs Mary Ramsey and his working at the Wilmington dock yard.

§         Dyan Cannon was briefly married to actor Cary Grant.  Her other roles include The Anderson Tapes (with Sean Connery) and most recently as Judge ‘Whipper’ Cone in the legal comedy drama series Ally McBeal.

§         Linden Chilles appeared in the series episode The Dark and Bloody Ground.

§         Carmen Argenziano appeared in the series on two occasions – notably the drunken driver in A Different Drummer.  He also has appeared in a number of other shows and films, including Knight Rider 2000, a reunion movie featuring the Knight Rider cast.

 


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

Godfather Knows Best

Broadcast Date

18 February 1996

Production No

82603

 

 

Quote

Crtich:    “Your cars a TV star these days like, what his name?  Hasslehoff?

Jim:        “You’ve got the hassle part right it’s still in impound”

 

 

Starring

 

Damian Chapa

Scott Becker

Maxwell Caulfield

Ian Levin

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Pat Finley

Peggy Becker

Edita Brychta

Katinka Vandero

Barbara Carrera

As

Elisabetta Fama

Dan Lauria

As

Lieutenant Gene Gencher

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Pam Malouf - Cundy

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Steve Yaconelli

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Supervising Producer

David Chase

Producer

Mark R. Schilz

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Written By

David Chase

Directed By

Tony Wharmby

 

In Santa Monica, Jim discovers that Dennis Becker’s son Scott is homeless.  Soon after Scott is wanted for the murder of famous model Elisabetta Fama, whom he continued to pester for money and food. When Scott steals the Firebird, Jim discovers he has joined Buddhist temple.  Jim has to investigate the real murderer before the police can charge him and before the two local Mafia hit men kill Scott!

 

 

Executive Producers

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

David Giella CSA

 

 

Guest Starring

 

 

Mercer I Pinetree

Gerry Gibson

Critch

 

Don Guetamo

Jack Garner

Captain McEnroe

Pat Lalama

As Herself

Dennis Fimple

Scott’s Panhandler Friend

George Marshall Ruge

Sicilian Hit Man

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

Assistant to Executive Producer

Luis Delgado

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

§         THE TITLE; Godfather Knows Best has a double meaning; Jim is godfather of Scott, who allegedly kills the daughter of an Italian Mafia boss (whom are always referred to as “the Godfather”.

§         If you were to watch the episode Tall Woman in Red Wagon, we see Jim use an ink printing press to produce a phoney business card, in order to fulfil a swindle.  Here Jim has ‘got with the nineties’ using a computer, printer, and mobile phone. Jim uses the name ‘Jimmy Joe Meeker’ of the County Health Department.  Interestingly Jim used this pseudonym often in the series, usually as a Texan Oil Baron.

§         When Dennis comes to apologise to Jim for kicking him out the previous night after hearing the news about Scott, Jim says “talk about kill the messenger, I was only trying to help…”  Kill the Messenger is the episode in the fifth season where Dennis as promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant and that episode is said to be a personal favourite of Joe Santos.

§         Jim reveals to Mercer Pinetree that he has “a little Cherokee blood” in him.  James Garner’s ancestry includes Cherokee Indian and was the namesake of his production company ‘Cherokee Productions’ which co-produced the series in the seventies as well as a number of James Garner’s  other projects (such as the film Support Your Local Sheriff).

§         Speaking of ancestry, Dennis reveals to Elizabetta Fama and Lieutenant Gencher that he has an Italian background.  This is true of Joe Santos, who has an Italian background.  Santos has since been cast in some guest roles as an Italian, including the Sopranos and an episode of Quantum Leap entitled ‘Double Identity’.  It seems that the Rockford Files goes to great efforts for the characters to emulate their actors’ real lives.

§         This episode sees Peggy Becker, Dennis’ wife, played by Pat Finely, as she was in the series.  The episode might never have worked without this welcome return.

§         This film marks the first appearance of Crtich (Critchland) owner of the Sandcastle Restaurant, who helps Jim identify the mysterious customer interested in Jim (the dim assassin Mercer I Pinetree).  Critch must be a new owner, because in the series Jake Sands owned the restaurant.

§         Barbara Carrera plays Elizabetta Fama.  She appeared with Sean Connery as Fatima Blush in the 1983 James Bond film “Never Say Never Again”.

§         Maxwell Caulfield currently stars as a Doctor in the UK television medical series Casualty (series set in a UK Emergency Room).  In that show he plays an American, but in this movie he is clearly English!

§         Dan Lauria, who starred in American comedy The Wonder Years, appears again in Murder and Misdemeanours as a different police officer.

§         Pat Lalama plays herself here as the Channel 6 News Reporter.  In If it Bleeds it Leads she appears again playing news presenter Wendy Aziz.

§         There is slight use of the Firebird in this film to ferry Jim and Scott around.  No sign of the Rockford Truck as Jim lends it out to friends. This is important, as when Scott steals the Firebird, Jim has nothing to drive, so he catches a lift off Angel…


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

Friends and Foul Play

Alternative Title

Fieldtrip to a Funeral

Broadcast Date

25 February 1996

Production No

82602

 

 

Quote

“I’ve had that complaint before, but never from a guy!”

 

 

Starring

 

Marcia Strassman

Doctor Trish George

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

David Proval

Joseph ‘Happy’ Cortello

Wendy Phillips

Barbara ‘Babs’ Honeywell

Stefan Gierasch

Zucker  - Zuckie the Bookie

James Luisi

Captain Doug Chapman

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Van Sant

Molly Hagan

Trudy Wise

Ivan Sergei

Corey Honeywell

Jason Bernard

As

Leon Martin

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Pam Malouf - Cundy

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Steve Yaconelli

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Supervising Producer

David Chase

Producer

Mark R. Schilz

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Written By

Stephen J. Cannell

Directed By

Stuart Margolin

 

Bab’s, a waitress at the Sandcastle Restaurant, is still distraught about her son Corey’s death, and is determined to prove Joseph ‘Happy’ Cortello, a local gangster committed the crime.  She is later found murdered and only way Jim can investigate her death is to join a University Criminology Class, led by Captain Chapman, who dislikes Jim.  While investigating Jim is accidentally shot by Tennison Keats, another student.    After convalescing Jim proves that Cortello and Nicky Z killed Babs, but things are still left unfinished, as Jim investigates Corey’s death, he finds the dead body of Keats and sinister goings on at the Sandcastle Restaurant…

 

 

Executive Producers

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

David Giella CSA

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Nicky Z

Matt Gallini

 

Sienna Goines

Critch

Gerry Gibson

Carlos

 

‘Guppy’ Cooke

 

Carl Liggit

 

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

Assistant to Executive Producer

Luis Delgado

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

§         THE TITLE; Friends and Foul Play is explained by events towards the end of movie and won’t spoil it.  The alternative title Fieldtrip to a Funeral describes Captain Chapman’s criminology class attending the funeral of Barbara Honeywell

§         Plenty of scenes at the Sandcastle in this Movie which allows us to explore this all important Rockford fixture in greater detail.

§         Marcia Strassman appeared in the two part episode Only Rock n’ Roll Will Never Die as journalist Whitney Cox.

§         David Proval currently stars in The Sopranos as series about a Mafia family created by David Chase – a Rockford Files producer!

§         This film marks James Luisi’s final appearance in The Rockford Files as Doug Chapman.  He played the character brilliantly bringing occasions of seriousness and humour at different times.  Sadly James Luisi died of cancer in June 2002.

 


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

Punishment and Crime

Broadcast Date

18 September 1996

Production No

82604

 

 

Quote

You saw it; set him up, knock him down”

 

 

Starring

 

Kathryn Harrold

Doctor Megan Adams

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Bryan Cranston

Patrick Dougherty

Vladimir Skomarovsky

Genatty Koplitts

Ramy Zada

Festa

Richard Kiley

As

Frank Dougherty

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Pam Malouf - Cundy

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Steve Yaconelli

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Producer

Mark R. Schilz

Producer

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Produced by

David Chase

Written by

David Chase

Directed by

David Chase

 

Jim meets his ex-girlfriend Megan, a blind psychologist, and they rekindle a previous romance at her father’s birthday party.  Jim also takes a job from her cousin Patrick, a talent manager to find a Russian actress; Ykaterina Stepashin.  In doing so Jim is kidnapped and tortured by the Russian Mafia lead by Genatty Koplitts, so he and Megan are forced to hide out at Rocky’s old Ranch in the country.  Patrick’s girlfriend Molly is attacked, while Jim discovers Patrick made a number of promises to Genatty Koplitts that he cannot fulfil.  Meanwhile Jim and Megan’s relationship breaks apart when Patrick is eventually found dead.   It is clear the Russian mafia committed the crime but Jim must find out who gave up the information revealing Patrick’s location and finds it leads back to someone closer to home…

 

 

Executive Producers

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

David Giella CSA

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Ilia Volokh

Boris Antreovitch

Elena DeBurdo

Ykaterina Sepashin

Grace Ura

Molly

Johnny Williams

Johnny Zeps

Jack Garner

Captain McEnroe

Lyndsay Riddell

Young Josie Adams

John Christian Graas

Daniel Adams

 

Josie

 

(Megan’s Brother)

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

Assistant to Executive Producer

Luis Delgado

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

§         THE TITLE; Punishment and Crime (a spin on Crime and Punishment) is explained by events towards the end of movie and I won’t spoil it. 

§         Kathryn Harrold reprises her role of Megan from the series episodes Black Mirror and Love is the Word.  In the latter story she married Jeffery, but here she says she is married to Michael.  It is possible events have taken place between 1979 and 1996 and a clue could be found in Angel’s reference to her as “the shrink Jim was seeing in the early eighties.”  Perhaps she did marry again.

§         Bryan Cranston now stars as the father in the hit comedy Malcolm in the Middle.

§         At the start of the film, Angel is clearly listening to (and complains that he can’t listen to) country and western star Willie Nelson, who sang in the season 5 episode Heartaches of a Fool.

§         Jim explains to Megan about the death of Rocky “late last year” and also adds “he called me Sonny right up to his death”.  Rocky called Jim ‘Sonny’ frequently throughout the series.

§         When Jim visits Dennis at the Police Station, he notes that his detective friend now has an office with a window.  The Corner Office (with a Window) has been a standing joke throughout the movies since I Still Love LA.

§         There are a number of edits (for violence) in the English transmission of this movie which includes [in order] Koplitts interrogating Jim at his trailer, Jim seeing Molly assaulted and Jim fighting with Boris at the Spa.  These edits are only short (less 30 seconds).

 


James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

Murder and Misdemeanours

Broadcast Date

15 November 1997

Production No

82701

 

 

Quote

Jim:       “Will you stop giving out my number”

Angel:   “Why, it’s not like you’re unlisted, you’re in the Yellow Pages!”

 

 

Starring

 

John Amos

Booker Hutch

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Conrad Janis

Harvey

Isabel Glasser

Brianne Lambert

Dan Lauria

Commander Gage

Denise Nicholas

Leddy Hutch

Moira Walley

Val

Shashawnee Hall

Detective Eddie Lopez

Danny Quinn

Detective Barry Hollis

Marco Rodreguez

Cicero

Eugene Roche

Frank (Male Visitor to Trailer)

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Randy D. Wiles

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Michael D. O’ Shea ASC

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Producer

Mark R. Schilz

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Written by

Juanita Bartlett

Directed by

Tony Wharmby

 

Jim is at the station with Dennis discussing a pending vacation when Val, a prostitute comes in to file a complaint against two Vice cops.  She claims to have a good case against the two officers and puts forward her accusation and lodges the complaint with Dennis.

Two weeks later Jim returns from his fishing vacation in Carbo St Lucas, to be met by Harvey, a Paradise Cove resident, complaining about Jim’s telephone.  They agree on dinner (which never happens) when the phone rings again; it is Leddy Hutch, informing Jim that her husband, Jim old prison mate Booker Hutch, is ill and wants to see Jim.  Jim goes to see Booker, another ex con turned private detective, who hands Jim is current case load of “no brainers”.  Jim leaves and meets Dennis at a bar which the police frequent and they argue over Booker’s seemingly pending death, to be interrupted by Brianne Lambert, who sits and listens to Jim.  Next day Angel appears at the trailer revealing that Jim discussed his friendship with Booker with a reporter for a newspaper.  Angry, Jim complains at Dennis about not being told, but Jim gets the cold shoulder from Dennis and all the other cops at the Hollywood Division because of a case he is working on, related to a complaint about vice cops filed by a prostitute weeks before.  Jim knows the complaint, but denies working on any case, and tries to convince everyone of this fact, but becomes victim to police harassment – traffic violations and tickets issued everywhere.  Jim is arrested and Harvey (who was sat waiting to have dinner with Jim) has to post bail for him.   Jim later finds Booker and Leddy have moved out, leaving him to hold the bag.  Brianne promises to print a retraction, but this fails to come out how Jim intended. Meanwhile Angel is attempting to set up a movie deal to produce a film depicting Jim’s life story with Booker, and tips Clint Eastwood to play the part of Jim.  Eventually Jim contacts Brianne requesting that she print a full story – he is on the case and there is a movie deal in the works too.  Jim goes to see Val, who despite being scared of Budda, promises to come and make a full statement to Dennis, but when they leave in the Firebird, they are rammed and smashed, but Jim manages to get a look at the drivers face.  Val is kidnapped from the car, and Jim is left concussed, and wakes up in hospital.  Val is later found dead and Booker has emerged from the woodwork and confesses to be working for the committee who are investigating the two vice copes, and admits he was beaten up by a man named Cicero.  Commander Gage allows Jim to meet and talk to the two vice cops, because Jim now believes they were framed. Jim and Dennis then pound the beat attempting to locate Cicero and Jim spots him in a strip club.  A chase ensues, but Cicero rams Dennis’s squad car.  Jim meets with Brianne at the Sandcastle, but they are interrupted by Booker and then by Angel and then by a call from Dennis telling Jim to get out.  The four leave, but are taken from outside the Sandcastle to see Cicero’s boss Budda.  While Angel grovels, offering a part in a movie, Jim and Booker start a fight and emerge victorious, despite bruises.  Brianne has Jim checked into a private hospital, where Commander Gage, the vice cops and Dennis say thank you in front of media cameras, and where Booker, Leddy, Brianne and Angel all visit. After they leave Jim invites Harvey to sit down for some dinner, because at least Jim comes out of the whole episode with a good friend…

 

 

Executive Producers

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Gerry Gibson

Critch

Jack Garner

Captain McEnroe

Shirley Anthony

Sally

Glenn Morshower

Sergeant Cranston

Dick Durlock

Budda’s Muscle #1

 

Budda

 

Dixie (Female Visitor to Trailer)

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

Dedicated to the memory of Luis Delgado

 

§         This film is dedicated to Luis Delgado, who of all the regulars and semi regulars, did not appear as a character in any of the Rockford movies, but was credited as ‘Assistant to the Executive Producer’.

Delgado appeared as a reoccurring extra in the series before taking the regular reoccurring role of Officer Billings in Season 3.  Delgado also appeared in Nichols (1971), Bret Maverick (1981) and the original Maverick (1957), as James Garner’s stand in. 

His only other role which I have seen him appear (and credited for) was in ‘Columbo: Columbo Cries Wolf’ as the stranger in the washroom when Lieutenant Columbo is talking to his Captain and the Mayor about the high profile case.

§         Conrad Janis is known for his starring role in the comedy Mork and Mindy.

§         While at the Sandcastle, Harvey is clearly seen reading the novel ‘King Con’ by Stephen J. Cannell!

§         John Amos played Colonel Stewart, the double crossing Army specialist in Die Hard 2; Die Harder (the one set at Washington Airport).

§         Booker Hutch is another graduate of San Quentin, who served time with Jim in C’ block, and also became a Private Investigator.  The build, strength and presence of the character of Booker immediately made me think about Gandolph Fitch as played by Isaac Hayes.  Perhaps this is just coincidence.

§         Eugene Roche guest starred in Magnum PI as reoccurring PI Luther Gillis.

§         Prominent and excellent use of the Pontiac Firebird in this movie, right up to the moment where it gets smashed.  The Rockford Pick-up truck also features, but is not driven as often in this story as it is previously.

§         This is the only Rockford Files film which has never been transmitted in the UK, but thanks to Harvey Gwelg’s DVD collection, I have had the wonderful opportunity to watch it for the first time ever in November 2004.  It is a good film, and I cannot understand the reason why it has not been shown here in England.

 



James Garner

in

The Rockford Files

If It Bleeds... It Leads

Broadcast Date

20 April 1999

Production No

82702

 

 

Quote

“Police sketches, why do they always look like the guy next door?”

 

 

Starring

 

Rita Moreno

Rita Landale

Joe Santos

Dennis Becker

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Van Sant

Tom Atkins

Commander Alex Diehl

Loryn Locklin

Cindy Carteret

Stephanie Faracy

Selma Drown

Denise Crosby

Mrs Muller 

George Wyner

Mr Gillespie

Hal Linden

As

Ernie Landale

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

Film Editor

Toni Morgan

Production Designer

Sandy Getzler

Director of Photography

Michael D. O’ Shea ASC

Supervising Producer

Stephen J. Cannell

Supervising Producer

David Chase

Producer

Mark R. Schilz

Producer

Carey Smith Ludwig

Produced By

Mark Horowitz

Created By

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

Story by

Juanita Bartlett

Stephen J. Cannell

Teleplay by

Reuben Leder

Directed by

Stuart Margolin

 

Jim’s friend Ernie Landale, a schoolteacher, is arrested on suspicion of being the notorious ‘Westside Rapist’ based on a police portrait.  Jim has to find the real culprit and deal with the media, who are treating Ernie and his wife Rita as a big story, consequently ruining their lives and reputations…

 

 

Executive Producers

Juanita Bartlett,

James Garner,

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Associate Producer

Mary Ann Rea

Unit Production Manager

Mark R. Schilz

Casting By

Rueben Cannon and Associates

 

 

Guest Starring

 

Gerry Gibson

Critch

Jack Garner

Captain McEnroe

Pat Lalama

Wendy Aziz

Larry McCormick

Bob Cux

James A Watson Jr

News Reporter 1

Perry Santos

News Reporter 2

Shirley Anthony

Sally

 

 

Costume Designer

April Ferry

Set Decorations

Robert L. Zilliox

Post Production Supervisor

Carey Smith Ludwig

MGB Productions, Inc

 

 

§         This is the last in the series of 8 Rockford Films to be made, and this one is unlike the others, dealing with material not of a family viewing nature – a serial rapist.  On the other side is the media, and in truth the story looks at what the stigma attached to being accused of rape are; people mistrusting you, the media dogging you to the extreme where in Ernie’s case it kills him.

§         A story with a clear and very prominent present-day message, which borrows elements of the Mickey Ryder story from I Still Love LA.

§         THE TITLE; ‘If it Bleeds it Leads’ is the motto of one of the media moguls at the TV station, suggesting that if something or someone has a past then it may be a lead.

§         Critch, owner of the Sandcastle and Carlos, a waiter, both make a welcome reappearance in the series, celebrating 25 years of the Sandcastle restaurant – coincidently 25 years of the Rockford Files show – which first aired in 1974.

§         The Firebird is not featured, in favour of the Rockford Truck.

§         Denise Crosby (daughter of singer Bing Crosby) is yet another Star Trek actress to make an appearance on The Rockford Files.

§         Hal Linden was Captain Barney Miller in the 1970’s police comedy series Barney Miller and made a guest appearance in an episode of hit comedy Will and Grace in its 2003-2004 season.

§         George Wyner appeared a number of times in the series – notably The Queen of Peru.

§         Pat Lalama plays Channel 6 news reporter Wendy Aziz.  In Godfather Knows Best she appeared as herself as a news presenter.

§         Semi regular movie guest stars James A Watson Jr and Perry Santos who played Lieutenant Deke McCool and Officer Pete respectively in previous movies, appear in this one as news reporters.

§         Film Editor Toni Morgan also has edited the long running detective legal series Law & Order

§         The ending sees Rita and Jim walking together on the beach in a similar way to the ending of No Fault Affair.  It is fitting that the series ends in this nice way