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THE

ROCKFORD

FILES

DEFINITIVE EPISODE Guide

 

 

Season ONE, 1974 - 1975


Production Credits

Executive Producer

Meta Rosenberg

Supervising Producer

Jo Swerling Jr.

Produced By

Stephen J. Cannell

Created by

Roy Huggins

Stephen J. Cannell

 

 

Associate Producer

William F. Phillips

Chas. Floyd Johnson

Creative Consultant

Juanita Bartlett

Director of Photography

Lamar Boren A.S.C

Music By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

 

 

A Roy Huggins  / Public Arts

In Association with Cherokee Productions

And Universal Pictures

 

 

SEASON COMMENTARY

Season 1 is an interesting opening season to a new show.  The early stories were provided by Roy Huggins (under the guise of John Thomas James), and while these were compelling tales, Huggins would not appear to do much for the show after this initial season.  The sets for Jim’s trailer are very basic and drab, and the series takes a little time to find its feet.  I feel it accomplishes this in two episodes; Profit and Loss, where Jim goes up against a big conglomerate who are committing the crime of insider trading, and later in Counter Gambit, a story in which Jim uses cunning and his skills as an ex con to swindle the crooks who frame him.  Both stories set an underlying theme in the show; the ability to write stories which deal with serious and bold issues, but also stories with a fun side, and using the skills of crooks to reverse the fortunes of other crooks – sort of like Robin Hood, only robbing the crooks to give back to the poor.  Jim Rockford’s prowess as an investigator are still important and he does solve the cases, but the fundamental principles set out in the Pilot, i.e. only takes cases which the police have closed, are soon put to one side, which allows for more fruitful stories to come out…


 

THE KIRKOFF CASE

Transmission

13 September 1974

Production No

41401

At the Tone…

Jim, It's Norma at the market.

It bounced. You want us to tear it up,

send it back, or put it with the others?

 

 

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Lou Antonio

 

 

Quote

“Every time you come in here with a bloody nose, moral goes up ten points!”

 

Jim is following Travis, to get a lead on the murder of Mr and Mrs Kirkoff.  He loses Travis, but meets Tawnia, who invites him back to her apartment for a drink.  She drugs Jim and when he awakens he is without his trousers and questioned by Travis.  Jim confesses he is working for the son Larry Kirkoff.  Travis is annoyed as everyone alleges Larry killed his parents.   Jim manages to sucker punch Travis and takes a photograph of Tawnia. 

Larry Kirkoff recognises the photograph of Tawnia and Jim locates her at a tennis club.  After some arguing Tawnia admits that she and Travis were having affairs with the respective Kirkoff parents, and so Jim agrees on a dinner date.  Later Jim is kidnapped and his car smashed by unknown goons but his reports of a crime to Dennis Becker are unsympathetic.  Jim meets Tawnia at the restaurant and after realising he can’t afford the prices takes her to a drive in movie where She tells him she overheard a conversation between Mr Kirkoff and a man named ‘Muzzy’. Jim recognises the name as Muzzy Vinette which suggests Mr Kirkoff hired him to kill his wife.  Jim meets the local godfather – Al Dancer and gives the tip that his employee Muzzy Vinette  took up an independent contract.  Jim follows Marsh to Vinette’s hideout, and after some gunshots, Vinette runs out and races away in his car.  Jim blocks him forcing him into a golf course and a chase ensues.  Eventually Jim forces Vinette’s vehicle into a sand trap and catches Mrs Kirkoff’s murderer, but Mr Kirkoffs death is still to be solved…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Julie Sommars

Tawnia Baker

Roger Davis

Travis Buckman

James Woods

Larry Kirkoff

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Philip Kenneally

Muzzy Vinette

Milt Kogan

Marsh

And

Abe Vigoda

 

As Al Dancer

 

 

Sandy DeBrui

Hostess

Dino Seragusa

Maitre d'

Dennis McCarthy

Calvin Carras

Fred Lerner

Parking Attendant

Melissa Mahoney

Carhop

 

 

§         James Woods stars with James Garner again in TV serials such as ‘Promise’.  When he was a guest on Inside the Actors Studio, Woods described Garner as an actor who is “a very generous man.”

§         Roger Davis played Kid Curry in the second series of Alias Smith and Jones.

§         Stephen J. Cannell’s other television credits are no secret; Baretta and The A Team, to name a few.  Stephen’s own productions famously end with him on his typewriter, and throwing a paper into the air.   Stephen is also an accomplished author and has dipped his toe into acting, guest starring in episodes of Magnum PI and Diagnosis Murder (in which he plays a TV producer)

§         Stephen J. Cannell uses the name ‘Tawnia Baker’ as the name of the journalist who assists The A Team in their second season.  It is interesting to note that one of his three children is named Tawnia.

§         John Thomas James is actually Roy Huggins, who always wrote stories and episodes under this guise (which is made up of the Christian names of his three sons from his second marriage).  His other credits include Maverick, Alias Smith and Jones and The Fugitive.  Roy Huggins is brother in law to series regular extra Luis Delgado.

 

 

THE DARK AND BLOODY GROUND

Transmission

20 September 1974

Production No

41402

At the Tone…

Hey Jim, this is Louie down at the fish market.

You going to pick up these halibut or what?

 

 

Teleplay By

Juanita Bartlett

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Michael Schultz

Musical Score

Dick DeBenedictis

Theme By

Pete Carpenter

Mike Post

 

 

Quote

“If you think that’s gonna stop me, you’ve got a short memory…”

 

Ann Calhoun is charged with murder of her husband Kevin Calhoun, who was smothered and killed in a fire.   She is represented by Elizabeth Davenport who hires Jim (for free) to find proof of murder.  Jim travels to Parker, Arizona to get the history on Kevin Calhoun and as a result a mysterious man tries to murder Jim, by forcing him off the road with a tractor.  Jim calls the police from Farber’s garage, but they claim it was probably some youths. 

On arriving back in LA Jim finds Rocky at his trailer, and tells him about the tractor incident.  Rocky insists that a semi rig could kill Jim in a car easily, so the driver only wanted to scare him.   Jim goes and meets Beth, but on the way to the prison they are almost killed when the brakes of the Firebird are cut.  Jim tells Ann that he has learned that her husband’s history is blank prior to their marriage in Flagstaff – Kevin Calhoun did not exist.  Jim asks her about the reason he would crash the party of Elizabeth Gorman and Clyde Russell – but she claims they were invited.  Jim meets with Gorman, Russell and Elliot Malcolm at the horse track and poses a party guest who came uninvited – but Eliot Malcolm loses his temper saying his security was so tight that no one crashed the party.  That night Beth comes to trailer to tell Jim she believes Russell is shady because he resigned from the Bar after securing the film rights to the novel ‘The Dark and Bloody Ground’.  At that moment Russell contacts Jim requesting a meeting.  Jim and Beth go to Clyde Russell’s home to find him dead in a pool, and suddenly the lights go out…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery.

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Gretchen Corbett

Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Davenport

Linden Chiles

Elliot Malcolm

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

And

Nancy Malone

 

As Elizabeth Gorman

 

 

Patricia Smith

Ann Calhoun

Walter Brooke

Clyde Russell

Tom Bower

Officer Hensley

Marc Alaimo

Farber (Gas Station Attendant)

Luis Delgado

Police Officer at Fire Scene [uncreditied]

 

 

§         Marc Alaimo is better known for his role of Gul Dukat from Star Trek Deep Space Nine and is the first of many Star Trek regulars to appear on the show. 

§         Linden Chiles has appeared in numerous Universal Productions and reappears as a Senator in If the Frame Fits…

§         Juanita Bartlett, writer of this story, was secretary to executive producer Meta Rosenberg for many years.  During the production of Nichols, Juanita wrote an episode, which was submitted, approved and filmed.  She wrote a great deal of Rockford episodes and was script editor, story editor and creative consultant on various occasions throughout the run of the series.  In the final season she became a producer and during the Movies she acted as an Executive Producer.   Her other projects include the 1981 series Bret Maverick, Spenser: for Hire and the 1988 TV series of In the Heat of the Night.

 

 

THE COUNTESS

Transmission

27 September 1974

Production No

41410

At the Tone…

Hey Rockford, very funny.

I ain't laughing. You're gonna' get yours.

 

 

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Russ Mayberry

 

 

Quote

“No I don’t like him; I owe him a punch in his belly, and I can’t collect if he’s doing time ”

 

A former Countess, Deborah Ryder is being blackmailed by Carl Brego with information about her past.  She hires Jim to get evidence, first by video camera at a meeting, which is unsuccessful and second by Jim confronting Brego.  Brego starts a fight with Jim but is shot in the back and killed by a mystery marksman. Lieutenant Alex Diehl wants to charge Jim with the crime, however eyewitnesses to the fight can’t confirm Jim as the killer.  Jim goes home to find his tape has been erased so goes straight to Deborah, who knows nothing about the death or the tape.  Jim goes to Brego’s home to find the number for Brego’s girlfriend Lea Richards, who was present at the shooting, when Jim contacts Dennis Becker, Lea Richards is already giving a statement to Lieutenant Diehl. Realising a warrant has been issued from his arrest, Jim races from the trailer but is kidnapped and taken to Sorrell who wants to know ho hired Jim to assassinate Carl Brego.  Jim replies he believes Brego was killed by organised crime, but as it turns out, the Sorrell is an executive organised crime.  The police bust in just on time, but Jim now knows the identity of the real killer and so has to make his escape to prove it…

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Susan Strasberg

Deborah Ryder

Art Lund

Mike Ryder

Dick Gautier

Carl Brego

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Davenport

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Harold J. Stone

Sorrell

 

 

Tom Aktins

Lieutenant Alex Diehl

Todd Martin

Policeman

James Cromwell

Terry

Florence Lake

Old Woman

Jean Le Bouvier

Woman

Mel Allen

Cab Driver

 

 

§         This is the first occasion where Jim is shot.  Here he is shot in the arm.

§         First appearance by Tom Aktins as Lieutenant Diehl.  The spelling of his last name and his actual first name are a mystery as they change frequently throughout the seasons in which he appears.

§         James Cromwell, known for his role in Babe, appeared with James Garner in Space Cowboys.

 

 

EXIT PRENTISS CARR

Transmission

04 October 1974

Production No

41405

At the Tone…

It's Morrie.  Got a call from Davis at the IRS. 

You were right.  They bounced your return. 

Call me.

 

 

Teleplay By

Juanita Bartlett

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Alex Grasshoff

Musical Score

Artie Kane

Theme By

Mike Post

Pete Carpenter

 

 

Quote

“My office is a trailer, at the moment it’s parked in LA”

 

“Cataloguing my virtues won’t work either, I keep them to a minimum so they’re easy to keep track of…”

 

Jim is asked by Janet Carr to find her husband Prentiss.  Jim finds Prentiss in a motel room murdered, so goes to the police Sergeant Larsen.   Later he meets with Larsen and Lieutenant Furlong who tell Jim that Prentiss Carr comitted sucide.  Jim sees Janet, who went missing from two hours – claiming she was looking at travel magazines.  Het tells her Prentis is dead and gives her his suspicions.  On her instructions Jim sees the Police Captain telling him Prentiss Carr was murder leading to a conclusion that that Furlong and Larsen rearranged the murder scene for a conclusion of suicide.  Both officers are very hostile toward Jim after he raises this very inmportant issue, and run him out of town.  When Janet shows Jim a liquor store reciept, Jim uses it to follow the delivery man to a house in Bay City, where Nancy Hellman resides.  He follows her to the pier where she meets Eric Saunders, Prentiss Carr’s employer.  Nancy is found dead, and then Jim is followed by Terry Warde, into a lumber yard where a shootout takes place…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Corrine Michaels

Janet Carr

Warren Kemmerling

Lieutenant Earl Furlong

Mills Watson

Sergeant Larsen

Special Guest Star

Stephen McNally

 

Police Chief Austen Bailey

 

 

Wallace Rooney

Eric Saunders

William Jordan

Terry Warde

Roberta Collins

Nancy Hellman

Hank Rolike

Eddie Smith

Thomas Ruben

Delivery Boy

Heath Jobes

Jack Clark

 

 

§         This episode does not feature Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

§         Corrine Michaels, who appears a further 3 times in the series, starred in Marlowe with James Garner.

 

 

TALL WOMAN IN RED WAGON

Transmission

11 October 1974

Production No

41415

At the Tone…

Jim, it's Jack. I'm at the airport.

I'm going to Tokyo and I want to

pay you the $500 I owe you.

Catch you next year when I get back.

 

 

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Jerry London

 

 

Quote

“The secret to a good confidence game is having the right props…”

 

At a cemetery Jim, and two other men, are digging up the grave of Charlotte Anne Duskey.  Using a portable winch Jim lifts up and opens the casket, but is interrupted by two goons, who shoot Jim in the head, causing him to fall into the grave hole.  Later while at the hospital in a critical condition Jim thinks back to how this case began…

 

Jim is hired by journalist Sandra Turkel to find out where her friend, Charlotte Duskey has disappeared.  She will be easy to find because she left LA in a red station wagon and “is tall & stunningly beautiful”.  They trace her to a hotel in Elmira and while trying to find her, they are informed she is dead.  They meet with Doctor Kenilworth, who treated her but Jim does not trust him.  They go to the Railway Station to find out which train Charlotte’s remains were transported on, and its destination.  Jim poses as a funeral director from Aaron Brothers Funeral Supply and prints a phoney business card with his mobile printing press.  The Station Master tells them to talk to McWilliams - conductor on train 725, which returns that evening.  Jim then notices they are being followed by a mystery figure.  After Jim reverses the Firebird into the tailing car, he learns that the tail is Harry Stoner, a Federal Treasury Agent.  Stoner reveals that Charlotte Dusky stole a fortune in mob money from Joe Barron.  Jim uses a pay phone to contact Joe Barron Junior discovers the story is true, but learns Stoner is not a federal agent.  Sneaking aboard the train Jim and Sandra pose as Doctors from Fairview Mental Hospital and claim that Stoner is suffering from delusions of grandeur – and is pretending to be a Federal officer.  In an empty train cab Jim knocks Stoner out and he and Sandra travel to the cemetery where Charlotte is buried.  They pose as Federal Agents to learn the casket is empty.  They later find Charlotte beaten up at her home and she is taken to hospital, where she agrees to return to LA.  Jim is still sceptical of Charlotte’s motives but Sandra is not interested so Jim decides to finish the case on his own.  At a cemetery Jim, is assisted by two other men, to dig up the grave of Charlotte Duskey.  Using a portable winch Jim lifts up and opens the casket, but is interrupted by two goons employed by Joe Barron Junior.  They shoot Jim in the head causing him to fall into the grave hole…

 

Weeks later, Jim is released from Intensive Care and met at gunpoint by Stoner, who wants the money...

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Sian Barbara Allen

Sandra Turkel

George DiCenzo

Harry Stoner

 

 

Angus Duncan

Joe Baron Junior

Susan Damante

Charlotte Duskey

John Crawford

Doctor Kenilworth

Dave Morick

James Darrow (the Mortician)

Ryan McDonald

Hotel Manager

Rudy Diaz

Matty

James Murtaugh

Steve McWilliams (Train Conductor)

 

 

§         This is the first occasion where Jim uses his mobile printing press to create a phoney business card.  Here he poses as a Funeral Director and a Psychiatric Doctor, as well as using Stoner’s ID to impersonate a Federal Treasury Officer

§         This episode does not feature Noah Beery, Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

§         This episode is the first of many of my personal favourites.

 

 

THIS CASE IS CLOSED

Also titled as:

THIS CASE IS CLOSED,

THIS CASE IS CLOSED, part 2

In addition to

THE DEADLIEST GAME (Novel Title)

 

 

Transmission

18 October 1974

Production No

47595 / 47596

At the Tone…

Really want Shimbu in the seventh?

C'mon, that nag couldn't go a mile in the back of a pickup truck. Call me.

 

 

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Bernard L. Kowalski

 

 

Quote

“That’s my career speciality – ducking process servers…”

 

Jim lands at Los Angeles Airport, returning from a trip.  Using a payphone he contacts his client requesting an urgent meeting because of some strange incidents on his trip.  He then retrieves the Firebird and leaves the airport parking lot.  At the same time another car follows Jim out and chases him to an outdoor car park.  Jim evades his pursuer and hides in a side road until the follower comes out, then Jim forces him to reverse over some spikes – destroying all four tyres.  Jim arrives at his trailer to find it ransacked, so uses the DMV to trace the licence plate of the car that followed him, and then by cross referencing in the phone book finds out his pursuer was Private Investigator Martin Fishback.  Suddenly two goons appear, place dark glasses over Jim’s eyes and kidnap him from his trailer for no apparent reason.  He is taken before Torrance Beck, who demands to know who hired him.  Jim won’t reveal anything, and is left to consider his actions.  Alone, Jim reflects to before his recent trip…

 

Jim attended a party where he met Susan Jamison and her fiancé Mark Chalmers.  After the party he reported to his client Warren Jamison at his country home.  Jim attempted to quit the case, but Jamison (who does not trust Chalmers and his having him investigated) demanded Jim continue.  Jim threatens to inform Susan of the investigation, so Jamison backed off and asked Jim to fly to Newark, based on an assumption that this is Mark’s birth town.  Jim arrived at Newark and met with Lieutenant Larry Pierson, who told Jim to get out of town.  Posing as a Hollywood director Jim was invited to sit in on a local tavern’s poker game, and does so until the regular player arrived – Lieutenant Pierson.  Back at his motel Jim was visited by two hoods who warned him off the Chalmers case.  Jim flew home and landed at Los Angeles Airport.  Using a payphone he contacted his client – requesting an urgent meeting because of the strange incidents on his trip. 

 

Jim changes his mind and decides to tell all to Torrance Beck, but it is too late.  They leave in a limousine that is ambushed by the FBI led by Federal Agent David Shore.  Everyone is arrested and Jim makes a statement, but refuses to sign it until he knows what is going on.  Shore will not tell him, so Jim refuses to sign the statement and goes home despite the threat of a process server with a subpoena for trial.  At home he begins to tidy the mess when Rocky arrives.  Jamison contacts Jim demanding a meeting and Jim tells him to meet at an airport restaurant.  Jamison is reluctant to be seen with Jim, but Jim doesn’t care and prepares to leave, while Rocky promises to clean the Trailer…

 

That same evening the police attend a shooting at the nightclub owned by Mark Chalmers.   A grey Chrysler follows Jim to his meeting with Jamison.  Jamison fires Jim because Susan and Mark have separated. Jim leaves the restaurant and is still followed by the Chrysler, so loses it at a gas station.  Back at the trailer Jim finds Rocky has cleaned everything satisfactorily.  Next day Susan Jamison visits Jim to hire him to find Mark, who has gone missing.  Jim must settle the case with ‘another client’ first but promises to help.  He arrives back at his trailer to find Rocky tied and gagged by a goon with a pistol.  Jim is taken by car to field to visit a gangster, but is left standing in the field after the goons talk with the boss, who then leaves.  Jim takes a cab to the Federal building and asks the driver to find and free his father.  Agent Shore is not impressed that Jim has been kidnapped a second time, as signing a statement could have protected him.  Shore is also annoyed that Jim deliberately lost the tail in the Chrysler that was providing protection for Jim.  Jim is surprised that the Feds drive Chrysler’s, but Shore explains it is because the Mob switched to Chevy’s.  Jim demands to know what is going on, so Shore explains that Mark Chalmers was a government informer on witness protection and re-location, who was shot at his nightclub.  Fully clued up Jim leaves, avoiding a process server at the same time.  Jim finds Rocky safe at the trailer and contacts Jamison, informing him of Charmers’ murder and his suspicions that Susan did it.  Jim is invited to Jamison’s Country House, where Jamison is waiting with a shotgun…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Joseph Cotten

Warren Jameson

Sharon Gless

Susan Jameson

James McEachin

Federal Agent David Shore

 

 

Eddie Fontaine

Lieutenant Larry Pierson (Newark Police)

Joseph Della Sorte

Torrance Beck

Fred Sadoff

Howard Kasanjian

Del Monroe

Vic

Norman Bartold

Hollis Cotton

Jude Farese

Harry

Garland Land

Mark Chalmers

Stu Nesbit

Bartender

Luis Delgado

Driver of Red Car in Car Park [Not Credited]

Luis (Taco Stand attendant) [Not Credited]

 

Martin Fishback PI

 

§         Sharon Gless is better known as Christine Cagney in Cagney and Lacey.  She appears again in Season 3’s The Fourth Man. 

§         Joseph Cotten has a long and distinguished career which includes a starring appearance in the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane, among other films and TV shows as well as credits for screenplay writing.  He died in February 1994.

§         James McEachin portrayed black PI Tenafly, another 1970’s Universal series and played Lieutenant Brock in the 1980’s - 90’s Perry Mason movies.

§         Eddie Fontaine appears again this season as Moss Williams in Counter Gambit, and then in Joey Blue Eyes (Season 2) and White on White and Nearly Perfect (Season 5).

§         Luis Delgado appears as two people in this episode; first as the driver of the red car which Jim forces into the outdoor car park to evade Fishback, and later as Luis, the taco stand attendant who serves Jim and Susan.  While these appearances are separated by the two part version, it is unusual to have an extra appear twice in one story, but he is not credited at all for this episode.

§         There is a stunt, which James Garner performs where he jumps feet first through a barn door to escape Jamison.  It is a type of stunt, which Garner never performs again, as from the second season, it is clear he has trouble with his legs – and often uses a running double.

§         In the syndicated two-part episode many filler scenes are lengthened (using stock footage, often from other episodes) to bring the two separated parts up to fifty minutes. 

At the beginning of the episode in the Multi-Storey Car Park, Jim drives past the same group of cars and down the same ramp three times.

Note the early car chase scene where Jim, not only changes which side of the car he is driving, but also what he is wearing when driving and also which Firebird he is driving – you will spot the 1977 Pontiac Firebird (taken from season 4’s Hotel of Fear) at least twice in this 1974 episode! 

Portions of this chase scene are taken from season 1’s Profit and Loss and Season 3’s Sticks and Stones Will Break Your Bones But Waterbury Will Bury You.

§         Incidental music from later seasons also features heavily – including the Season 4-6 blooper theme at the end of part 1, and the Season 2-6 end title theme concluding both parts.  Part 2 features the Season 3-6 main theme.

§         A final thought; some 1970’s detective series including Kojak, McCloud, Columbo and Harry O, all had a second 90-minute pilot episode to enable to series to take off.  Could it be that this episode of The Rockford Files was intended to be the second 90-minute pilot?  Did the show really need it?

 


 

THE BIG RIPOFF

Transmission

25 October 1974

Production No

41416

At the Tone…

It's Aundra.  Remember last summer at Pat's? 

I've got a twelve-hour layover before

I go to Chicago.  How about it?

 

 

Supervising Pr

Jo Swerling Jr.

Teleplay By

Robert Hamner

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Vincent McEveety

 

 

Quote

“Well, I won’t kill for it and I won’t marry for it, other than that, I’m open to anything…”

 

Jim is following Virginia Nelson around European locations, to uncover the suspicious death of her husband Steve Nelson.  He returns to LA and meets his client; Nelson’s lover Nancy Frazer and gives her his conclusion that because Virginia is living off half the life insurance proceeds, that Nelson may still be alive and had perpetrated insurance fraud by faking his death.  Nancy Frazer becomes very strange, refusing to pay Jim instantly, so Jim follows her to the airport, where she boards a flight to Almeria.  Jim goes to Melvyn Moss of the Insurance Company with his theories and is granted a finders fee he finds Nelson.  Jim drives to Almeria and meets with Sheriff Neal, who is less than welcoming, but Jim spots and looses Frazer in the park.  Jim searches for Nelson or Frazer at the motels around Almeria and while driving around picks up Marilyn, a model, and takes her to dinner.  While visiting the bathroom is to told to get out of town by two men claiming to be police officers.  They follow him as he takes Marilyn home, and kidnap him, dragging him to the bus stop.  Marilyn witnesses everything and follows, telling Jim that one of the “officers” works in the garage.  Jim knocks the garage attendant about, but eventually gives him $200 for the name of the employer; Carl Lemay – the local art dealer.  Jim confronts Lemay who confesses he was doing a favour for Nancy Frazer, but does not know where she is.  Stuck, Jim shows Marilyn a photograph of Nelson.  She draws a beard on the photo and identifies him as Dennis Rains, an artist.  Jim goes to Rains’ cabin but Nelson and Frazer tie him up at gunpoint, so Jim tries to convince them to give themselves up…

 

Starring James Garner.

Also Starring Noah Beery

Guest Stars

 

Jill Clayburgh

Marilyn

Normann Burton

Melvyn Moss

Fred Beir

Steve Nelson / Dennis Rains

Bruce Kirby

Carl Lemay

Nedra Deen

Nancy Frazer

 

 

Warren Vanders

Earl Pitt

Kelly Thordsen

Sheriff Neal

Suzanne Somers

Virginia Nelson

Jack Garner

Man in Airport

Christine Dixon

Stewardess

Jenny Maybrook

Ticket Clerk

 

 

§         This episode does not feature Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

 

 

FIND ME IF YOU CAN

Transmission

01 November 1974

Production No

41412

At the Tone…

This is the blood bank.

If you don't have malaria, hepatitis, or TB,

we'd like to have a pint of your blood.

 

 

Supervising Pr

Jo Swerling Jr.

Teleplay By

Juanita Bartlett

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Lawrence Doherty

 

 

Quote

Rocky:  “Two inches to the right and you’d be missing that eye”

Jim:    “Ah but look at this way, two inches to the left, he’d have missed                me completely!”

 

‘Florence Baker’ comes to the trailer and hires Jim to find her.  Jim is confused, but she is adamant that he carried out the task, so he offers her a drink and later takes the glass to Dennis Becker, to analyse the fingerprints.  Jim meets ‘Florence’ at a Church where he reveals his finding – she is Barbara Kelbaker from Pacific Grove.  She states that while Jim knows who she is, he hasn’t found her.  While Jim does not understand; he agrees to continue working for her.  He goes to Pacific Grove and talks to a Police Sergeant who reveals she was living with Ralph Correll in Denver.  Jim travels to Denver to meet with Correll, but Correll refuses to see him, so Jim fakes an evacuation call to lure him into an elevator for answers, but doesn’t obtain any.  Jim returns to LA to receive call from Barbara, and informs her of his trip to Denver.  Next day Jim is kidnapped from outside the trailer and taken to Correll who has flown to LA, demanding to known Jim’s client. Jim reveals his client was Barbara and Correll understands, because she stole $50, 0000 from him.  Returning home Rocky meets him, disappointed about Jim’s injuries and leaves in disgust.  Later Jim receives a frantic call from Barbara.  Jim has her call the restaurant for fear of a phone tap.  Barbara informs Jim she is heading for Mexico and hangs up.  After a few days Barbara calls Jim again – transferring her to the restaurant again, she requests Jim’s help, as she can’t run anymore.  Jim heads North to finds her, but has to loose two guys in a black car, when he does he then heads south and meets Barbara at a rest stop.  She admits she took the money to leave after seeing Ralph murder a man named Saul Mantee.  After agreeing to help her, they fly to Denver to make a statement to the District Attorney.  Jim queues the entire day to see District Attorney Morgan Tallman, but is ignored because there is a signed confession for the death of Mantee.  Jim returns to the motel to find Barbara has been kidnapped, so sneaks into Correll’s mansion and takes Correll at gunpoint and has him go to the warehouse where Barbara is held.  She is guarded by two men - one has a gun pointed at Barbara’s head…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Joan Van Arc

Barbara Kelbaker

Paul Michael Glaser

Ralph Correll

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

 

 

Richard Drout Miller

Sergeant Doane (Pacific Grove)

Joseph Stern

District Attorney Morgan Tallman

James Lydon

Wyatt

Adrian Ricard

Miss Connor

Jean Allison

Mrs Kelbaker [No Scene]

Tony Epper

Broder

 

 

§         Joan Van Ark is the first Dallas and Knots Landing star to guest on the show. She appears in a further two episodes.

§         Paul Michael Glaser is better known as David Starsky in Starsky and Hutch

§         I might have missed the scene, but I can’t recall seeing a character named Mrs Kelbaker – perhaps her scene was cut out in final editing.

 

 

IN PURSUIT OF CAROL THORNE

Transmission

08 November 1974

Production No

41406

At the Tone…

This is the message phone company. 

I see you're using our unit, now how

about paying for it?

 

 

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Charles S. Dubin

 

 

Quote

“Oh So Sorry?”

 

Carol Thorne is released from Prison, and boards a bus to town.   Aboard the bus is Jim Rockford, disguised as a tourist, who follows her to a boutique, and a car dealer.  Each time Jim telephones Rocky to transport the Firebird.  Jim also spots another person following Carol, so fixes his tyres, so that when Carol leaves in her vehicle, Jim can pursue her in the Firebird and leave the other behind.  Claiming to have lost a wallet at her table in a restaurant, Jim poses as a bookkeeper while Carol claims to be a recently divorced fashion photographer.  Jim phones home and speaks to Rocky, while supposedly placing some horse track bets for Carol and continues to romantically pursue her.  At his motel, Jim is visited by Officer Spinella who tells him to stay away from Carol because she is a ex-con.  Jim sees his clients Jonathon and Millie Hoad, who hired Jim to follow Carol to establish the hereabouts of their son Cliff Hoad.  Jim reveals to Carol that he knows the truth about her prison past and confesses his time in Jail.  That night Carol leaves town, closely followed by Jim.  At his motel carol takes Jim at gunpoint.  Jim reveals his client, but Carol knows his client is actually Miles Keeley and explains the caper; three years previously Miles, Nate and Cliff Hoad stole some money from a bank, but due to a slip up Cliff got the money while the others were caught.  Carol was in prison but knows how to launder the money for Cliff.   Realising that contacting his client was a mistake Jim races to carol’s hotel for retrieve her things but Nate and Hoad catch Jim and take his drivers licence.  Jim evades the pair and races back to Carol, and then races away escaping Hoad completely.  Hoad uses Jim’s licence to pose as Jim Rockford, claiming his car, containing vital medicine was stolen.  Nate poses as his medical carer and Police Detective Boris Sausman puts out an APB on the Firebird.  Jim and Carol are pulled over by a traffic cop, when Suasman arrives with Nate and Hoad, who claims Jim is his son and that it is all a misunderstanding.  The four strike a deal, dumping all the weapons and go to Cliff.  Cliff does not like the idea of allowing Jim a piece of the money, but Jim informs Cliff that as the statute of limitations has expired he could collect a 10% finder’s fee.  The others claim Jim is a big liar and when Cliff won’t reveal anything, Hoad turns on him with a pistol.  Knowing the money is not in the house Cliff takes the four to the middle of the hills to the place where he buried the loot three years before.  They get there to find a massive reservoir and sign stating it has been there since 1971…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Lynette Mettey

Carol Thorne

Robert Symonds

Miles Keeley

 

 

Jim Antonio

Cliff Hoad

Bill Fletcher

Nate Spinella

Laffit Pincay Jr

Himself (the waiter with the horse tips)

Irene Tedrow

Dixie

Vince Howard

Patrolman

Sandy Ward

Detective Boris Sausman

James McAlpine

Policeman

 

 

§         This episode does not feature Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

§         Laffit Pincay Jr was a famous jockey throughout the 1970’s to the late 1990’s.  In this episode he cameos as the waiter at the restaurant where Jim and Carol are given a wine list which actually contains horse tips.

§         This episode is another personal favourite.

 

 

THE DEXTER CRISIS

Transmission

15 November 1974

Production No

41408

At the Tone…

I staked out that guy only

it didn't work out like you said. 

Please call me. 

Room 234, County Hospital.

 

 

Written By

Gloryette Clark

Directed By

Alex Grasshoff

 

 

Quote

Dexter:  “You have a very irritating manor”

Jim:       “So do you…”

 

Charles Dexter hires Jim to find his mistress Susan Parsons who has ‘property’ belonging to him.  Jim quotes his fee - $200 a day plus expenses, but Dexter refuses to pay that much.  They argue, but Dexter needs someone he can trust, so accepts the deal.  Dexter gives Jim some information on Susan’s lifestyle and address.  Jim meets Susan’s roommate Louise Henderson, a law student, who demands to come along on the case.  They go to Las Vegas and find Susan playing at the gambling tables.  Jim meets her and chats to her, then contacts Dexter. Jim later breaks into Susan’s room with Louise, find it ransacked, but both a knocked unconscious – strangely by Charles Dexter.  Jim accompanies Louise back to room, which of course has been ransacked.  She begs Jim’s assistance and they leave Las Vegas.  On the journey Jim spots that they are being followed, and pulls over to talk with the driver – a private detective named Kermit Higby.  Jim takes Susan to a hotel, but looses sight for her for 30 minutes.  Jim admits to her that he is a private investigator and demands to know what property she took.  Suddenly Louise bursts in with the police claiming Jim is a molester and he is arrested while the girls race off.  The police clear Jim because his client is waiting for him.  Jim demands answers from Charles Dexter, who confesses the stolen property is money that was intended for a pay-off.  Jim agrees to find it in return for a bonus, so charters a plane and flies ahead of the girls, hires and car and waits for them…

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Lee Purcell

Susan Parsons

Linda Kelsey

Louise Henderson

Ron Soble

Kermit Higby

Special Guest Star

Tim O'Connor

 

Charles Dexter

 

 

Joyce Jameson

Marge White

Burke Byrnes

Deputy Sheriff

Bing Russell

Lieutenant     

 

 

§         Tim O’ Connor appeared in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and is the first of many actors to appear from that show.

§         The paging announcer at the Las Vegas hotel and casino pages Mr Charles Johnson (could this be Chas Floyd Johnson?), Mr Nick Angelo and Mr Mike Stevens for the telephone or the cashiers desk on a number of occasions.

§         This episode does not feature Noah Beery, Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

 

 

CALEDONIA - IT'S WORTH A FORTUNE!

Transmission

06 December 1974

Production No

41414

At the Tone…

It's John Jones. 

What did you do the hand, son? 

Three fractured knuckles!  You hit somebody?

 

 

Teleplay By

Juanita Bartlett

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Stuart Margolin

 

 

Quote

“Your keen to cut yourself in on something, which isn’t yours”

 

While visiting her husband Gerry, in the prison hospital, Jolene Hyland is told to remember “Caledonia” as it is the location of a fortune.  She hires Jim, and they visit the Caledonia, and meet Sheriff Prouty, who claims the biggest arrest in county history was due to a traffic violation.  Jim s sceptical, so he and Jolene go to the farm where Gerry was arrested and meet the owner  - Sheriff Prouty, who is less than welcoming. 

Later, Leonard Blair seeks out his cellmates wife and old flame Jolene, stating he has the directions to the fortune, but no town to start from.  Jim agrees to go with Jolene to meet Leonard but when they arrive at the motel they see Leonard beaten up and tklen away in an ambulance. He was beaten two former prison mates; Wilson and BJ who also want a piece of the deal.   Jolene asks Jim for negotiate with Leonard, who would take the entire loot, in exchange for a percentage.  Jim and Jolene meet Leonard at the golf range, where Jim deals a percentage of thirty-three and third each.  Len agrees but Jolene is furious because she appears to have lost more money.  Jim corrects her; by dealing in this way Jolene has sixty six and two-thirds percent less his bonus.  She continues to apologise, when Jim sees Wilson and BJ are following them.  They evade the pair by parking on a car truck, but are booked by a traffic warden.  That night they go to collect Leonard, who has already been kidnapped by Wilson and BJ and taken to a barn.  Jim hears Leonard give some directions, notes them down and rescues Len by storming the barn.  He leaves Len, but Len claims he made up the directions.  Jim is unconvinced but Len proves to be right.  The trio travel to a town, where Len and Gib double cross them.  Knowing Len would pull a stunt Jim confesses he tricked them, but Len is unconvinced.  When Len returns Jolene drives the Firebird while Jim and Len are handcuffed to one another- ensuring full trust.  They drive to Caledonia and follow the directions all the way to the farm, where they dig up the chicken coup and find a box with a strange message…

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Shelley Fabares

Jolene Hyland

Ramon Bieri

Sheriff Homer Prouty

And

Richard Schaal

 

As Leonard Blair

 

 

William Taylor

Wilson

Sid Haig

B.J

Rudy Challanger

Doctor Watkins

Don Eitner

Gerald Hyland

Robert Ginty

Gib Moore

Robert Ellenstein

Motel Manager

 

 

§         This episode does not feature Noah Beery, Joe Santos, or Gretchen Corbett.

§         Stuart Margolin does not star in this episode but does direct.

§         Shelley Fabares appeared in numerous films with Elvis Presley, and is also Mrs Mike Farrell (B.J Hunnicutt in M*A*S*H)

§         Although only one quick filler scene suggests it – Jim appears to have moved his trailer to Paradise Cove (we don’t know it’s the Cove in this story, but the location shot is used in other episodes for that same location.)

§         This episode is another personal favourite.

 

 

PROFIT AND LOSS

PROFIT

Transmission

20 December 1974

Production No

41417

At the Tone…

Hey Jimmy, this here's Tida Skaret. 

Remember me?  From the army. 

I'm stuck here in town.  How about I come

over and bunk with you, buddy?

 

 

Supervising Pr

Jo Swerling Jr.

Produced By

Stephen J. Cannell

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Lawrence Doheny

 

 

Quote

“I think you’re a company full of sweethearts

and I wish you every success in the world!”

 

When Alec Morris, an employee of Fiscal Dynamics Incorporated, comes to Jim for help, and is subsequently kidnapped from his trailer, Jim is puzzled and informs the police.  When Mrs Morris comes to Jim requesting help, Jim takes the new information to the police but is surprised to be arrested and charged when Alec Morris and his wife deny the event ever happened and Jim faces prison for filing a false police report.  When news of his charge reaches the media, Doris Parker hires Jim because she believes FDI murdered her husband.  Jim meets with securities analyst Arnold Love asking the simple question “what is wrong with FDI?”  Hours later Leon Fielder summons Jim for a meeting where he threatens Jim with a ten million-dollar lawsuit.  Jim’s last lead is given to him by Doris, who agrees to help Jim break into the shop of Carl Bovinio - a solo printer who worked for FDI and was recently shot dead.  Jim enters the print shop, but while rummaging through a cabinet Jim unfortunately triggers an alarm…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

Guest Stars

 

Ned Beatty

Leon Fielder

Sharon Spelman

Doris Parker

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Davenport

Paul Jenkins

Stan Gorrick

Val Bisoglio

Carl Bovino

 

 

Michael Lerner

Arnold Love

Priscilla Pointer

Helen Morris

John Carter

Alec Morris

Donald Billett

Dan Shavelson

Joe E. Tata

Solly Marshall

Ray Girardin

Ted

J. Jay Saunders

Computer Programmer

Tracy Bogart

Teresa

 

 

§         Ned Beatty is better known for playing opposite Gene Hackman in the Superman movies and for his starring role in the early series of Homicide: Life on the Street.

§         Ned Beatty, Sharon Spelman, Paul Jenkins, Val Bisoglio and Michael Lerner all appear in other episodes of the Series (and they all appear in Season 3).

§         It is clear from exterior shots in this episode that Jim has moved his trailer to the location where it becomes famous – Paradise Cove.

§         Listen carefully to the voice of Tida Skaret on the answer phone at the beginning; it is clearly Stuart Margolin speaking.

§         Jim clearly asks for “Lieutenant Becker” when telephoning Dennis to report the Alec Morris kidnap, but Dennis is a Sergeant.

§         Throughout the story it is apparent that the actors voices are dubbed, replacing what they actually say: ‘Financial Dynamics’ with ‘Fiscal Dynamics’.

 

 

PROFIT AND LOSS

LOSS, Part 2

Transmission

27 December 1974

Production No

41418

At the Tone…

This is Mrs. Mosely at the library. 

We billed you for your overdue book

"Karate Made Easy." 

We abuse our library;

we don't get our cards renewed.

 

 

Supervising Pr

Jo Swerling Jr.

Produced By

Stephen J. Cannell

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Lawrence Doheny

 

 

Quote

“By the time I’m finished with you, your charges

are gonna read like a grocery list”

 

This is James Garner.   The following are scenes from Part one of ‘Profit and Loss’, A two-part episode of The Rockford Files:

Alec Morris, an employee of Fiscal Dynamics Incorporated is kidnapped from Jim’s trailer,

Jim informs the police.  Later Alec Morris and his wife deny the event

Jim faces prison for filing a false police report. 

Doris Parker hires Jim because she believes FDI murdered her husband.

Jim meets with securities analyst Arnold Love and later Leon Fielder threatens Jim with a lawsuit. 

Jim and Doris break into the shop of deceased FDI worker Carl Bovinio, but Jim triggers an alarm…

 

While breaking into Bovino’s Print Shop, Jim triggers an alarm and quickly grabs some files and Doris drives the Firebird to evade the Police.  Jim has not found any evidence, but works out that Bovino was printing forged stock certificates.  Jim visits another securities analyst – Norm Mitchell, who also feels that Fiscal Dynamics is crooked, but is unwilling to help.  Jim is followed home, kidnapped, attacked and warned by Kurt - a messenger for Leon Fielder - to stop investigating FDI.  With Rocky’s help Jim follows Kurt but losses him at the airport, so follows Fielder from his home to FDI, where Fielder emerges with a briefcase – possibly full of damming evidence, and a chase ensues, ending in a shootout and the discovery of evidence that FDI is fraudulent and responsible for many murders.  At the same time, Jim and Rocky solve the mystery of Jim’s broken garbage disposal, due to a missing bullet from Jim’s 38’ revolver…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

Guest Stars

 

Ned Beatty

Leon Fielder

Sharon Spelman

Doris Parker

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Davenport

Albert Paulsen

Kurt

 

 

Michael Lerner

Arnold Love

Tom Rosqui

Norm Mitchell

Barry Cahill

Sergeant

Al Stevenson

L.J.

 

 

§         Ned Beatty, Sharon Spelman, Michael Lerner and Tom Rosqui all appear in other episodes of the Series (and they all appear in Season 3).

§         It is clear from exterior shots in this episode that Jim has moved his trailer to the location where it becomes famous – Paradise Cove.

§         Rocky gets involved with Jim in his investigation; it is the first of many good stories where the pair works together.

§         First appearance of L.J, the Rockford’s handyman.  The part is a small one for Al Stevenson, but L.J is a welcome appearance to any episode.

§         Throughout the story it is apparent that the actor’s voices are dubbed for one phrase, replacing what they actually say: ‘Financial Dynamics’ with the words ‘Fiscal Dynamics’.

§         This double episode is cleverly written and is a welcome addition to my personal favourites as it takes an established crime – insider trading in the stock market, adds Jim and an alleged kidnapping, and a few murders, throws Rocky into the mix and results in Jim toppling a multi-million dollar corporation – fantastic!

 

§         The scene at the beginning of the episode where the police car is chasing the Firebird and drives around a small car park and breaks through a barrier gate is reused by Universal studios in the 1983 series Knight Rider, in an episode entitled Trust Doesn’t Rust.

 

 

AURA LEE, FAREWELL

Transmission

03 January 1975

Production No

41413

At the Tone…

Mr. Rockford? You don't know me,

but I'd like to hire you. Could you call me at...

my name is, uh, never mind. Forget it.

 

 

Teleplay By

Edward J. Lasko

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Jackie Cooper

 

 

Quote

Trask:    “I paint what I feel”

Jim:        ”You must not be feeling well…”

 

Evan Murdock gives a ride to Aura Lee Benton.  They stay in the Seacrest motel on their way to Los Angeles, but during the journey the Murdock knocks down and a stray walker with his car. Evan Murdock is an important state senator, so drops Aura Lee’s off at a Oscars restuarent.  Weeks later Sara Butler pays Jim in full for her previous case so she can hire him to investigate the death of her store assistant Aura Lee Benton. Jim questions Trask, from her appartment building, who gives him the licence number of Dirk Schaffer.  “Lieutenant Rockford” questions Schaffer, but gets no answers. Schaffer then meets Jim at his trailer and explains is minimal involvement. In amoungst some paper clipings Jim finds the story of Murdock’s road accident.  They go to Oscar’s restuarent, but all Oscar can tell them is that Aura Lee left with a amn he identifies by his order – “Lobster Bisk”.  Jim attempts to locate the motel record card from the Seacrest Motel in order to prove Murdock was with Aura Lee, but finds it has gone, Jim comfronts Senator Murdock, claiming to have the reocrd card, but Murdock apparently commits suicude.  Jim breaks into Schaffer’s appartment to finds a photograph of him, but also finds the record card.  They go back to Oscar’s and Oscar identifies Schaffer from the photograph as “Lobster Bisk”.  Jim works out that Schaffer must have figured out about the raod accident invovling Murdock and tried to have Aura Lee blackmail him, but jiled her when she regused.  On their way to the police Schaffer ties to Jim and Sara from a motorcycle so they are forced to run down a cliff to a small area of beach …

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Lindsay Wagner

Sara Butler

Greg Mullavey

Dirk Schaffer

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Special Guest Star

Robert Webber

 

Senator Evan Murdock

 

 

Kelly Lange

News Commentator

Bill Mumy

Trask

Melissa Greene

Aura Lee Benton

Henry Slate

Oscar

Tom Scott

Motel Clerk

Linda Dano

Ellen Murdock

Ed Crick

Campaigner

 

 

§         Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner reprises her role of Sara Butler from the Pilot. 

§         Bill Mumy also featured in the pilot, but as Sara’s brother, not as the painter Trask.

§         Robert Webber makes his first of four guest appearances on the show.

§         Edward J. Lasko contributed as writer on TV series The Fall Guy, Airwolf and Charlie’s Angels, to name just a few.

§         This episode does not feature Noah Beery, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

 

 

SLEIGHT OF HAND

Transmission

17 January 1975

Production No

41423

At the Tone…

Rockford, this is Mr. Dow.

If you think I'm going to pay to have

your car repainted, you're nuts.

You can take your expense bill and stuff it.

 

 

Teleplay By

Stephen J. Cannell

Jo Swerling Jr

Story By

Howard Browne, based on his book "Thin Air”

Directed By

William Wiard

 

 

Quote

“I came to read the meter”

 

Jim walks along the beach and arrives at Rocky’s house.  He discusses a the recent disappearance of his girlfriend Karen after a boat trip;

 

Jim took his girlfriend Karen and her daughter home after a boat trip to San Francisco, but Karen mysteriously disappeared, and her next-door neighbour was murdered.  When Jim reported the disappearance to Dennis Becker and Lieutenant Diehl, Diehl stated the little girl said her mother did not come home with them.  Jim followed a trail from a bus stop to a cabstand to a residential hotel and found a woman but she was not Karen, she was Diana Lewis… 

 

Rocky tells Jim to consider the words of the daughter and Jim realises the daughters statement was true and Karen did not come home with them, so Jim returns to Diana’s, but finds her dead, with Michael Cordeen close by.  Jim confronts Cordeen and makes a connection with her and one of their journey stops – the Buena Vista Inn.  Jim follows Cordeen to the Inn where he witnesses Cordeen meeting with Vincent Minette a notorious gangster who is hiding out from the police….

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Tom Atkins

Lieutenant Alex Diehl

 

 

Lara Parker

Diana Lewis

Pat Delaney

Karen Mills

Allan Miller

Michael Cordeen

John Steadman

Morry Blauner

Gerald McRaney

Irv

Howard Curtis

Vincent Minette

Wayne Wynne

Detective Olson

 

 

§         This episodes guest star list at the beginning of the show features only the names of Joe Santos and Tom Atkins.

§         This episode does not feature Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

§         Jim talks to Rocky, at what appears to be Rocky’s home – at the beach.  This first time we see Rocky’s residence, but this is different to his home for the rest of the series.  This location is used again – notably as the Baylock home in Feeding Frenzy

§         The name Minette is popular throughout the series as it is used as a name for gangster on numerous occasions.

 

 

COUNTER GAMBIT

Transmission

24 January 1975

Production No

41420

At the Tone…

It's Laurie at the trailer park.  A space opened up.

Do you want me to save it or are the cops

going to let you stay where you are?

 

 

Written By

Howard Berk

Juanita Bartlett

Directed By

Jackie Cooper

 

 

Quote

“The phone book is full of PI’s you’ve never tried to kill, why do want me?”

 

Jim is asked by Moss Williams, a fellow ex prisoner (who once tried to kill Jim), to recover a priceless necklace. Jim refuses but is given new incentive when Edgar Birch of insurance company offers a substantial fee to recover the necklace too.   Jim agrees to work for Birch, and so when Moss gets out of prison, Jim agrees to work for Moss and Harry Crown by tracing Maria Heller whom Moss claims is his former girl who has absconded, changed her name to Valerie Thomas and has taken the necklace.  Jim begins to romance her and eventually uses a clever gimmick of a tape recorder in a box inside her safe to work out the combination.  Jim is informed by Dennis of the procedure for stolen jewellery in a court case but when he sees Birch, realises Birch is an impostor who works for Moss, who are actually part of big swindle with Moss and Harry Crown to obtain the necklace they are actually stealing, not recovering.  Pursued on a charge of burglary, Jim gains Valerie’s trust and enlists the help of Angel Martin to impersonate Manny Tolan, a pearl necklace expert, and infer that the necklace is paste.  Angel then sells Jim out to Moss and Harry, who see the real Manny Tolan, who confirms the necklace is paste, so the pair plan and then go to re-steal the necklace…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery,

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Stuart Margolin

Angel

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Mary Frann

Valerie Thomas

Eddie Fontaine

Moss Williams

And

Burr DeBenning

 

As Harry Crown

 

 

Ford Rainey

Manny Tolan

M. Emmet Walsh

Edgar Burch

Garry Walberg

Arnold M. Cutter

Eric Server

Daniel Kramer (Attorney)

Barbara Collentine

Miss Bolting

 

 

§         This is the first series appearance of Stuart Margolin as Angel.  He appeared in the pilot as Angel (uncredited in two part syndicated pilot), and also directed previous episodes this season, and continues to do so throughout the series.

§         The late Mary Frann guest stars as Ruth Beetson-White in the season 5 episode A Fast Count.

§         Eddie Fontaine, who has appeared once already this season, makes a further two appearances in the series.

§         Garry Walberg was a series regular in Quincy, ME as Lieutenant Monahan

§         Ford Rainey appeared in both the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman.

§         This episode does not feature Gretchen Corbett.

§         This episode is another personal favourite.

 

 

CLAIRE

Transmission

31 January 1974

Production No

41422

At the Tone…

Mr. Rockford? This is the Thomas Crown

School of Dance and Contemporary Etiquette.

We aren't going to call again.

Now, you want these free lessons, or what?

 

 

Written By

Edward J. Lasko

Stephen J. Cannell

Directed By

William Wiard

 

 

Quote

”Is this on the level Claire?  I recall getting some strange phone calls

 

Claire Prescott telephones her former lover Jim Rockford, telling him two men (Stone and Willet) are following her and are trying to kill her.  Jim meets with Claire who asks Jim to find a Charles Manning, but can’t explain why.  Jim calls Dennis Becker to find out what the police know about Claire and Manning.  Dennis lies to Jim saying the police have nothing on either name and then informs Captain Highland of the situation.  Jim looks for Manning in a local bar, and is then followed by Stone and Willet, who want to know why Jim is asking for Manning.  Jim tricks the pair and evades them, going straight to Dennis Becker and Captain Highland.  Manning is a vice cop on special assignment and has gone missing.  Highland wants to lock Jim up because he is uncooperative when asked about Claire.  Jim agrees to try and get her to the police, but has to loose Dennis who is tailing him.  Jim finds Claire has left her hotel.  Highland informs Jim that Manning is now dead and Claire is chief suspect.  Jim meets Claire at a bar and learns from her that Manning forced her into being an informant.  Jim agrees to get her out of LA, but things change when Stone and Willet kidnap Rocky.  Jim tells Claire to leave town and stealing a manikin from a shop, he goes to the trade off – Rocky for Claire…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Linda Evans

Claire Prescott

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

W.L. LeGault (Lance LeGault)

Stone

Special Guest Star

Jackie Cooper

 

Captain Highland

 

 

Lane Smith

Willet

M.P. Murphy

Carl

Douglas V. Fowley

Ted

 

 

§         Linda Evans starred in Dynasty, as well as making another guest spot in the season 2.

§         Jackie Cooper is better known as Perry White in the Superman movies and is the second actor from those movie features to guest on the show.  He appears again in season 4’s House on Willis Avenue, but also directs some episodes (including some this season).

§         In a strange coincidence Lane Smith is also better known for playing Perry White – in the 1990’s Superman series.  He appears again in season 5.

§         Lance LeGault (credited here as W.L. LeGault) is known for his appearances in Magnum PI and as Colonel Decker, who unsuccessfully chases Stephen J. Cannell’s creation The A Team.  He too appears again in season 4.

§         Despite filler scenes that indicate differently – Jim’s trailer is clearly not at Paradise Cove, as the scene where he returns home and Rocky leaves in his car as a decoy – the direction the car enters and leaves, in relation to the trailer door, would suggest the vehicles are driving in from the ocean!!  The trailer must be at the Pacific Coast Highway address in this story.

§         This episode does not feature Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

 

 

SAY GOODBYE TO JENNIFER

Transmission

07 February 1974

Production No

41407

At the Tone…

This is Mrs. Lindis. Three times this month

I come to clean and it always looks like

people been fighting in there.  Furniture broke,

things tipped over. I'm sorry, but I quit.

 

 

Teleplay By

Juanita Bartlett

Rudolph Borchert

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Jackie Cooper

 

 

Quote

“Can I go in?  You sure everyone’s got their clothes on?  Shame.”

 

Jim refuses to work for his old war buddy John ‘Mitch’ Mitchelli, a photographer who wants Jim to find one of his models; Jennifer Ryburn, who is currently wanted for the murder of Ricky Pont. Mitch is convinced of her innocence.  Later Jennifer is named as the victim of a car accident.  She is identified through dental records, confirmed by her dentist Doctor Stuart. Mitch disappears then reappears claiming he has seen Jennifer alive and well in Seattle and wants Jim to go there, but he refuses.  Jim is sent for by Carl Birrell, the local godfather, who wants Jennifer found too because she killed Ricky Pont. Jim gives a false client name and decides to go to Seattle, simply to get out of town.  Mitch visits Jim with a composite photograph of Jennifer and some money.  Before Jim leaves for the airport, he visits Mitch, but finds him dead.  Jim then visits Doctor Stuart and discovers he faked the report on Jennifer’s behalf.  Jim flies to Seattle and hires investigator Floyd Ross to assist in finding Jennifer.  Jim finds her at a local boutique and follows her home to tell her Mitch is dead and asks she return to Los Angeles.  She is strangely resistant to leaving to the point of pulling a gun and shooting Jim in the leg…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Hector Elizondo

John ‘Mitch’ Mitchelli

Pamela Hensley

Jennifer Ryburn

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Ken Swofford

Floyd Ross

 

 

Kate Woodville

Marilyn Rae

Thayer David

Carl Birrell

Regis J. Cordic

Doctor Evan Stuart

Len Lesser

Colby

Clint Young

Harrison

Beverly Gill

Mary Ann

Vince Cannon

Ricky Pont

Luis Delgado

Waiter

 

 

§         Hector Elizondo, a friend of James Garner, makes another guest appearance on the show in season 5, and Garner appeared with him in the final episodes of Chicago Hope.  He is best known for playing the Hotel Manager in Pretty Woman.

§         Pamela Hensley played Princess Amidala in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. She is the second person to appear from that show.

§         Ken Swofford makes the first of his 5 appearances on the show.

§         Jim Rockford served in the Fifth Regimental Combat Team in Korea.  Art imitates life here, because James Garner served in the Fifth Regimental Combat Team during the Korean War, and was awarded the Purple Heart twice, following battle injuries.

§         This episode does not feature Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

§         OOPS: In the early scene where Jim meets Mitch and they talk at the bar in Mitch’s house, you will see a boom microphone in view near Jim’s foot.

 

 

CHARLIE HARRIS AT LARGE

Transmission

14 February 1975

Production No

41409

At the Tone…

Hey, Jim, it's me.

Susan Ellis from the Laundromat.

You said you were going to call and it's been

two weeks.  What's wrong, you lose my number?

 

 

Teleplay By

Zekial Marko

Story By

John Thomas James (Roy Huggins)

Directed By

Russ Mayberry

 

 

Quote

“The price of infidelity is going through the roof”

 

An old bunkmate from prison – ‘Charming’ Charlie Harris calls Jim for help, three days after he is wanted for the murder of his wife Pauline Harris.  Charlie has an alibi - a mystery woman – ‘Cassandra’, but she has not come forward to clear him, so Jim agrees to try and find her.  Jim is visited by Sergeant Tom Garvey, who is convinced Jim knows where his friend Charlie is.  Charlie spots her a picture of his mystery woman, Linda Bannister, in the paper, Jim poses as a photographer to trick her into seeing Charlie at his hideout.  They agree to get Charlie out of the State provided Linda puts up the money.  Early next morning Linda goes to Jim’s trailer to confirm arrangements and then Alfred Bannister summons Jim for dinner to discuss why his wife met the PI.  Bannister threatens Jim with assassination if he continues to involve Linda in the investigation. Jim goes back to hideout, finds Charlie gone, but is arrested by Sergeant Garvey.…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery,

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Tony Musante

‘Charming’ Charlie Harris

David Spielberg

Sergeant Tom Garvey

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker,

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Davenport

Warner Anderson

Alfred Bannister

Special Guest Star

Diana Muldaur

 

Linda Bannister

 

 

Eddie Firestone

Detective Haines

Mel Stewart

Police Lieutenant

Zekial Marko

Doctor ‘Gabe’ Gabriel

Luis Delgado

Counterman

 

 

§         The writer of the teleplay for this episode Zekial Marko makes a small appearance in the episode as Doctor Gabriel.

§         Diana Muldaur starred in McCloud and later in the second year of Star Trek the Next Generation.

§         David Spielberg appears as Sergeant Garvey again in Just by Accident.

§         If you listen carefully to the football game Rocky is watching on TV when Jim returns home, all the players mentioned are names of the production crew!

§         This episode does not feature Stuart Margolin.

 

 

THE FOUR POUND BRICK

Transmission

21 February 1975

Production No

41421

At the Tone…

This is Shirley from the bank.

The answers are: no, no and yes.

No, we won't loan you money.

No, we won't accept any co-signers; and

yes, your account's overdrawn. I get off at 4:30.

 

 

Teleplay By

Leigh Brackett

Juanita Bartlett

Story By

Leigh Brackett

Directed By

Lawrence Doheny

 

 

Quote

“What are you trying to say Dennis – that Rocky is cheap?”

 

Rocky attends the funeral of Rookie Police Officer Dave Banning with his friend – the deceased’s mother Kate Banning.  She reveals to Rocky her belief that Dave was murdered and did not die in an accident, so Rocky suggests Jim could help.  Jim is unwilling, as Kate cannot afford him, so Rocky agrees to pay the $200 a day.  Kate explains mysterious behaviour while Dave’s fiancée Laura mentions the Greek theatre, where Jim finds a light load cartridge. Jim stakes out the Theatre overnight and witnesses Sergeant Andrew Wilson, receive a pay off from two unknown men.  Jim takes his suspicions to Lieutenant Diehl, who threatens Jim.  Jim turns to Angel to help him plod the beat for information and learn that Wilson is into a lot of illegal activities.  Ross and Tenner chase Jim and Angel in the Firebird.  After following Wilson from his home to a forest site and following the men he meets with back to the Police Station Jim is kidnapped by Ross and Tenner and taken to Morrie who meets Wilson who buys a ‘four pound brick’ of drugs – but the sting goes wrong and Jim and Wilson become hostages…

 

Starring James Garner

Also Starring Noah Beery,

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Edith Atwater

Kate Banning

William Watson

Ross

Jess Walton

Laura Smith

Joe Santos

Sergeant Dennis Becker

Tom Atkins

Lieutenant Alex Diehl

And

Stuart Margolin

 

As Angel

 

 

Paul Carr

Sergeant Andrew Wilson

John Quade

Tenner

Jack Knight

Officer Drexel

Bruce Tuthill

Waiter

Frank Campanella

Morrie

Wyatt Johnson

Officer Curson

John Furlong

Minister

 

 

§         This episode does not feature Gretchen Corbett

§         Paul Carr appears again in Season 5; The Empty Frame

§         Leigh Brackett, who wrote the story and co-wrote the teleplay for this episode, also co-wrote the screenplays for Howard Hawk’s movies Rio Bravo and Rio Lobo  and ended her career in 1985 co-writing the screenplay for Star Wars Episode IV; The Empire Strikes Back, based on the story by Star Wars creator George Lucas.  She died of cancer in 1985 after completing a first version script for the Star Wars movie.

 

 

JUST BY ACCIDENT

Transmission

28 February 1975

Production No

41427

At the Tone…

This is Thelma Sue Bigsly.

It's about the research I called you about,

family tree. Did you talk to your daddy?

We may be kin.

 

 

Written By

Charles Sailor

Eric Kaldor

Directed By

Jerry London

 

 

Quote

“I sure hope you got your bet down”

 

As a favour for his friend Louise Hartman, Jim investigates the death of her son Billy Joe; a stock car driver who died in a car accident.  Following a lead from his car magazine subscription Jim goes to Billy Joe’s current address meets Jeannie Szymczyk, who denies knowing Billy Joe.  Jim meets with insurance broker Julian Krubm who informs Jim that Louise was awarded the life insurance money, but a second person was named; Jeannie Szymczyk. Jim goes back and learns that Jeannie and Billy Joe were lovers.  Jim follows up Billy Joe’s bank details learning about a secret safety deposit box.  Opening it Jim and Louise find 4 drivers licences all with Billy Joe’s picture but different names along with an envelope with ‘Springfield –York’ upon it.  Jim meets Matt Springfield, who has Duane Bailey put Jim in an accident in the Firebird from which he only just escapes with his life.  After leaving hospital Jim goes to the Hall of Records and looks up the death certificates of the 4 licence names and Jeannie Szymczyk – all of them died within a year of birth and are all used as fake identification because birth and death certificates are not linked in any way.  Jim is called to meet Springfield at the racetrack, along with Bailey where an impromptu demolition derby takes place…

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Neva Patterson

Louise Hartman

Stephen Keats

Duane Bailey

David Spielberg

Sergeant Tom Garvey

Fred Sadoff

Matt Springfield

And 

E.J. Peaker

 

As Jeannie Szymczyk

 

 

Joey Aresco

Billy Joe Hartman

Oliver Clark

K. Julian Krubm

Alan Bergmann

The Doctor

Millie Slavin

Assistant Bank Manager

Beatrice Colen

Woman Bettor

Michael Fox

The Announcer

Gordon Jump

Freddie

Fritzi Burr

County Clerk

Sal Acquisto

Gas Station Attendant

Susan Keller

[Un-credited] Vivian

 

 

§         David Spielberg played Sergeant Tom Garvey in Charlie Harris at Large.  In that story he did not know Jim and took an instant dislike to him.  Here he is Jim’s friend almost playing the Dennis Becker role.  Perhaps Joe Santos was unavailable for this episode. 

§         At the end of the story Louise Hartman thanks Tom Garvey and calls him Lieutenant.  We were previously lead to believe he was a Sergeant, so must be assumed as a mistake.

§         This episode does not feature Noah Beery, Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett or Stuart Margolin.

§         The Pontiac Firebird Jim drives (and which is damaged) in this episode is the 1975 version (you can tell be the position of the indicator lights inside the grill, instead of under the headlights).  Jim drives 1975 Firebird throughout Season 2.

§         What Jim discovers about the Birth and Death Certificates was a real loophole in the registration rules.  Until recently Birth and Death certificates were not correlated and compared to ensure accuracy.  It is only in the light of world terrorism and fraud in modern society that the system is now being updated and changed.  Don’t forget folks – Rockford spotted it first in 1975.

 

 

ROUNDABOUT

Transmission

07 March 1975

Production No

41424

At the Tone…

This is Marilyn Reed,

I want to talk to you...is this a machine?

I don't talk to machines.

 

 

Teleplay By

Mitchell Lindemann

Edward J. Lasko

Story By

Mitchell Lindemann

Directed By

Lou Antonio

 

 

Quote

“You don’t call someome with £3000 dollars in the bank strange… you call them excentric.”

 

Jim works for Edward Moss of an Insurance Company to locate Nancy Wade, whose mother has died and left her a sum of money.  Jim has to locate Nancy through her aunt – Liu Eleanor, who gives Jim a letter from Nancy revealing a location in Las Vegas.  Jim travels to Vegas with instructions to give Nancy her cashiers cheque, have it notorised and paid into a bank.  Jim finds her in a motel giving her the news of the money,  She agrees to go to the bank and open an account, so disguises herself in a large coat, hat and glasses. They go to the bank, but Strock the bank teller reveal Nancy has an account open containing thousands of dollars.  Nancy sneaks off but is kiddnapped by two men.  Jim returns to her motel room but is hit on the head and has his wallet and cheque stolen.  Jim drives around Las Vegas and fnds a bilboard on a casino where Nancy sings.  Jim watches her lead away by the men and taken to a ranch.  Jim sees Tom Robertson and Ken Mamato arguing, and Jim rescues Nancy, who reveals she is srtunk in a singin contract and being used to launder illegally obtained money.  Jim meets with Mamoto who has been swindled by Robertson and convines him to meet Robertson again to look at phoney accounts while Jim breaks in and steals the real accounts. Jim proposes an exchange with Robertson at the Boulder Dam – the account ledgers for the cheque and wallet…

 

Starring James Garner

 

 

Guest Stars

 

Jesse Welles 

Nancy Wade

Ron Rifkin

Tom Robertson

Mills Watson

Edward Moss

Frank Michael

Kenneth Mamato

Virginia Gregg

Liu Eleanor

Joe E. Tata

Federal Agent Hanzer

George Wyner

Herb Strock

Robert Ward

Hotel Clerk

Fred Lerner

Freeman  [Un-credited]

Chuck Hicks

Klaus  [Un-credited]

 

 

§         Jesse Wells, who makes two other appearances in The Rockford Files, was a regular on 1970’s sitcom spoof ‘Soap’.

§         Ron Rifkin appears as Warren Weeks in Season 3’s The Trouble with Warren.  Rifkin recently appeared regularly on Alias as well as a number of Nero Wolfe Mysteries.

§         Mills Watson’s second appearance this season and second of four in the series.

§         George Wyner makes the first of 5 appearances in The Rockford Files.

§         Joe E Tata usually features as bail bondsman Solly Marshall.

§         This episode does not feature any of the other regulars.