Television show from the 70s. Starred James Garner as private investigator Jim Rockford and Noah Beery as his father. Rockford was a lovably down-to-earth seemingly more realistic p.i. who didn't like to use guns. Great theme song. Always had good guest stars, notably Tom Selleck whose character Lance something-or-other was pretty much re-used years later in the person of Thomas Magnum on Magnum, P.I.

In addition to being one of my favorite shows of all time. It was the first of its kind in the 70's for any number of reasons:
  • Rockford kept his gun in a cookie jar.
  • Rockford never "wounded" the bad guy with a snub-nosed pistol from over 100' feet away (a'la Barnaby Jones).
  • Rockford lived in a mythical trailer park near Oxnard (I think).
  • The guest stars were great. Isaac Hayes as his prison buddy, the guy who played Angel (ok not really a guest star but hey). Tom Selleck as Lance White (pretty much the Anti-Rockford PI).
  • Rockford didn't really get along with cops (I am pretty sure he was the first PI on TV with that distinction).
  • Rockford managed to go through some personal changes on the show. In particular, during the last season he filed for bankruptcy and had his trailer repossessed. He worked as a night-watchman in that trailer park to make ends meet.
  • When Rockford hit a guy he often hurt his hand.

Anyway, when CBS brought Jim Garner back as Rockford it was, needless to say, a disappointment.

Rockford Files has approximately three plots. In each show Jim Rockford uses his experience as an ex-con and con artist to solve an unjust closed case. But in addition, one of the three always happens:

1. A distressed (and devastatingly beautiful) girl with no one else to turn to comes rapping at Jim's trailor door. Usually she interrups a sarcastic exchange between Jim and Rocky, Angel, or Denise the down police man. Another common theme was attractive female entering just as Jim had somehow injured himself, lending her natural "feminine wiles" to tend his wound.

2. A complicated story involving people from Jim's past, often concerning his time spent serving in the Korean war or in "the pen". He usually avenges the death of an old friend, or manages to score a personal victory while saving someone's life.

3. Jimmy against the fuzz. Several shows entail Jim getting arrested for crimes he knows nothing about, or getting harrassed by officers of the local and national government. He knows his rights and always has the last word.

Main characters:
Jim Rockford
Rocky; his adorably naive father
Ross; his pretty but tough-as-nails lawyer
Denis; his police hook-up and long time acquaintence
Angel; a wormy con artist who often works cons with Jim

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