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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:00 am 
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I recently got S1 of The Rockford Files, and seeing the first disc got me in a big Rockford mood. It also got me ruminating over episodes that I've never cared for (none on S1, however).

There really isn't any "bad" Rockford, though there are a small handful of episodes that I like less than the rest. Still, there are no true stinkeroo episodes and that is testament to the show's high quality. Anyway, for discussion's sake, here are a few episodes that don't stack up to the rest of the series:

I will admit that it was a struggle for me to get through S6's "Love is the Word." Overly serious sometimes works for this show, like "The Hammer of C Block", from S2 which is magnificent, and "So Help Me God", which is chillingly prescient. However, "Love is the Word" is just too sombre and too much of a departure in that the story and tone of the episode falls flat for me. Don't care for "Black Mirror", either; must be the Kathryn Harrold character I don't like.

I used to dislike "The Return of the Black Shadow" simply because it was the first episode of The Rockford Files I had seen in nearly twenty years, and there's just not enough of ol' Jimbo in it for my liking. That and the brutal-for-TV-back-then sexual assault of Coop's virginal sister. However, I've since warmed to the Coop character and actually appreciate the episode for its strengths rather than focus on Jim's lack of screen time.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure I'll ever warm up to back-door pilot "Heartches of a Fool" and its showcasing of the 1970s Country music-CB radio fad.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:37 pm 
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[quote="Little Garwood"]I recently got S1 of The Rockford Files, and seeing the first disc got me in a big Rockford mood. It also got me ruminating over episodes that I've never cared for (none on S1, however).

There really isn't any "bad" Rockford, though there are a small handful of episodes that I like less than the rest. Still, there are no true stinkeroo episodes and that is testament to the show's high quality.

Hi Garwood,
I agree with you, except for one episode. That would be the two part "This Case is Closed" with the great Joseph Cotton. There is a nice episode hidden here amongst the dreck, some good scenes but good lord the needless and endless car chases and plain filler. The director must have been some studio hack with no idea how to edit.
Maybe it's just me. After I read all of Hemingway's works save one I couldn't enjoy Dickens big novels anymore.
Hemingway would pare a chapter down to one page, and if he could pare that down to a sentence all the better. No fat in his writings as compared to Dickens who purposely bloated his big novels.
Dickens was a genius who created characters that have stood the test of time, but he padded his novels outrageously in order to serialize his work around the world, a chapter at a time, for big bucks.
Anyway, I guess if you have "This Case is Closed" on DVD you could fast forward past the lame parts. There is a gem of a scene where Cotton's powerful wealthy man character tries to intimidate Rockford and Rockford gives it right back, explaining that as his own boss he doesn't have to take that sort of guff. It's one of my favorites out of the whole series.
Keep up the good work Garwood, it's obvious you have a deep knowledge of tv history.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Luther's Nephew Dobie wrote:
Keep up the good work Garwood, it's obvious you have a deep knowledge of tv history.


That's most kind. Thank you.

It's nice to know that I'm not always just "posting to myself." :lol: Glad that someone reads this stuff, let alone comments on it. It's especially appreciative in that we don't really have many regular posters on here, so one gets familiar with who's ignoring you and who's reading you! :wink:

As for "This Case is Closed", that episode is next on my Friday Rockford viewing schedule. It's not an episode I'm familiar with without seeing first; I'll let you know how it goes...

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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:05 pm 
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Controversial opinion: I actually prefer the version of Rocky seen in the pilot episode "Backlash of the Hunter." He was sneaky and conniving which I thought made sense considering how Jim and Aaron Ironwood turned out. The Noah Beery Jr. version was too much of an old mother hen for me.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:53 pm 
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Luther's nephew Dobie wrote:
Hi Garwood,
I agree with you, except for one episode. That would be the two part "This Case is Closed" with the great Joseph Cotton. There is a nice episode hidden here amongst the dreck, some good scenes but good lord the needless and endless car chases and plain filler. The director must have been some studio hack with no idea how to edit.

Anyway, I guess if you have "This Case is Closed" on DVD you could fast forward past the lame parts. There is a gem of a scene where Cotton's powerful wealthy man character tries to intimidate Rockford and Rockford gives it right back, explaining that as his own boss he doesn't have to take that sort of guff. It's one of my favorites out of the whole series.


Just watched this last night. I rate it a 6/10. I don't share your dislike of the episode and I maintain that "Love is the Word" is probably the series' low point, relatively speaking.

I enjoyed the Cotten-Garner scenes--Cotten does have a rather interesting accent--and Beery was his usual charmingly good-natured self. His "Greatest Generation"-era mentality makes for a fine counterpoint to Jim's ex-con, post-Watergate cynicism, which is why I must respectfully disagree with our friend marlboro about "Pilot Rocky" being a better fit than our cherished Beery Rocky. The running gag about the ashtray is pretty funny! :lol:

The one bit I didn't get was when Rockford was driven out to almost the middle of nowhere and just...dropped off. What was the purpose of that scene, other than to sort of set up the amusing bit with the cabbie and Rocky? Sharon Gless could have been better used; all she does is watch Rockford down a hot-sauce-covered taco (served by future Officer Billings and Garner crony Luis Delgado).

Enjoyed the nighttime car chase through old L.A. and its atrocious streets; they're all cracked and crumbling. It all adds to the unique atmosphere that makes TRF so great to me. Most shows rely on the Universal Lot, whereas TRF actually "takes it to the streets." The fact they actual film at night is another plus, as it is with most Universal shows.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:55 pm 
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I need to watch more Rockford Files. I like the show but I have a hard time keeping up with the few new shows I like! I feel like my DVR is always beating me.

And now of course there are the Netflix shows ..... where's the time?!?

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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:35 pm 
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ConchRepublican wrote:
I need to watch more Rockford Files. I like the show but I have a hard time keeping up with the few new shows I like! I feel like my DVR is always beating me.

And now of course there are the Netflix shows ..... where's the time?!?


Given my rather eccentric viewing habits, I suppose I have the time to watch forty-year-old detective shows. I haven't had cable tv going on five years next month. Based on what I used to pay for cable each month, I have saved over $4,000. I don't even have the antenna/box/satellite set ups most everyone else has. No Netflix, but I rarely if ever use the Amazon Video aspect of my Amazon Prime membership.

Most of what I watch are DVDs of things dating from the 1930s to 1980s. Other than a few tv shows and films from the '90s and on, I am largely disconnected from the majority of pop culture that everyone else watches and raves about. Just a personal choice, of course. I'm not judging anyone by my admittedly loopy standard! :D

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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:19 pm 
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The only new show that I've enjoyed from the last 15 years is "Breaking Bad." Everyone raves about how this is a new "golden age" for tv, but every time I try one of these new hit shows I end up hating it. I would love to find a new show to watch but they always strike me as being silly, trashy, or too political for my tastes. In other words - I'm old.

p.s. I just bought all ten seasons of Perry Mason, a huge Charlie Chan box set, and seasons 1-10 of Gunsmoke. As I'm typing this, I've got a 50 year old Mexican horror movie playing in the background. So you're not the only one with unusual taste in tv, LG.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:45 pm 
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marlboro wrote:

p.s. I just bought all ten seasons of Perry Mason,


Been watching for this somewhere. Did you find a good deal?

Have also been watching for a discounted Matlock complete series set. Not prepared to pay "full price" for either set right now, but would probably go for either at the right price.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rockford Files
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:47 pm 
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I paid $107 plus tax for the full series. The prices on Amazon fluctuate wildly. It was 177 a couple of weeks ago. If you google it, and it's lower, please don't tell me. ;)

I'm a fan of Matlock as well. Especially the earlier seasons. I don't really know why I like it, but it's just very watchable. I haven't bought any of the dvds though. I don't think I've ever seen a show with as many cast changes as Matlock.

I also picked up a big box set of Charlie Chan movies at a pretty decent price. Those movies are low budget but a lot of fun.

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Hawaii certainly spawned its fair share of detectives, didn't it?


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