Watch The Rockford Files

Centering on the character of California based private investigator Jim Rockford, played by James Garner The Rockford Files was a hit American crime drama that has achieved cult following through its often repeated shows. The Rockford Files was groundbreaking at the time of production during the mid to late 1970's because its title character was not a rich playboy like many of the TV private investigators of the same time period. Lead actor James Garner's ill health and a spiraling budget are usually given as reasons for the cancellation of the show after a six year run in 1980.

The plot of The Rockford Files includes stand alone stories told each week and a series of story arcs that cover a season and beyond mostly covering the relationship of Rockford with his friends and family. Throughout the original run of The Rockford Files between 1974 and 1980 the main relationship the title character maintains is with his father, played by Noah Beery Jr. A story arc that extends across the seasons of the show is that of Rockford and his long time friend Sgt. Dennis Becker of the Los Angeles Police Department; Rockford often calls Becker for assistance with his cases and leaves his friend feeling the wrath of his superiors in the LAPD for the friendship the two men share.

In each episode Rockford accepts a new case in an attempt to pay off the creditors who are generally chasing him throughout the 122 episodes of the show. Rockford generally attempts to avoid cases that will bring him into contact with live cases being investigated by the LAPD; although his cases do often cross into those investigated by the police.

The Rockford Files has been in syndication throughout the world since the 1970's and returned for eight reunion TV movies in the 1990's featuring the surviving members of the original cast. Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell; much of the success of the show is put down to the quality of the writing completed by later TV successes David Chase and Juanita Bartlett.

NBC
6 Seasons, 128 Episodes
March 27, 1974
Action & Adventure, Drama, Crime
8.1/10
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The Rockford Files Full Episode Guide

  • A fishing trip in Parma is interrupted when Jim agrees to cast a seemingly harmless proxy vote for his new friend, John Traynor. Before he knows it, Jim is tangled in a complex web of local power, greed and intimidation.

  • In a cross-country plot that takes him all the way to New Jersey, Jim comes to the aid of a mob boss who's trying to turn his life around. But two young thugs who are trying to get into the mob make his job all the more difficult.

  • Shortly before he was killed by powerful people, a reporter mailed Jim a provocative package proving that a union has connections to the mob. Now, as he takes on the case, Jim's own life is in serious danger.

  • Everyone's favorite prostitute, Rita Capkovic, is back -- but this time, she's been savagely beaten by her pimp. Jim offers her a place to stay while she recuperates, which doesn't sit well with his new girlfriend. Rita Moreno guest stars.

  • Jim and Rocky head to Hawaii to relax on a no-strings-attached "free" vacation -- but Jim isn't off duty for long. After running into his former Army commander, he gets drawn into a high-stakes CIA operation.

  • Blind psychologist Megan Doherty, the woman Jim helped -- and romanced -- the previous year, returns with a new problem: The man she's engaged to has been slapped with an inconvenient murder charge. Country singer Barbara Mandrell guest stars.

  • Jim wonders whether his search for a rock star's shady business manager is related to the musician's own highly publicized palimony trial. But Jim's ex-con pal is more concerned with his crush on a pretty music journalist.

  • An ex-con -- and former friend of Jim's -- hires the Paradise Cove P.I. to track down a rock star's missing business manager. But the case also leads Jim into a world of sex, drugs and trouble with the mob.

  • Jim works with Kendall Warren, the woman he was hired to protect, to find the person who's been trying to kill her. But when their prime suspect turns up dead, Jim and Kendall are left wondering where to look next. Lauren Bacall guest stars.

  • Jim accepts a royal request from a princess who fears that her best friend is being targeted by a ruthless killer. The clues come together at a gala costume party, where both Lt. Chapman and Angel are in attendance. Lauren Bacall guest stars.

  • In the wake of a dispute with his meddling neighbor, Jim finds himself slapped with a $35,000 damage suit and forced out of Paradise Cove. Mariette Hartley guest stars -- and earned an Emmy nomination for her efforts.

  • Jim is hit by a drunk driver and lands in the hospital, where he witnesses a doctor taking organs from an unsuspecting donor. But since he witnessed the crime under heavy sedation, can he truly be sure of what he saw?

  • With a wary eye on Angel, Jim sets in motion his elaborate sting operation, a complex scheme involving a popular race track and a traveling King Tut exhibit. Dennis Dugan ("Richie Brockelman: Private Eye") guest stars.

  • Hired to help novice detective Richie Brockelman, Jim organizes a sting operation so elaborate that he needs to hold auditions to find the perfect con artists. Dennis Dugan ("Richie Brockelman: Private Eye") guest stars.

  • Jim comes to Angel's rescue once again when the perpetual schemer pretends to be a hit man in exchange for a $10,000 contract. Angel didn't plan to actually kill his target... but he also didn't plan on someone else doing the job for him.

  • Former Black Shadow member John Cooper takes his hog out of storage and goes undercover to get revenge when the Rattlers, a hell-raising motorcycle gang, rape his sister and attack his friend Jim Rockford.

  • An IRS audit and a recently paroled mob hit man with an ax to grind add up to one bad week for Jim Rockford. To escape from it all, Jim heads to the mountains with a pretty accountant. But soon enough, he has more company.

  • After serving on a hung jury in a case involving alcohol, a moving vehicle and manslaughter, Jim agrees to help the accused prove his innocence. Mills Watson, James Karen and Robert Sampson guest star.

  • One of Jim's oldest ex-girlfriends rolls into town with some undesirable baggage: a stalker who wants to kill her. The way Jim sees it, there are at least three suspects -- including the woman who's trying to hire him for an out-of-town job.

  • After accepting a ride from an acquaintance who was secretly transporting illegal weapons in a stolen vehicle, Jim winds up being questioned by the feds. But the real mystery is why his "friend" wasn't charged with any crimes.

  • Jim receives a call from his ex-girlfriend Carol, a former model, shortly before she dies. The police claim suicide was the cause of death, but one of Carol's friends is convinced she was murdered. Erin Grey ("Silver Spoons") guest stars.

  • Jim goes undercover as a tabloid reporter on suspicions that The National Investigator is getting its stories from the private files of Richard Hagens, a doctor whose clientele includes several celebrities.

  • Jim's investment in the career of boxer Jesus Hernandez is jeopardized when a television personality makes it her mission to get Jesus's manager, Morry Hawthorne, arrested on a trumped-up federal charge. Mary Frann ("Newhart") guest stars.

  • Megan Dougherty and Jim determine that her stalker is one of her patients, a man she once diagnosed as being nonviolent. But given the fact that he's capable of murder, she's second-guessing her professional judgment.

  • Jim comes to the aid of blind psychologist Megan Dougherty, who's being stalked by an unseen menace. Jim suspects the stalker is one of her patients, but doctor-patient confidentiality prevents Megan from talking about her clients.

  • A nervous insurance company hires Jim to keep tabs on Frank Falcone, an ex-cop turned crime novelist who has a reputation for being a loose cannon. Despite Jim's best efforts, Frank ends up tangling with the mob. Hector Elizondo guest stars.

  • Jim agrees to help a new client, Sean Innes, find a woman named Khedra Azziz. But soon after launching his investigation, Jim is kidnapped and questioned by an Arab family.

  • When cheeky art thieves unexpectedly crash a party to welcome the city's new police commissioner, they leave with $2 million in paintings and force the male guests to take off their pants. Can Jim restore the hosts' stolen art -- and their dignity?

  • With an important promotion at stake, Sgt. Becker asks Jim to help him investigate the murder of the deputy police chief's wife. But neither knows what to do when some unsavory information about the victim surfaces.

  • When the daughter of a high-profile weapons manufacturer goes missing, Jim must join forces with dashing private eye Lance White to find the girl and bring her home. A pre-"Magnum, P.I." Tom Selleck guest stars.

  • After confronting a pair of noisy neighbors who routinely disturb the peace at the local trailer park, Jim gets slapped with a murder accusation. To make matters worse, his new attorney is too busy to come to his aid.

  • Working girl Rita Capkovic seeks Jim's help in clearing her name after witnessing the murder of her latest john, a prominent doctor. The police suspect Rita is to blame, but she claims to have seen the real killer. Rita Moreno guest stars.

  • While making a delivery of breakfast sausages, Rocky is forced off the road and has his delicious cargo stolen. Jim starts his investigation by talking to the sausage company's spokesperson, a popular country-western singer.

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