THE ROCKFORD FILES

"This is Jim Rockford at the tone leave your name and message, I'll get back to you."

   The answer-phone sequence that begins each instalment of THE ROCKFORD FILES is not only a very original way to establish the plot of a television show, it also lets us know that Jim Rockford is no ordinary private detective. Even Philip Marlowe, in his mildewed apartment block office, had a secretary, but Rockford is too mean to employ one. Serve him right then if his answering machine is more likely to play back a call from the Acme Shirt Company about his laundry than a commission to locate a priceless Maltese Falcon. In fact, Rockford only takes one kind of case, the sort, which the Los Angeles police department have marked 'closed' but where someone involved believes there has been a miscarriage of justice.
And since Rockford once spent five years in prison for a crime of which he was innocent, anyone buying his services is guaranteed a conscientious job. Despite his wry scepticism about life in general, James Rockford observes a scrupulous honesty - especially when claiming every last penny of his daily expenses from a client; and he is totally against violence - especially when he is on the receiving end. Rockford keeps a handgun in a biscuit jar for serious emergencies, but prefers to rely on his wits in his dealings with criminals. If that fails, he will run a mile to avoid a fight, not exactly a coward, just practical. Why look for hospitalisation? With these unusual credentials the part of Jim Rockford would seem to have been tailor made for James Garner, who is at his best playing amiable fraudsters.

Got something to say about the website? Then feel free to contact the Webmaster