Sunday, March 28, 2010

wilsonblogclassic® Originally posted Friday, September 25, 2009

Classic TV Collection - From my own personal archives!"ROCKFORDS IN HAWAII -- A free trip to Hawaii turns into a frustrating experience for Rocky (Noah Beery, left) when his son, Jim Rockford (James Garner), is 'shanghaied' into working on a dangerous government intelligence mission, in 'The Hawaiian Headache', on NBC-TV's 'The Rockford Files' Friday, Nov. 23 (9-10 p.m. NYT). The episode was filmed entirely on location in Hawaii. (10/26/79)"

Spanning seven years and 122 episodes NBC's The Rockford Files took the well-known genre of the TV Private Eye and turned it on its head. Private Investigator Jim Rockford, wonderfully portrayed my James Garner, was nothing like the TV detectives that came before him, we had never seen a "Private Dick" like this before. Rockford was an ex-con who dressed in cheap suits and lived and worked out of a rundown trailer parked on the beach. Many times he would find himself with impossible cases, deadbeat clients and quite often left holding the short end of the stick. Unlike previous depictions of screen P.I.s as macho types who never turned from trouble, Jim Rockford tried his best to stay away from trouble, in fact given the chance he would usually run the other way! And although he did have a gun like other TV detectives it was seldom seen or used and spent the large majority of its time hidden away in a cookie jar. Mostly James "Jimbo" Rockford tried to use his brains and instincts (sometimes aided by dumb luck) to get himself out of the dangerous situations that nearly always found himself in. Along with his meddling, but well meaning father (Noah Beery), his long suffering police Sgt. friend (Joe Santos), former cell mate and perpetual con artist Evelyn "Angel" Martin (Stuart Margolin), and often much needed attorney and friend Beth Davenport (Gretchen Corbett) Rockford did have plenty of exciting adventures, although he rarely collected his much quoted "$200 a day, plus expenses". With smart scripts, an award winning theme song and a great collection of guest starring actors over the years The Rockford Files would become a high water mark in TV detective shows that few others would ever be able to reach.

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