The Rockford Files (1974–1980)

TV Series  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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The cases of an easy going ex-convict turned private investigator.

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1980   1979   1978   1977   1976   1975   … See all »
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Jim Rockford (122 episodes, 1974-1980)
 Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (121 episodes, 1974-1980)
 Dennis Becker (112 episodes, 1974-1980)


Series about an ex-convict-turned-private-investigator named Jim Rockford who would rather run away than fight and would rather go fishing than work. He isn't a coward, and he isn't lazy -- just rather on the cautious side, that's all. And he bears a very strong resemblance to Western television hero Bret Maverick. Rockford is sometimes assisted (and sometimes deterred) in his cases by friends Dennis Becker (a police detective), Evelyn "Angel" Martin (his cowardly former cellmate) and pretty Beth Davenport (his lawyer). Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

13 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim Rockford, Private Investigator  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(123 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Rockford's telephone number is shown to be 311-555-2368 during the opening credits, as his answering machine message is heard just before the music starts. This was also the phone number shown for the Ghostbusters in their in-movie ad. See more »


Throughout the series, the Los Angeles Police Department responds to calls at Rockford's trailer in Malibu although it is not part of their jurisdiction. The Los Angeles County Sheriff would be the proper agency. See more »


Lance White: I hate it when anybody dies. Even someone like Blackwood. I'm sure he wasn't a bad guy at heart probably.
Jim Rockford: Oh yeah, you throw out the cocaine busts and what, a little pushing around the high schools and what have you got left? Just a sweet guy with a problem.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits for guest stars, writers and other upper-level crew did not always appear right away, sometimes appearing as late as ten minutes into the episode. See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Danger!! Death Ray (1995) See more »


The Rockford Files
(Main Title Theme)
Written by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the greatest
10 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As essayed by James Garner, Jim Rockford is one of the best characters in TV history - in, I might add, one of the best series. The Rockford Files never ceased to be entertaining during its '70s run and remains so in syndication. There's something comfortable about the show, probably because of the well-drawn characters that we feel we know.

If we didn't love Rockford so much, I guess we'd call him a loser. But we love him too much and are pulling for him too much to ever call him a loser. He never has any money. He lives in a dilapidated trailer on the beach. He's not married. He was in prison, though he didn't commit the crime and was pardoned. Helluva way to treat one of our ex-servicemen (Korea). His father, Rocky, was a truck driver and wants his boy Jimmy to take it up. It's steady, and he might get beat up less.

Jimmy, however, would rather be a private investigator. In order to do this, he occasionally runs afoul of police lieutenant Chapman and gets his buddy Dennis in trouble for using the power of the police to do him a favor. He also sometimes winds up embroiled with his con friend and former cellmate, Angel Martin, always in trouble and always looking for the main chance. And if attractive attorney Beth Davenport isn't hitting him up for pro bono help, he needs her to bail him out of jail.

It all sounds a little sad but it's endlessly fun, with some really classic episodes and great dialogue. This is also the series that launched Tom Selleck. In two episodes, he played perfect detective Lance White, a man who, unlike Rockford, couldn't take a wrong step and is beloved by every human being with whom he came in contact. The juxtaposition between Rockford and White is hilarious.

As Rockford, Garner is perfect, and the cast uniformly excellent, particularly Noah Berry, Jr. as his dad. If the clothes and the cars are dated, the acting, the relationships, and the story lines are not. The Rockford Files is one of the classics.

61 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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