The cases of an easy going ex-convict turned private investigator.
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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:

27 March 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim Rockford, Private Investigator  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(123 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


In France the show was called "Deux cent dollars plus le frais", referring to Rockford's "200 Dollars a day plus expenses" rate. See more »


Throughout the series Rockford's trailer, parked in a parking lot, has electricity and running water, yet there is no evidence of a power line or plumbing attached to the unit. What's more,it often changed position, alternating with it sometimes being parked parallel to the beach and sometimes perpendicular to it. See more »


Jim Rockford: Hey, I'm sorry Dad, you just caught me at a bad time. Reading that detective fiction doesn't help. I mean things aren't like that you know? They're not black and white. They're aren't any heroes left, they die young. (pointing to a book cover) His gun is deadly? Mine's in a cookie jar.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The message left on the answering machine at the opening credits changes from episode to episode, usually as some kind of gag. Occasionally it dealt with some part of the forthcoming story. See more »


Referenced in The Notebook (2004) See more »


The Rockford Files
(Main Title Theme)
Written by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter
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User Reviews

Reality Private Investigating
28 January 2003 | by (The Great Northwest) – See all my reviews

This show destroyed the Private Detective show formula.

At the time, most TV PI's had cutie pie secretaries (Mannix' secretary Gail and Barnaby Jones' ex Miss America Lee Meriweather in particular), Jim Rockford had an answering machine...

All TV PI's had nice offices with dark wood paneling, Rockford's office was the living room of his decaying mobile home parked in the lot outside a diner...

It took at least 3 guys fighting dirty to subdue the average TV PI, even short, fat, aging Cannon. Jimmy was always the one getting his head handed to him unless he figured a way to sucker punch his opponent...

At the climax, other TV PI's would pull their guns, shoot it out with the baddies and save the day. Rockford's gun, often as not was still at home in his cookie jar...

TV PI's always had a friend on the police force who would gladly do favors, looking up DMV records, etc. Rockford's friend on the force was always getting in trouble for even knowing Rockford. The Captains & Lieutenants on the force universally viewed Jim as low life scum & not worth the time of day...

The average detective would go about his business, assembling clues to solve this weeks mystery. That is the way it was with Rockford except that he was always dealing with hustlers, con men, ex-convicts and the occasional ex-girlfriends, every one of whose purpose in life seemed to be the bedevilment and aggravation of Jim Rockford. Not to mention the recurring role of Jim's dad Rocky (deftly played by that Trojan actor, Noah Beery) who was always after Jim to give up PIing and do something "respectable" like truck driving.

When this show appeared on TV, every other PI looked dull and one by one they disappeared as they lost ground in the ratings.

This is also the show that put Steven J Cannell on the map. Nothing that he ever did subsequently equaled this. In fact most of it was crappy formula detective shows.

The Rockford Files is the REAL DEAL!

Simon Sez, CHECK IT OUT!

97 of 100 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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