The Rockford Files: Season 4, Episode 17

Dwarf in a Helium Hat (27 Jan. 1978)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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A threat to the wrong phone number has Jim scrambling to find out who it was meant for.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery)
Julius 'Jay' Rockfelt
Rebecca Balding ...
Carol Lansing
Gianni Tedesco
Milton Selzer ...
Irving Rockfelt
James Luisi ...
Keith Stuart
Ted Markland ...
Scott Ellsworth ...
Norman Appet
Robina Suwol ...
Amy Rockfelt
Bea Silvern ...
Edith Rockfelt
Nancy Burnett ...
Susan (as Mary Nancy Burnett)
Marie Reynolds ...


A threat to the wrong phone number has Jim scrambling to find out who it was meant for.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

27 January 1978 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode title "Dwarf in a Helium Hat" refers to a record album Rick Springfield's character is supposed to have recorded. See more »


While looking in the phone book Rockford calls out a list of names, but when a close-up of the page is shown, the listed names don't match what he called out. See more »


Jim Rockford: This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message, I'll get back to you.
Bookie: Here's the tally, Jimbo. You had Atlanta at even money - tough break - and you got bombed in the Duke-Wake Forest fiasco, and you split the quinella at Holly Park. So you owe the book four dollars and fifty cents. Anytime before Friday, huh, buddy?
See more »


References Seven Ways from Sundown (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Cement overshoes is what this client really deserves
28 May 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The fact that Jim Rockford is listed next to Jay Rockfelt in the Los Angeles phone book gets James Garner involved in a case of kidnapping and dog poisoning. The bad guys accidentally call Garner's phone and threaten bodily mayhem to his dog and his sister. As he has neither that does arouse his curiosity.

Which next leads to a scene not particularly relevant to the plot but nonetheless ironic and funny. Garner goes to the cop and not finding his friend Becker there has to deal with Lieutenant Chapman. James Luisi has a real hard on for Garner and with great pleasure tells him the cops aren't interested in his wild stories.

But Garner's not a detective for nothing and his own investigations lead him to a spoiled rich kid named Jay for Julius Rockfelt played by John Pleshette whose main past time is spending the hard earned money that his father Milton Selzer made in the garment business. It's he who has some gangsters on his case for a situation where he insulted some up and coming made guy who is going to get back at him.

Pleshette truly needs a new pair of cement overshoes, but that leads to something that is a common thread in The Rockford Files. Jim Rockford is a man of conscience and often he goes into a situation to help someone out who often doesn't deserve the help. Like Pleshette and as often as not it's because some innocent party is involved like Pleshette's sister. Or even a jerk like Pleshette might not deserve what's coming to him. What it does is make Jim Rockford one of the most admirable of heroes that television ever had.

This episode also features Rick Springfield as a British rock star who Pleshette cultivates, but who spurns him in the end. Not a person of character like Garner.

This is one of the best Rockford Files episodes, don't miss it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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