The Rockford Files: Season 4, Episode 17

Dwarf in a Helium Hat (27 Jan. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 41 users  
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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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Title: Dwarf in a Helium Hat (27 Jan 1978)

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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.

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Release Date:

27 January 1978 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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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 $450. Anytime before Friday, huh, buddy?
See more »


References Seven Ways from Sundown (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Rockfelt Files
15 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Let me begin by mentioning that this isn't my favorite episode, not by a long shot, and it took a long while to finally get going, but the ending almost made up for it. We get to see Jim awakened in bed, and seeing him in his bedroom at night is very rare; anyway, he's called and threatened that his girlfriend and dog are in big trouble. It turns out that someone named "Rockfelt" was meant to be called, but "Rockford" was just under his name in the phone book, and he was called mistakenly, although it seems rather silly that such a mistake would be made. John Pleshette plays Jay Rockfelt pretty effectively and is very annoying, and I thought Rebecca Balding was pedestrian as Jay's girlfriend, Carol; the best performance to me was by Gianni Russo, who doesn't have many appearances, but the scene with him and Rockfelt in the car is when the episode finally got interesting to me. Watch for a very early acting gig by singer Rick Springfield, and a cool scene with Chapman berating Rockford. The conclusion with Rockford slamming a gate on the car driven by Gianni to save the day was a bit unrealistic, but the ending was much better than the rest of the episode. Let me lastly mention a few nice scenes with Jim and Jay's dog, Romanoff; after the dog is poisoned, he takes care of it and drives it to the animal hospital, and later in the trailer, he also plays with the dog, after the pet bites Jay. What I always liked about this show is the range of emotions Rockford can display, and credit goes to James Garner's solid acting.

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