The Rockford Files (1974–1980)
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Foul on the First Play 

Jim's shackled to his ex-parole officer Marcus Aurelius (Louis Gossett Jr.), now a PI himself, when a no-holds barred competition for a new NBA franchise ensnares both sleazes. Jim can't ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery) (credit only)
Dennis Becker (credit only)
Marcus Aurelius Hayes / O'Brien (as Lou Gossett)
Manny Stickells (as Dick Davalos)
Martin Eastman
Greg Smith
James Ingersoll ...
Steve Sorenson
Tom Corell
Todd Morris
Commissioner Tremayne
Vincent Cobb ...
Ray Fairchild
Pamela Serpe ...
Sherm Addison
Al Checco ...
Leasing Agent


Jim's shackled to his ex-parole officer Marcus Aurelius (Louis Gossett Jr.), now a PI himself, when a no-holds barred competition for a new NBA franchise ensnares both sleazes. Jim can't figure which jock-sucker, the motor mouth Marc works for, but whoever it is, they keep bringing Jim the pain and costing him way-too-many non-reimbursed expenses. As a PO, slick Marc tried to send Jim back up the river; as a PI, he runs Jim dizzy dodging bullets. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

12 March 1976 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The first appearance by Louis Gossett,Jr as PI/con man Marcus Hays. See more »


Throughout the series Rockford is out of prison because he was pardoned but in this one Hayes is his parole officer who sent Rockford back up for breaking parole. See more »


Jim Rockford: This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message, I'll get back to you.
Caller: Jim, it's Eddie. You were right about Sweet Talk in the seventh. She breezed in, paid $72.50. But I didn't get your bet down.
See more »

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User Reviews

"You hired me to take a beating"
10 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

Lou Gossett, Jr. who co-starred with James Garner in The Skin Game makes the first of two appearances as Marcus Aurelius O'Brien, Jim Rockford's former parole officer. He's no longer a parole officer although that's a fact he's concealing for the moment from Garner.

He hires Garner to find out who has been muscling him and of course Gossett lies like a rug as to what exactly he's involved in. It turns out there's a war on for the rights to a new minor league basketball franchise and one of the bidders is playing rough and rough with Gossett.

Eventually Garner gets the truth out of Gossett after he's been staked out like a clay pigeon and gets a beating in order to find out who they work for. I like the fact that it's Gossett who in turn gets to be the bait when the two finally get to the bottom of things. Also there's a real murder along the way.

Gossett's a slick piece of work. I'm not sure if Angel Martin taught him or Angel studied under Gossett. Turns out Gossett is a private investigator like Jim Rockford, but likes to live on the high side with fancy office, limousine, all the perks thereof while Rockford lives and works out of his trailer.

Gossett may be a conman, but he's slick and engaging.

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