|Index||3 reviews in total|
This is a very entertaining episode with several faces you should recognize, including Issac Hayes, Dionne Warwick, and Tony Burton(Rocky, The Shining), and there are some popular musical acts also mentioned, such as Donnie & Marie and Frampton. This deals with the music industry(as if you couldn't tell)and Theta(Warwick)is kidnapped for some reason regarding an old stereo set, and a very angry Gandy(Hayes), who's in love with her, hires Jim to help him locate her. They make a decent team together, although I don't think Hayes was a great actor, and they're mostly at odds on how to handle things. There are some cool moments, especially how Gandy calls Jim "Rockfish" several times; when he says "Rockford" later in the show, Jim's surprised face is enlightening. Another great moment is at the end when Angel disguises as a record executive, to Gandy no less, and Jim catches him in the con; this is a great scene. Lastly, Jim does his famous J-turn with the Firebird, which is always a plus to this reviewer.
Isaac Hayes made his third and final appearance as Gandolf Fitch in a
Rockford Files episode. In his first appearance Jim Rockford does him a
solid, in the second he gets a gig with another private detective Lou
Gossett, Jr., in what was a failed pilot for another television series.
In this series the detective gig didn't work out for Gandy, but he's got himself a new girlfriend in a lounge singer played by Dionne Warwick. But she gets grabbed by her ex-husband and then the ex-husband Tony Burton is killed by whom he works for.
It seems as though back when they were married Burton hid a very valuable Hitchcockian McGuffin inside a stereo that Warwick pawned. Now the connected owner of the dry cleaning establishment that Burton works for and who engineered his parole wants that item. Can't tell you what it is. but it's a valuable thing to have.
Speaking of the connected man Malachi Throne has quite the racket himself and apparently a hook in with the parole board. He gets a lot of people paroled, it's his way of building an organization and ensuring loyalty from his crew.
Stuart Margolin is in this one and all Rockford Files stories are that much richer when he's around. Angel is doing what he does best, but it's not something you do with Gandolf Fitch.
I wish Isaac Hayes had some more appearances with this character. But the Rockford Files could always come up with more memorable characters than any other show I know.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Issac Hayes returns one last time as Gandy, the "Hammer of Cell Block
C" and is just as good as ever. This time Gandy's fallen in love. He's
met Theda, a singer played by "Psychic Friends" Dionne Warwick and
wants to promote her as well as marry her. But when her ex Joe Moran
gets sprung from prison, things get complicated. Gandy gets hit on the
head with a 2x4, Dionne disappears, and suddenly Gandy is looking at a
trip back to the joint for ANOTHER murder he didn't do.
You'd think going to the well a third time might be too much, but Hayes is excellent in his third go around as Gandy. He plays tough, but he also can play heartsick and vulnerable. Gordon Dawson gives him a great line "Does two grand buy your help, friend?" which he delivers perfectly to a reluctant Rockford, then later, as a desperate measure to get Rockford to help him, Dawson has Gandy call Jim "Rockford" for the only time in the series.
Dawson's script is very strong, mixing action with comedy--Gandy knocks out Rockford with one punch to get the information he wants, but then covers up Rockford so he'll stay warm while taking and eating the sandwich Rockford had; Rockford later tries to even things up by slugging Gandy but only hurts his own hand; and there's a very good use of Stuart Margolin as Angel (though in series continuity, its unlikely Gandy wouldn't know Angel and certainly Angel would know that Gandy is a dangerous man to con!)
The script is excellently handled by Raza Badiyi, who brings out both the comedy and suspense elements of the script and keeps things at an electric pace. He does some very good work in the linen factory location. It also helps he's got some good performers here, not only Hayes and Garner, but Dionne Warwick is solid as Theda, Malachi Throne as Shapiro, and the usual strong performances from Margolin and Santos.
It's too bad Hayes or Tom Selleck as Lance White did not return to make appearances in the Rockford reunion movies from the mid-90's.
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