The Rockford Files: Season 4, Episode 21

The House on Willis Avenue (24 Feb. 1978)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 69 users  
Reviews: 4 user

When a fellow P.I. is killed on the Ventura freeway, Jim and Richie Brockelman team up to find out if it really was an accident.

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Title: The House on Willis Avenue (24 Feb 1978)

The House on Willis Avenue (24 Feb 1978) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery)
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Garth McGregor
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Al Steever
Philip Sterling ...
County Supervisor Tom Nardoni
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B.J. Anderson
John Van Dreelen ...
Gunderson
...
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Joe Tooley
Russell Thorson ...
Arthur Kenner
Hank Brandt ...
Mr. Davis
Irene Tedrow ...
Mrs. Tooley
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Storyline

When a fellow P.I. is killed on the Ventura freeway, Jim and Richie Brockelman team up to find out if it really was an accident.

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24 February 1978 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Show introduced the Richie Brockelman character (played by Dennis Dugan) that would be spun off into the short-lived "Richie Brockelman, Private Investigator Series". See more »

Goofs

When the microphone in Joe Tooley's office is activated by Rockford's entry, it is labeled 35679KLM. When the agent reports it, he says "35679KLW." See more »

Quotes

Richie Brockelman: You know, I've been thinking, Mr. Rockford, that if you want my opinion, we may be barking up the wrong tree.
Jim Rockford: [nursing his shot gun wound] We're sure getting some strong feedback from the wrong tree.
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Crazy Credits

Disclaimer before end credits: "Secret information centers, building dossiers on individuals exist today. You have no legal right to know about them, prevent them, or sue for damages. Our liberty may well be the price we pay for permitting this to continue unchecked. Member, U.S. Privacy Protection Commission" See more »

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User Reviews

Rockford vs Big Brother
1 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is perhaps the best Rockford Files I've seen to date, the writing is simply superb, the actors are terrific, and the overall vibe of this episode is riveting. There's a fine ensemble of guest stars, including Jackie Cooper, Pernell Roberts, Dennis Dugan(plays Richie Brockelman), Howard Hesseman, and Simon Oakland, yet they all have important roles revolving around some kind of a computer community(if you will) and the murder of a fellow private investigator who happened to be Rockford's mentor; Jim is suspicious because this man hated the freeway, although the dead body turns out to be some poor guy involved in a truck accident, and the mentor(Tooley)was killed and buried somewhere else. Tooley was hired by Al Steever(Hesseman)to do some research on a shady councilman, who has some dealings with the shady Garth McGregor, brilliantly played by Cooper, who's the mastermind behind the computer development. This episode took place in 1978, and I wonder if the term "computer" had a negative connotation as this evil technology to take over the world; at the end of this episode , there's a short statement or public service announcement regarding how the "computer" may in fact exist and is legal, which I found very odd but I digress. This was a 2hr segment and the finale of season 4 and it was a great conclusion and I'm certain Rockford fans were excited for season 5. There were some fine moments that I need to mention such as the serious discussion Jim and Richie have about being an investigator, and Jim tells Richie that you have to satisfy yourself before you please anyone else; you don't normally see Jim open up like that and it was a welcome sight. Simon Oakland was great as the feisty Vern St. Cloud and much reminded me of his Tony Vincenzo character from Kolchak: The Night Stalker, as he's very easy to lose his temper. The scenery was once again very impressive as there were many beautiful shots, even from a helicopter which kidnaps Jim. Speaking of James Garner, he limps very badly throughout the latter half of the episode(Rockford gets injured diving under his trailer); he had several knee operations because of the Rockford Files, and I bet the limping was indeed due to a bad knee and coincidentally this was the final episode of that season. If I had any qualms, one would be how easy Jim and Richie escape the computer compound and avoid getting shot by security, especially how badly Jim limps, and there's not enough of Dennis. Lastly, I found it difficult to believe that Richie could simply sneak on a helicopter even though there were others on there. That being said, this was as close to perfect as any episode I've seen, and there's many great moments and actors to make this a quality show.


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