The Rockford Files (1974–1980)
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The House on Willis Avenue 

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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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery)
Dennis Becker
Garth McGregor
Vern St. Cloud
Al Steever
County Supervisor Tom Nardoni
B.J. Anderson
Police Sgt. Ted Coopersmith
Joe Tooley
Arthur Kenner
Hank Brandt ...
Mr. Davis
Mrs. Tooley


This marked the introduction of Richie Brockleman, who viewers first met in the TV Movie, Richie Brockelman: The Missing 24 Hours (1976), which was an unsuccessful pilot launch. This installment acted as a spin off for Richie Brockelman, Private Eye (1978). Unfortunately, it only lasted 6 episodes. However, Richie would return for Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man's Job: Parts 1 and 2 (1979). Written by DBF

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Release Date:

24 February 1978 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This Season 4 finale originally aired as a 120-minute TV movie. In syndication it is shown as a two part episode. See more »


When Rockford's car is shot with the shotgun on the highway, it has a clear hole in the passenger's door. a minute later after Richie and Rockford drive up and over the big hill next to the highway and over to the entrance ramp, the car speeds the wrong way down the entrance ramp and you can clearly see there is no hole in the passenger's door. Also, as the yellow sedan chasing them drives off the road and begins to go up the grass hill in pursuit, the camera switches to the inside of the yellow car and it's a shot of them driving on the highway not the grass. But the yellow car had been off road climbing the hill in the previous shot. See more »


Richie Brockelman: Look, this guy actually lives in a trailer.
Jim Rockford: Well what does that mean?
Richie Brockelman: Well, it just seems to me that living in a trailer is at the bottom.
Jim Rockford: I live in a trailer!
Richie Brockelman: [he quickly backpedals] Well, you know, not exactly the bottom, more like the middle. And of course, depending on what kind of trailer, it could be the upper middle. For instance I saw one in a magazine a couple of months ago. It could expand out into a two thousand foot home. Now a guy living in a place like that has the world by the...
Jim Rockford: ...
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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 »


References The Rockford Files: Gearjammers, Part 1 (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Rockford vs Big Brother
1 April 2011 | by 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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