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"The Rockford Files" The Paper Palace (1978)

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Who wants to kill this working girl?

5/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
3 February 2015

Rita Moreno made the first of three appearances on a Rockford Files story, plus a TV film in the 90s. Rita's an experienced working girl and meetings with crazy people is part of the game. But she can't figure out why someone is trying to kill her. A pair of French hit men have made a try for her and she doesn't recall crossing any paths with French johns.

After one attempt where James Garner is given a nice concussion it's decided that she move in with an older widow woman friend Shirley O'Hara. Then O'Hara gets killed and now the cops which include Rockford's enemy James Luisi and friend Joe Santos start an investigation centered around Moreno.

But Garner has a different theory and of course as you would expect he's the one that's right. Dennis Becker has made several good busts because of his friend Rockford, but at some point you would think that Lt. Chapman would smarten up given all the times Rockford has shown him up. And in this one he's shown up bad. It's the major weakness of this particular episode.

But Moreno creates a wonderful character and there's a great scene in the end where Bruce Kirby who is one of her regulars injects himself in that homicide case. It's really funny though for a man who wants his relationship with Moreno to be discreet.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Too much Rita

Author: stones78 from United States
24 March 2011

This episode has the special guest star as Rita Moreno, who does a commendable job as a prostitute, but my biggest qualm is that she becomes the lead character as most scenes revolve around her, and Jim almost seemed a secondary character to me. I'll assume Moreno had the star power in 1978, but I prefer Rockford performing some scenes on his own, which doesn't happen here often, if at all. The subject matter has to do with a hockey team, and an old lady friend of Rita's(named Maggie), who's husband owned part or all of the team. After a botched attempt on Rita's life occurs by 2 French goons, she moves in with Maggie, who herself gets murdered by the same men. It's solid writing as usual, but I cringed when I saw Moreno's name(she may be a solid actress)because she usually takes over as the lead; I believe she stars in 2 other episodes as the same character. A few scenes worth seeing is the funny dinner scene at the Becker's(funny comments by Bruce Kirby), and when Jim and Rita drive to the hockey party/convention; the drive is along this scenic road with palm trees. I'm a sucker for the great outdoor shots as it has this cool mellow feeling.

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