The Rockford Files: Season 4, Episode 2

Trouble in Chapter 17 (23 Sep. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Jim is reluctantly drawn into being bodyguard for a famous author, who believes her popular book on the perfect wife is the cause of death threats against her.



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Title: Trouble in Chapter 17 (23 Sep 1977)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery)
Edgar 'Bud' Clement
Jack Avery
Ann Louise Clement
Donna Baccala ...
Janet Avery (as Donna Bacalla)
Marty Bach (as Tasha Martell)
Al Checco ...
Bob Navarro ...
3rd Reporter
Toni Berrell ...
Candace Howerton ...
Mario Machado ...
1st Reporter
Scott Ellsworth ...
Mike Steele ...
Lyle Van Houghton (as Michael M. Steele)


Jim is reluctantly drawn into being bodyguard for a famous author, who believes her popular book on the perfect wife is the cause of death threats against her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

23 September 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


By mere coincidence, four people credited on this episode died in 2014: scriptwriter Juanita Bartlett, star James Garner and guest stars Ed Nelson and Arlene Martel (credited as Tasha Martell). See more »


Jim Rockford: This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message, I'll get back to you.
Donna: [Beeep and the sound of noisy dogs in the background comes on] Jim, this is Donna. Boy we've really been swamped today
[yap!, yap!, whine-e-e]
Donna: Sit! We should be closed
[whine-e-e, yap!]
Donna: Sit! I'll meet you at
Donna: Oh get down!
[phone goes off line]
See more »

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User Reviews

The Write Stuff
3 January 2007 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

Juanita Bartlett has written a very good mystery here about Ann Louise, an author (Claudette Nevins) who hires Jim because she thinks someone (feminists who hate her book--"Forever Feminine") is trying to kill her. Jim suspects she's faking the whole thing for publicity, but then her agent is killed and its a whole new ballgame.

While the mystery is actually pretty good and there are some comedy moments in this episode (when Ed Nelson first approaches Rockford, he punches him in the face for apparently no reason!) I think the problem with this one is the casting of Claudette Nevins in a role written for "The Maltese Falcon's" Bridget O'Shaunessey (Mary Astor). That is a woman who piles one lie on top of another without hesitation as she runs her little game. Just don't buy Nevins as the character. And there's no chemistry between her and Garner either.

In fact, Garner seems really angry when he catches on to her con. Rockford generally appreciates a good con, but this time he's angry about the way she's run it and the innocent people that get hurt. It goes way beyond the usual disdain he has in these situations. He does have an amusing moment at the beginning as he walks into a book lecture with an entire hall full of women and his scenes with Ed Nelson seem comfortable, but the stuff with Nevins just falls flat which sinks the whole episode down to the level of a standard detective show.

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