The Rockford Files (1974–1980)
12 user 4 critic

Backlash of the Hunter 

Jim helps a young girl whose father was murdered and LAPD has closed the case on without finding the killer.


Richard T. Heffron


Stephen J. Cannell (teleplay by), Roy Huggins (story by) (as John Thomas James)


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Jim Rockford
Lindsay Wagner ... Sara Butler
William Smith ... Jerry Grimes
Nita Talbot ... Mildred Elias
Joe Santos ... Dennis Becker
Robert Donley ... Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford
Stuart Margolin ... Angel Martin
Bill Mumy ... Nick Butler
Pat Renella Pat Renella ... Morrie Talbot
Michael Lerner ... Dr. Ruben Seelman
Ted Gehring ... Norm Mitchell
Joshua Bryant ... Capt. Harry Dell
Bill Quinn ... Harry Butler
Robert B. Williams ... Arnold Demura
Claude Johnson ... Officer




Private investigator Jim Rockford is hired by a beautiful young woman to solve the murder of her father, a homeless man found beneath a pier two months earlier. The killing was never solved by the police. Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


It's been noted that Rockford's Yellow Pages ad conspicuously lacks a phone number. This might have been a proofreading error that got past Rockford as the paying advertiser, but what is equally odd is that when Mrs Elias (Nita Talbot) talks on the phone to Dr. Seelman, he specifically notes that Rockford's business card has no address. He doesn't say if there is a phone number on the card. See more »


In the gunfight scene with the airplane, Jim Rockford (James Garner) uses his non-dominant hand grasping his dominant wrist to steady his revolver. This is a common handgun handling error in many TV series of the time.

Experienced shooters do not hold their handguns that way two-handed. They hold them with the fingers of the non-dominant hand around fingers of their dominant hand with the non-dominant thumb next to the dominant thumb. See more »


Jim Rockford: You know what's wrong with karate Jerry? It's based on the ridiculous assumption that the other guy will fight fair.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Syndicated repeats are split into two parts, with an alternate opening sequence that features the series' title card over a shot of Rockford's mobile home with the answering machine message, regarding Lt. Chapman's birthday, playing in the background. This opening removes any shots of Noah Beery as he does not appear in the episode. See more »


Referenced in The Nice Guys (2016) See more »

User Reviews

good start
9 June 2010 | by stones78See all my reviews

For the most part, I enjoyed this pilot episode for the Rockford Files very much, as there were many guest stars including Lindsay Wagner, William Smith, Bill Mumy, Nita Talbot, Stuart Margolin, and Joshua Bryant. Future staple Joe Santos had a small role as Dennis Becker. The opening sequence is slightly different than the regular series, and Rockford's dad Rocky is played by another actor, and rather mediocre if you ask me, as his dad in the pilot looks like a bum; thankfully, this was his only episode. Anyway, watch for many seedy shots of the strip in Los Angeles and a rather funny scene in the men's room between Jim and Smith. Speaking of Smith, he plays a great villain and is ruthless, especially the way he murders the old man under the boardwalk.

A few scenes weren't believable, like how the airplane kept missing Jim's Firebird when firing the machine gun, and how easily the criminals get captured. Also, look for the obligatory make out scene between Rockford and Lindsay Wagner.

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Release Date:

27 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die schwarze Witwe See more »

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