The Rockford Files (1974–1980)
3 user

South by Southeast 

Mistaken identity by federal agents has Jim being sent to South America to help them contact a heiress, who has been isolated by her possessive husband.


William Wiard


Roy Huggins (created by), Stephen J. Cannell (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Jim Rockford
Noah Beery Jr. ... Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery) (credit only)
Joe Santos ... Dennis Becker (credit only)
Dorrie Kavanaugh Dorrie Kavanaugh ... Christine Van Deerlin
Don Chastain ... Jon Van Deerlin
Carlos Romero Carlos Romero ... Sam Gurolla
Don Diamond ... Coelho
Jim B. Smith ... Whittaker
Isaac Ruiz Isaac Ruiz ... Jorge Sanchez (as Isaac Ruiz Jr.)
Bert Rosario ... Jorge's Assistant
Mark Roberts ... Agent Kleinhoff
George Clifton George Clifton ... Agent Mallardi
Jim Scott Jim Scott ... Agent Ben Bast
Ernesto Macias ... Emiliano Rivera (as Eric Mason)
Don Dubbins ... Agent Frazee


Mistaken identity by federal agents has Jim being sent to South America to help them contact a heiress, who has been isolated by her possessive husband.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

3 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of the very rare episodes were Rockford does not drive his trademark Pontiac Firebird. It is only seen parked by his trailer in the beginning of the episode. See more »


The plane Rockford boarded was a Lear Jet 24 (N664CL owned by Clay Lacy). During the taxi down the runway it was not a Lear 24 (possibly a Cessna Citation or Gulfstream) and had a Canadian Maple Leaf on the tail. See more »


Christine Van Deerlin: I would like to be left alone. Do you think you could communicate that to your superior?
Jim Rockford: I have no superiors. A few peers but no superiors.
See more »


References North by Northwest (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Not one of Rockford's best
20 May 2019 | by rudyardkSee all my reviews

"South By Southeast" is definitely a below-average Rockford, bearing all the hallmarks of an episode churned out in an exhausted frenzy as the production season neared its end.

For the second episode in a row, Jim is mistaken for someone else, thereby launching him into a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, the reason behind the mistaken identity is particularly contrived this time around. Even worse, everything that happens to get Jim over the border (in order to get the story running) is clearly the work of a desperate scriptwriter hoping that by keeping things moving, the gargantuan plot holes don't become too obvious. Surprisingly, this is a Juanita Bartlett episode, which makes it particularly shocking -- she's usually pretty solid at plot mechanics.

Of course, Juanita's also good at character and dialogue, and there are some absorbing moments in the episode when Jim deals with a spoiled-but-sympathetic heiress. However, the rest of the cast barely registers, and everyone in this story behaves pretty stupidly pretty much all of the time. In particular, the villain of the piece has an especially dumb and transparent criminal plan he's trying to execute.

Is the end result of all this terrible? No. But "South By Southeast" only gets as far as it does on the appeal of James Garner, and a fairly good performance from Dorrie Kavanaugh. For a lesser P.I. series -- Simon & Simon, say -- this would merely be a mediocre episode. But for The Rockford Files? It's quite frankly a disappointment.

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