'The Rockford Files' First Episode: THR's 1974 Review

The Rockford Files Season 1 - H 2015
Everett Collection

In fall 1974, NBC debuted an hour-long crime drama, The Rockford Files, at 9 p.m. on Sept. 13. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

The Rockford Files is a terrific show done with style, wit and intelligence. James Garner is equally terrific in the part of Jim Rockford and it is his performance that is largely responsible for the success of this show, in addition to the behind-the-scenes production people.

Rockford specializes in cases where the files are closed. In the opening episode he is hired by a young man who was accused of but never indicted for killing his parents. The character of Rockford is unique because he is always discussing how much money he will get for something.

He also never likes to become involved with violence ... not because of the FCC but because he is a coward. This case leads him into the world of mistresses, lovers and the underworld and it is very entertaining as well as intriguing. Julie Sommars and Roger Davis guest star and James Woods plays the employer of Rockford.

This show is a great lead-in for Policewoman and fortunately it just escapes being opposite Planet of the Apes. The opening episode was written by producer Stephen J. Cannell from a story by John Thomas James.

Lou Antonio directed it with style and Meta Rosenberg is the executive producer. It is a co-production between Universal, Garner’s Cherokee and Roy Huggins, and if Huggins is having talent problems it’s certainly not noticeable. — Sue Cameron

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