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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Rockford Files - Season One
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102 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Typical Universal treatment of a hot property: no effort made in any kind of stylish packaging, extras, star treatment, for this beloved '70s TV series.

Then there's the dreaded double-faced discs. I found this set actually functioned, unlike so much recent Universal product. Well, almost... if you're watching individual episodes, you can't skip the closing credits to get back to the episode list. The disc will freeze up, and the only way you can continue viewing is to shut off your DVD player, restart it, and sit through all that opening crap again.

I swear, I HATE that Universal logo to pieces. I shut the sound off so I don't have to hear those self-congratulatory horns.

Like all modern Universal product, this has great content and crap treatment. But at least it's functional, aside from the menu-freeze problem.

I just wish Anchor Bay or someone else who cares had put this out. Just imagine how packed with bonus materials it would be, and how much nicer the packaging would be...
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178 of 193 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2004
The Rockford Files in my opinion was the best TV series ever, and without a doubt was definitely the best TV detective series.
From his trailer office to his home made business card printer, Rockford was truly unconventional. That is what set him apart from his other 70's detective peers. The best part about Rockford was that he was human. He was frequently wrong in his assumptions, he got beat up a lot, and unlike other macho types, he didn't always get "the girl." Angel played by Stuart Margolin added hilarity to the show, and Rockford's dad, played by Noah Beery, gave it a nice family feeling as well. Overall, this was simply an outstanding show, and compared to some of the shows from the 1970's that are already out on DVD, it really makes no sense that this show is not yet out on DVD, and I look forward to the day when The Rockford Files is finally out in DVD format in all 6 of its wonderful seasons.
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102 of 111 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 24, 2005
James Garner's laconic charm as Jim Rockford kept us coming back for more each week and finally won him an Emmy in 1977. Garner, who would have been a star in any era, and sometimes seemed as if he would have fit more into films of the 1940's, finally found the perfect role on television as Jim Rockford, an ex-con given a full pardon when it was discovered he was innocent after all. Working as a P.I. and parking his gold Firebird in front of his trailor on the L.A. beach, Rockford could never quite shake the ex-con tag, nor could he shake his old cellmate, Evelyn "Angel" Martin.

Stuart Margolin was simply fantastic as the scheming Angel, always with an angle, and always certain to get Rockford into trouble when it backfired. Like Rockford, you just couldn't stay mad at Angel, no matter what con had blown up in his face or how much trouble he would get our favorite TV detective in from time to time. Rockford and Angel remained friends because of that unspoken bond all ex-cons have, and because deep down, Angel was a stand-up guy, though you couldn't always tell it from looking at the surface.

Except for the 90 minute pilot episode, "Backlash of the Hunter," starring Lindsay Wagner as Sarah Butler, who would resurface in another episode from the first season, "Aura Lee, Farewell," Noah Beery Jr. portrayed Rockford's lovable dad, Rocky. Rocky was a retired trucker who loved to fish, and passed on the hobby to Jim. It was the little moments like fishing that were really the heart and soul of this show when you stop to think about it. There were always a few slice-of-life moments mingled in with the great car chases, glorious con games, and other assorted mischief, as Rockford tried to solve a closed case and stay out of jail at the same time. Some weeks he was just trying to stay alive. Rocky would always give Jim that "look" if he had to come post bail.

Joe Santos was Rockford's often exasperated police pal, Dennis Becker. He was the buffer between Rockford and Lt. Diehl (Tom Atkins), who hated Rockford and would have liked to take away his P.I. license. Becker was a pal, but could only do so much for Jim as he had to stay out of hot water with Diehl himself. He had a wife and kids to support, and for some strange reason, that sometimes took priority over helping Rockford out of a complicated jam.

Last, but by no means least, was Gretchen Corbett as lawyer Beth Davenport. The relationship between she and Rockford was complicated. They both had a deep affection for each other, which was sometimes complicated by the attorney-client relationship. Her efforts to keep Jim out of trouble with the cops took up a lot of her time. There was a romance of sorts between the two, but it never matured into something that would lead to marriage.

The first season had some great guest stars, in addition to the already mentioned Lindsay Wagner. Other guest stars from season one were: Ned Beaty, Sharon Gless, James Woods, Linda Evans, Jackie Cooper, Hector Elizondo, Diana Muldaur, Suzanne Somers, Tony Mustane, and screen legend Joseph Cotton.

There were many great episodes the first season, in addition to the 90 minute pilot. Those episodes are as follows: THE KIRKOFF CASE -- THE DARK AND BLOODY GROUND -- THE COUNTESS -- EXIT PRENTISS CARR -- TALL WOMAN IN RED WAGON -- THIS CASE IS CLOSED I -- THIS CASE IS CLOSED II -- THE BIG RIPOFF -- FIND ME IF YOU CAN -- THE PURSUIT OF CAROL THORNE -- THE DEXTER CRISIS -- "CALEDONIA, IT'S WORTH A FORTUNE" -- PROFIT AND LOSS I -- PROFIT AND LOSS II -- AURA LEE, FAREWELL -- SLIGHT OF HAND -- COUNTER GAMBIT -- CLAIRE -- SAY GOODBYE TO JENNIFER -- CHARLIE HARRIS AT LARGE -- THE FOUR POUND BRICK -- JUST BY ACCIDENT -- ROUNDABOUT

Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins created this wonderful series and Juanita Bartlett wrote some of the finest scripts ever done for television. James Garner was absolutely perfect as Jim Rockford, and it has become difficult as the years have passed to separate the two in our minds. Garner was, and is, a great actor and screen presence who made everything look easy. This was a terrific show and one of the best ever to be beamed into our homes once a week.

This DVD set has been too long coming, but now that it's just around the corner, there is a sense of anticipation by fans who will be chomping at the bit until it's in their hot little hands. We all will, as everyone loved "The Rockford Files" and couldn't wait to hear Mike Post's great theme music each week. It was recorded and turned into a radio hit it was so good.

Once again we will get to listen to all those crazy messages left on Jim Rockford's answering machine. Fans never missed the opening of the show because a smile or a good laugh might be missed. You don't want to miss it either.

"This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name and message and I'll get back to you."
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2004
The Rockford files is one of the most entertaining series ever produced. Most broadcasts of Rockford on TV is very poor. Universal should make sure to digitally enhance the negatives to the highest clarity and quality and not overly compress them on the DVDS. Make the clearest possible picture. Also put in lost footage of the series,and other extras. This could be a huge seller if done right. Universal, its time.....
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2001
This episode of "The Rockford Files" was originally cast as the prime time "pilot" for the series. Although some of the details had yet to be worked out, it was (and still is) truly remarkable TV. This is from what I call the "best of TV" and James Garner is an actor without peer. The storyline was way ahead of anything else in its day, and Garner was the only one who could pull it off. Couple this with a talented (and very young) Lindsay Wagner and you have a recipe for success. Definately worth buying/watching as are the rest of the series tapes. It's easy to see why Garner and Co. had such a hot commodity in the '70s with this one.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2005
THE WAIT MAY SOON BE OVER. AFTER WRITING TO JAMES GARNER MYSELF ABOUT THE STATUS OF ROCKFORD ON DVD, HE PASSED MY CORRESPONDENCE ALONG TO ONE OF HIS LONG TIME ASSISTANTS WHO IN TURN MAILED BACK TO ME THE ANSWER WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. THE 1ST SEASON OF "ROCKFORD" WILL BE RELEASED BY UNIVERSAL IN SEPTEMBER.DON'T HAVE AN EXACT DATE,BUT 13 SEPTEMBER 1974 WAS THE DATE THE 1st ROCKFORD FILES EPISODE AIRED. 13 SEPTEMBER IS ON A TUESDAY THIS YEAR.THAT IS USUALLY THE DAY OF THE WEEK WHEN NEW CD'S AND DVD'S ARE RELEASED SO THAT DATE MIGHT MAKE SENSE.HOPE THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR EVERYBODY.

P. SANTO
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2006
Like many others here, I was looking forward to finally seeing what I think is arguably the best detective show ever made, The Rockford Files, appear on DVD. Well, now that it's here and I've purchased it, I'm still looking forward to seeing it, or at least parts of it.

My first set of discs had some minor freezing on disc one, no problems on disc two, but serious issues with disc 3, with several episodes ("Claire", "Just By Accident" and "Roundabout") being unplayable. A second set following a return exhibited exactly the same problems in exactly the same places, so now I am going to have to return that as well. My DVD player is a newish Panasonic, not a cheapy, and in any event my backup player, a cheap Citizen that is a few years old, exhibited the same problem. Given the comments of others having similar problems, I can only assume there is a bad batch of discs in the pipeline. This is totally unacceptable for Universal and I can only imagine how James Garner -- who had his own little war with Universal about the series after it ended -- must feel about their handling of it.

For what I could actually watch, the content is excellent. Prints are sharp, colors are good, and the sound is generally acceptable for a series of that era. The shows themselves are priceless. I particularly liked "Aura Lee, Farewell", with the lovely Lindsay Wagner guesting. But the quality problems with the discs really soured me on this set. Universal must do something about the quality of their DVDs, and hopefully the folks at Amazon and other large retailers who will have to deal with unhappy customers will be able to exert some influence to get them to clean up their act.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2004
I lived in Southern California during the 1970's when this

magnificent series was made and I can vouch for how well

the writers, actors, directors, producers and everyone else

involved were able to bring this slightly wacky society

to life on the TV screen. Some episodes are quite serious

(the saddest being when Jim's girlfriend was rubbed out

by the mafia) and others amusing (many of those in which Angel

is involved). Some episodes are based on real-life situations,

such as the one where Rocky's eccentric friend T T Flowers is

locked up in a retirement home/mental hospital against his will so that his evil son-in-law can get ahold of his property.

Unlike some other actors in long-running series, James Garner

always gave his best, so there is nary a bad episode in the lot.

It's about time that this fine series appear in DVD!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2004
Rockford was the only ficitonal detective who could get beaten up occasionally yet we still know he's tough; who could get fooled yet we still know he's smart, and he'll figure it out by the end; to not always get the lady but still get his share. He's the only TV detective ever who was often broke and dodging bill collectors. He's the only TV detective - and the first fictional detective period since Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe - who was a **true** world-weary and world-wise smartass.

Whoever is out there listening, put Rockford on DVD! It's true that there are more people out there willing to pay more to see outtakes from Survivor, but people who like quality viewing and not just titillation ****are willing to pay more****. Sell it at a premium, for Pete's sake! We'll pay it! Just put it out there.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
That's right, What's Happening! is out on DVD but The Rockford Files isn't. Go figure. Anyway, let's hope they're not waiting for James Garner to pass away before they issue one of the greatest TV series ever onto DVD.

Rockford's sardonic humor, street smarts, and always get-the-girl-at-the-end good looks makes this series appealing to all generations, male or female. $200 a day plus expenses? He's definitely worth it!
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