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The Rockford Files: The Dark and Bloody Ground

Beth Davenport approaches Rockford with the idea that he can help her clear her client, who is accused of murder. Trouble for Jim starts when Beth reveals her client has almost no money, and escalates when Jim's investigation worries someone enough to try murder. It's all connected to a hoped for blockbuster film, called The Dark and Bloody Ground. What is the connection between an impoverished murder victim, his accused murderer, and a Hollywood producer?

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x2
Production Number: 41402
Airdate: Friday September 20th, 1974

  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
Gretchen Corbett
As Beth Davenport
Walter Brooke
As Clyde Russell
Tom Bower
As Officer Hensley
Luis Delgado
As Police Officer
Linden Chiles
As Elliot Malcolm
Nancy Malone
As Elizabeth
Patricia Smith (1)
As Ann Calhoun
Marc Alaimo
As Farber
Main Cast
James Garner
As Jim Rockford
Noah Beery, Jr.
As Joseph "Rocky" Rockford
Joe Santos
As Det. Dennis Becker


Sirens precede fire engines down a nighttime street. Later, it is daytime and ambulance attendants carry a stretcher up the metal stairs of the Regal Motel. Fire fighting equipment is still on the scene but the fire is under control at this point. There are extension ladders here and there, smoke swirling from the second floor, and firemen tossing burned and smoldering furniture over the railing. Other firemen douse this wreckage with water, ensuring it is no longer burning...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Roy Huggins' story credit is under 'John Thomas James', his frequent nom de plume.

The dispatcher voice heard in the background of the fire scene is the same voice who dispatches the paramedics and fightfighters on Emergency!, a Jack Webb show made around the same time. Possibly the same actor (an actual dispatcher) or possibly some recycled dialogue.

This is the first series appearance of Beth Davenport.

Episode Quotes
(Answering machine opening gag.)
Jim: This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message; I'll get back to you.
Louie: Hey, Jim, this is Louie down at the fish market. You gonna pick up these halibut or what?

Jim: The last time we worked together, I not only didn't make any money, I had to refinance my car!

Jim: Beth, I spent five years in prison. While I was there I never met anybody who wasn't innocent.

Dennis: The Calhoun case is closed. You wanna waste your time on it, fine. But don't waste mine.

Jim: Hot sauce, please.
Beth: With your stomach?!?

(Jim needs to make a telephone call but hasn't got a dime.)
Jim: Gimme a dime or I'm going to crack you open like a piggy bank!

(Rocky is waving a gun around.)
Jim: Why don't you put that thing away? For one thing, you don't have a permit for it.
Rocky: Oh, I don't need one. It's yours.
Jim: Well, I don't have a permit for it either, so give it here!

Jim: Ann, the person he was is the reason he was killed.

Beth: You're making $200 a day.
Jim: Plus expenses.
Beth: All that stops the minute you walk into Becker's office.
Jim: Are you implying that I can be bought?
Beth: Yes.

Jim: When it's bad news I knock first.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorStephen J. Cannell
Executive ProducerMeta Rosenberg
ProducerStephen J. Cannell  |  Lane Slate
Associate ProducerWilliam F. Phillips
Music SupervisorHal Mooney
Set DecoratorGary J. Moreno
Director of PhotographyLamar Boren
Art DirectorRobert Crawley
Creative ConsultantJuanita Bartlett
Main Title ThemePete Carpenter  |  Mike Post
Main Title DesignJack Cole (1)
Music ScoreRichard DeBenedictis
Film EditorEdward A. Biery
CostumerCharles Waldo
Assistant DirectorCliff Coleman
Unit ManagerLester William Berke
Editorial SupervisorRichard Belding
Warning: The Rockford Files season 1 episode 2 guide may contain spoilers
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