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The Rockford Files: The Countess

A countess hires Jim to put a stop to a hoodlum's blackmail scheme. Jim cannot solve the problem a sneaky way, so he confronts the man. That turns into a fight, and during that fight someone shoots the hoodlum dead! To a pair of nearby witnesses, Jim looks guilty! Now Jim has two clients – himself and the countess. He has to get out from under a murder rap without revealing what he has learned about her. He faces temptation, since his information would clear him at the cost of her freedom.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x3
Production Number: 41410
Airdate: Friday September 27th, 1974



  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (1 Vote cast)
Guest Stars
Susan Strasberg
As Deborah Ryder
Recurring
Gretchen Corbett
As Beth Davenport
Recurring
Art Lund
As Mike Ryder
Dick Gautier
As Carl Brego
Harold Stone
As Mob Boss (as Harold J. Stone)

Co-Guest Stars
Tom Atkins
As Lt. Alex Diel
Recurring
Todd Martin (1)
As Policeman
Recurring
Jean LeBouvier
As Woman
Recurring
Melvin F. Allen (1)
As Cab Driver (as Mel Allen)
Recurring
Florence Lake
As Old Woman
Main Cast
James Garner
As Jim Rockford
Noah Beery, Jr.
As Joseph "Rocky" Rockford
Joe Santos
As Det. Dennis Becker

Recap

Jim Rockford walks through a field of scrubby wildflowers somewhere in the California foothills. He finds a grassy clearing and sets down his bags, begins to open them. A taxi, an older model, drives along a road. The driver asks his passenger, an attractive woman, how much further. She thinks about another mile. Jim removes a video camera from its case and begins connecting a cable to it. The taxi driver comments that he's taking his passenger a long way to the middle of nowhere, and asks if she's sure he just wants him to drop her. She's sure. In the hills, Jim has readied his camera, save for a few adjustments. The woman directs the hack to pull up in a clearing – a clearing Jim's position overlooks. When he sees the hack pull up he puts camera to eye and begins to record...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Roy Huggins used his John Thomas James non de plume for his story credit.

The first appearance of Tom Atkins' character Lieutenant Diel



Episode Quotes
Jim: This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message. I'll get back to you.
Caller: Hey, Rockford – very funny! I ain't laughin'! You're gonna get yours.

Hack: By the way, I'm a Scorpio. With Pisces ascending.
Debra Ryder: How nice for you.
Hack: Yeah! Yeah, it is!

Carl Brego: Why, Countess! You look lovely. You know, we're going to have to stop meeting like this.

Jim: If you'll just tell me what's going on, maybe I can tie a can to his tail. I need that much leverage to make it work. You've got trust somebody.
Debra: And you're applying for the job? How sweet.

Debra: Mike was born in a hovel. He never made it past the fifth grade. He made a fortune, and he married a Countess. That's not why he married me, but it is important to him, and I would like to save that for him.
Jim: And maybe save it for yourself, too?
Debra: I think I like you. You certainly aren't impressed by the fact that I once had a title.

Jim: I got a message from the Countess.
Carl: Oh, yeah? What's that?
Jim: You don't wanna talk in from of Leah, sport. I'm gonna make you look bad.
Carl: Is that so? Well, won't be the first time.

Jim: If I see you hanging around her again, I'm going to come down here and pound your mouth full of sand, and drop you off the pier.

Lieutenant Diel: You got a right to consult with your attorney... but I got a suggestion.
Jim: Well, let me guess. If I confess, you'll get me off with twenty to life, and then you'll make sure that the warden puts me in a cell with color TV.

Jim: I didn't come down with yesterday's rain. You've got a very creaky case here, and all of it circumstantial.

Terry: If you want I can run this guy off.
Jim: I wouldn't try it, Terry. I'm in a bad mood today; I'm liable to make you eat the rest of the tennis balls in that basket.

Jim: Your best bet to stay out of prison is to plead temporary insanity. Who knows? They may toss you in one of those head basket wards.

Debra: Chivalry is really dead, isn't it?
Jim: I know.

Jim: Listen, if it helps any, I think he was killed by organized crime.
Man: I'm IN organized crime, Mr. Rockford. And I know how it works.

Lieutenant Diel: You like this jerk, don't ya?
Dennis: No, I don't like him. I owe him a punch in his belly, and I can't collect if he's doing time!

Debra: They keep fooling you, don't they? You think everything's real. Then when you get close enough so you can see it's just... made of plastic. Mike was the only genuine article around.



Analysis
A mobster sends a subordinate to call “New York” to confirm a contract. This man was a member of the Chicago Outfit, which runs much of the serious crime in that town. The Outfit is loosely affiliated with the Five Families who run crime in New York, but it is not subordinate. It's generally true that murder contracts require authorization from superiors, but this would come from Chicago, not New York.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorStephen J. Cannell
Executive ProducerMeta Rosenberg
ProducerStephen J. Cannell
Associate ProducerWilliam F. Phillips
MusicArtie Kane
Music SupervisorHal Mooney
Set DecoratorGary J. Moreno
Director of PhotographyLamar Boren
Art DirectorRobert Crawley
Creative ConsultantJuanita Bartlett
Main Title ThemeMike Post  |  Pete Carpenter
Main Title DesignJack Cole (1)
Film EditorFred Baratta
SoundVic Carpenter
CostumerCharles Waldo
Assistant DirectorCliff Coleman
Unit ManagerLester William Berke
Editorial SupervisorRichard Belding
 
Warning: The Rockford Files season 1 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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