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The Rockford Files: Season 3 (1974)

Universal

Cast: James Garner, Noah Beery Jnr, Stuart Margolin, Joe Santos.

Rating: G.

Run time: 18 hours, 9 mins.

Genre: Science fiction.

Verdict: Beautiful (see rating system)

This great show, which ran from 1974-79) was really into its stride by the third series.

The role of ex-con turned LA private detective Jim Rockford was a perfect vehicle for James Garner to use his boyish charm and rugged good looks. And the chemistry with a tight ensemble of actors playing similarly great characters made for compulsive viewing.

Rockford`s dad Rocky (Noah Beery Jnr.) is a perfect example and the two of theme often go head to head over the risks Jim takes to earn a measly $200 a day plus expenses. Despite dodging bullets and getting beaten up for a living, Rockford doesn`t even have a decent home, just a trailer parked by the beach. Rocky is constantly nagging ``Jimbo`` to get a real job.

Then there's low-life former cellmate Angel Martin (Stuart Margolin) This so-called friend goes MIA when the going gets tough, and he often complicates Rockford`s investigations. There are clashes aplenty too with Sgt Dennis Becker (Joe Santos), Rockford`s inside source in the LAPD and sometime bowling buddy. Becker often finds himself in trouble with his superiors for ``helping`` Rockford out with a little information.

Whenever Rockford cuts too many legal corners and winds up being charged by the cops, loyal lawyer and sometime lover Beth Davenport (Gretchen Corbett) is there to bail him out.

This set includes all 22 episodes from Season 3 plus the bonus episode “Quickie Nirvana” from season 4. The cases range from murder and stalking to insurance claims and missing persons. Many Rockford fans say Season 3 marked the a high point of this show`s success. I agree!

It would have been nice to see some cast interviews - hopefully Universal will get around to that later in the series.

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