Search - The Rockford Files - Season Five on DVD

The Rockford Files - Season Five
The Rockford Files - Season Five
Actors: James Garner, James Luisi
Directors: James Garner, Richard Crenna, James Coburn, Harry Falk, Lawrence Dobkin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     18hr 21min

James Garner returns in his Primetime Emmy®-winning role as detective Jim Rockford, an ex-con whose instinct for solving cases is as cool as his Pontiac Firebird. From his mobile home in Malibu, this wisecracking private...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Garner, James Luisi
Directors: James Garner, Richard Crenna, James Coburn, Harry Falk, Lawrence Dobkin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Drama, Drama, Classic TV, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/15/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 18hr 21min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Season 5 Shines Bright
Mad Mau | Oklahoma City | 11/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Season Five continued the fine writing and impeccible acting that defined The Rockford Files as one of televisions best ever offerings.

In addition, this season has some fantastic guest stars: Rita Moreno, Bo Hopkins, Tom Selleck, Abe Vigoda, Robert Loggia, Jason Evers, Robert Alda, Kathryn Harrold, Mary Fran, Erin Gray, Ted Shackelford, Paul Koslo, Dennis Dugan and Harold Gould to name just a few.

A few of my favorite episodes from this season include:

White on White and nearly Perfect - Wherein Jim works with Lance White (Tom Selleck), a goody two shoes Detective who always comes up smelling like a rose, usually at Rockford's expense.

Black Mirror - A two parter where Jim protects and falls in love with a blind psychologist played by the scrumptious Kathryn Harrold.

A Different Drummer - A strange but absorbing tale that has Rockford on the trail of a sociopath who is harvesting organs from live donors.

Episode list and original air dates are as follows:

Heartaches of a Fool 9/22/1978
Rosendahl and Gilda Stern Are Dead 9/29/1978
The Jersey Bounce 10/6/1978
White on White and Nearly Perfect 10/20/1978
Kill the Messenger 10/27/1978
The Empty Frame 11/3/1978
A Three-Day Affair With a Thirty-Day Escrow 11/10/1978
A Good Clean Bust With Sequel Rights 11/17/1978
Black Mirror (1) 11/24/1978
Black Mirror (2) 11/24/1978
A Fast Count 12/1/1978
Local Man Eaten by Newspaper 12/8/1978
With the French Heel Back, Can the Nehru Jacket Be Far Behind? 1/5/1979
The Battle-Ax and the Exploding Cigar 1/12/1979
Guilt 1/19/1979
The Deuce 1/26/1979
The Man Who Saw the Alligators 2/10/1979
The Return of the Black Shadow 2/17/1979
A Material Difference 2/24/1979
Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man's Job (1) 3/3/1979
Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man's Job (2) 3/3/1979
A Different Drummer 4/13/1979

What a shame there's only one more season (and a truncated one at that) of the Rockford files to go after this. Hopefully they'll include all the reunion shows with the 12 episodes of Season Six.

Oh and don't forget "At the tone leave your name and number, I'll get back to you.""
One of the best shows ever on TV, still great near the end!
Erik Rupp | Southern California | 01/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Rockford Files, in case you haven't seen it, is one of the best examples of dramatic television in the 1970's (if you have seen it you already know that). The Rockford Files was/is a witty, well written "detective" show, a genre that was extremely popular in the 70's and 80's. If you like Magnum P.I. or Simon and Simon or any other show like that then you'll like The Rockford Files. Rockford did the same thing before they did it, only better.

James Garner was absolutely perfect as Jim Rockford. It's just about impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. The show's writers and producers managed to find a perfect balance of drama and comedy (with the comedy coming in the form of dry, sarcastic one liners, usually coming from Rockford) without hurting the dramatic impact of the stories.

The fifth season of the show found those writers and producers on a roll. The Rockford Files was one of those shows that never saw a slip in quality. It was a great show from start to finish. And now nearly the entire run of the series is available on DVD.

Watching the DVD's is almost like going back in time - these episodes (for the most part) haven't looked this good since they first aired back in the 70's. It's nice, too, to be able to watch uncut episodes (as a couple minutes from each episode of shows from that era are cut for additional ad time when shown on TV in syndication). Unless you watched the shows in the 70's you might not even know what you were missing when watching the shows in syndication - but now you will get to see those scenes previously deleted for commercial time.

If you're a fan of detective shows with a wry sense of humor then The Rockford Files is for you."
The Best Detective Series Ever?
Ray | 01/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Rockford Files" was a wildly popular, and now, iconographic, television detective series based on the life and work of Jim Rockford, a private detective living in southern California in the 1970's. The series is undoubtedly one of the best television shows ever produced: so good that one almost winces when the word "television" is mentioned in context with the show. Although television was the format and forum for the series, the work lays clearly outside the norms of "good television," and moves into areas generally only found in film and drama.

Jim is a genuinely good-hearted, but nevertheless cynical, hero of the common man who makes his sometimes meager income pursuing his unusual and often dangerous job. As an ex-con himself who spent time in jail for a crime he did not commit (and for which he eventually received a full pardon), Jim's street smarts equip him to move through all types of dangerous and unexpectedly dramatic situations that arise as he works his way through his revolving caseload, the "files" part of "The Rockford Files." Jim's response to questions about his daily rate, usually asked by someone in most every episode, is "200 dollars a day, plus expenses." Jim's duties might be to look for a missing person, collect on a debt owed, solve a crime, or anything else that someone might hire a private detective to do.

Jim makes frequent use of his friend in Los Angeles Police Department, Sgt. Dennis Becker, to get important information, but as often as not, pays the favors back by providing help to Becker which allowed Becker to make arrests. Jim claims to be averse to picking up any job that involves real danger. He owns a gun, but rarely uses it, and makes a point of telling anyone who will listen that he doesn't like guns. Nevertheless, it is Jim's care for the individual that generally moves him into danger to help someone else in need. His closest real friend, Angel Martin, is a small-time grifter and con artist who is always trying to con someone out of a few dollars, but never manages to lose Jim's friendship for reasons that may rest more with Jim's sense of responsibility to a person who needs SOMEONE to care for him than for more selfish reasons.

Jim's gold Pontiac Firebird became one of the enduring visual representations of the decade. The car was routinely bruised, dinged, crashed, vandalized, and in one episode, even blown up, but was nevertheless kept in steady repair throughout the entire run of the series. Few automobiles have been so closely identified with a dramatic character while never being the central focus of attention.

The Rockford Files was well-known for extremely strong plot lines, with virtually every episode in the run of the series an outstanding piece of dramatic writing and acting set to full musical score. The music in the first season or two is often exceptionally strong, where we often discover entire episodes seemingly a continuous musical score underpinning the story. (The theme song for the series, played at the beginning of every episode and revisted within episodes as variations on a theme, was immensely popular during the series run, and was catchy enought to be released commercially on the radio waves at some point in the show's run.) Individual episodes focus on a variety of themes, either comic, intrigue, mystery, problem solving, and others, but the common thread in them all is life as viewed through the lens and experiences of Jim's efforts to stay out of trouble while he faces trouble. Episodes typically contains enough twists and turns to keep even the most seasoned watcher on the edge of the seat in trying to figure out the angle or angles that are at play. The commanding and reassuring presence of James Garner, a greatly-loved figure in American movies and television, carries virtually every scene while keeping the plot believable and engaging. The fact that the series could maintain such high levels of realistic credibility while not allowing the viewer to assemble all the pieces until the near end of each episode is simply a marvel of narrative storytelling. These are some of the best examples of premier storytelling in the history of television, and arguably, film.

Many reviews of television shows contain lists of "best" episodes. In my own mind, it is simply not possible to create such a list for The Rockford Files. To do so would perhaps do some injustice to the series, because virtually every episode is "good" in the basic sense. Yes, there are indeed some episodes that are archetypical examples of mastery in video storytelling, but to be perfectly honest, you can basically pick any episode of The Rockford Files at random, and, assuming you understand the basic premise of the show, chances are you'll have a great viewing experience. But perhaps this is a series best watched by starting with Season One, and watching each episode in order, so that one can fully appreciate the cast of characters, their relationship to one another, and the unfolding story of Jim's life. Along the way, we come to love Rocky as a father and human being, appreciate Denis as an honest and hard-working police officer, admire Beth as a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer, and feel some level of understanding, and yes, even sympathy, for Angel as he cons his way through small-time scams. Running through it all is Jim, a person who often puts others above himself, and has a touch of humanity that appeals to most everyone, and easily makes the series one of the most endearing to ever appear on television.
Man, So Cool
Robert E. Rodden II | Peoria, IL. United States | 02/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have to say, it's hard to rate Season 5 any less than the previous four seasons on DVD, but because it's missing Beth, and seems not to have nearly enough Angel, I guess I can take one star away. Still, I believe this may be my favorite detective series. James Garner is completely believable and natural as the laid back detective. He brings a self-depricating, anti-hero charm to Jim, not a coward, just smart enough to know that you can't dodge a bullet when the gun is pointed at your chest.

Since it's more the same of what I love, I guess I'm wondering what will happen with Season 6, which was only half over when Garner had to leave for health reasons. I'd like to suggest that it would be nice if Universal combined Season 6 with the movie length comeback of the Rockford files of the 90's.

Video quality is not remastered for high-def, but that shouldn't matter, since what we're dealing with here are studio masters, which were printed on giant tape sets for broadcasting in the 70's. The quality is really no better or worse than the previous DVD releases - in fact, it's basically what they probably looked like when they debuted originally, and that is part of their charm - so don't let that stop you from purchasing this very entertaining collection."