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  • More serious than you would expect from a "Rockford Files" movie, this is a sometimes powerful if heavy-handed attack on the media and the way in which it covers "juicy" stories. While there isn't much of a mystery here, the excellent cast--particularly Hal Linden--makes the movie very watchable. This sat on the shelf for two years before CBS finally aired it, and the plot closely shadows the real-life case of Richard Jewell, who was unfairly accused in the press of the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings.
  • mcforbes6 November 2006
    This was the last movie of the series, I believe that there are two additional ones that were never shown. It is sort of a close out, a lot of the old cast appears in it. At this point James Garner said he was getting too old, one foot chase shows him hobbling out of the pickup, I guess he was too old for the Firebird at this point, to catch the bad guy. As a fan, I appreciated the series being tied in with the movies, and should be the model for Hollywood to follow. If there ever was a Rockford big screen movie made and if it was soon, perhaps James Garner could play Rocky.

    Of the six movies that were shown I would recommend all of them, particularly I Love LA, which was the first and the highest rated.
  • The Rockford movies in the Nineties were familiar and unchallenged, kind of like drinking a warm cup of cocoa. While Jim is more cranky than charming, Dennis is as put-upon as ever, Angel remains Angel and the Firebird's always getting dinged.

    The first four were entertaining, but there's a real drop-off in quality after "Godfather Knows Best." I think that's when they stopped caring and just took the money. The movies also seemed to get darker and more violent. The last one, "If It Bleeds, It Leads" is actually a lousy way to wrap up the series. I remember hearing that it was the last one and had sat on a shelf for a year or two. When I saw it, I knew why. It's awful and depressing. Stay with the earlier TV movies if you need a Rockford Nineties fix.
  • I'll take my Rockford any way I can get him, so I was thrilled when these TV movies came out. This one, however, is not in the usual lighthearted Rockford style. It's pretty heavy.

    Rita (Rita Moreno) is back with her husband (Hal Linden) who is a teacher. When he's accused of child molestation because of his resemblance to a police sketch, he is put on suspension. This devastates him completely. Rita appeals to both Rockford and Beth (Gretchen Corbett) to help him.

    A serious story about how the media can destroy a man - similar to the Richard Jewell case. Apparently it was filmed in 1997, probably i response to that, but wasn't released until 1999.

    James Garner by this time had some trouble walking at times, due to the fact that he always did his own stunts and the series nearly killed him. And good for him, it doesn't look like he had plastic surgery. He's always good, always watchable, always adorable.

    Angel was particularly bad news in this episode. All the performances were marvelous. Rita Moreno looked gorgeous and what fun earrings she wore.

    All in all, well worth seeing, but don't expect a lot of humor. The '70s were over.
  • I had some high hopes for this final installment of "Rockford", produced in 1997 but inexplicably not aired until 1999.

    The beginning started off fairly interesting, and even had some classic Rockford humor that we had become familiar with from the original series.

    Rita Moreno's "Rita" character was back, this time happily married to a teacher, and far past her troubled life as a prostitute.

    The opening minutes of the show quickly set up an interesting premise: What if someone you've known, respected, and really liked for years was accused of a horrific crime such as rape? And what if the circumstantial evidence is fairly damning, yet not quite enough proof to make you completely change your mind about your longtime friend?

    Do you trust him? Do you believe him? When he acts evasive, is it because he's guilty, or because he's scared and confused over a serious false accusation?

    I was very intrigued by this story line, and was really into it.

    However, not too long after that, the "media" appears, and the entire episode goes into the toilet. I quickly realized that the purpose of this final "Rockford" movie was NOT to entertain, but rather to conduct a ridiculous, over-the-top attack on the media and its rush to judgment in the pursuit of ratings.

    I have no problem with an episode essentially calling out the media. I have been a longtime media critic myself. However, from the moment an over-the-top TV station manager uttered the words, "It's guys like him who allow me to send my kids to Harvard/Westlake (an expensive LA private school)", referring to an accused rapist, I knew we were in for a bad movie. The "evil" media was so exaggerated that it turned the entire episode into a farce. It was like the writers were trying to make sure that even the most dim of their viewers understood the points that were trying to be raised.

    That's not the Rockford I came to know and love. The Rockford Files was respected for its subtle humor and understated, almost hidden criticism of society. They had done "issues" shows before, but at least packaged them in an entertaining and thought-provoking fashion. This was more like TV for idiots.

    Even the Rockford supporting cast had little to do. Angel had very little screen time, and absolutely nothing to do with the story's main plot, nor was his substory interesting at all. Beth Davenport came out of law retirement AGAIN to represent Rockford's client, only to be completely useless and ineffective at everything she did. In Beth's own words, "I'm 0-for-3 so far", which turned into something like 0-for- 5 by the time the episode was over. I always enjoyed seeing Beth coming in, kicking butt, and at least giving Rockford some wiggle room to solve the case on his own. Didn't happen this time.

    And what about the case itself? Rockford did almost no investigating. There was just about zero detective work done. And the one thing Rockford did uncover simply introduced a huge plot hole that wasn't resolved until near the end. The case itself was solved by a deux ex machina tactic of introducing a crime supercomputer to spit out data that should have been known from the start. Yuck.

    With almost no investigating being done, how did they occupy the time of a full TV movie? That time was filled with increasingly depressing consequences for Rockford's client, which were thought provoking at first, but eventually became redundant and unpleasant to watch. The ending, which I will not reveal, was not at all satisfying.

    Should you watch this? If you want to complete your viewing of the Rockford Files library, then by all means do so. But it wouldn't hurt you at all to skip this one. I almost wish that I did, so I could remember the much better "Murder and Misdemeanors" as the final episode.
  • Okay. Right up front, I was basically done with Rita Moreno's character after her first appearance in the series. In this TV movie, she was just tiring.

    Yes, the mood was indeed a somber one with this entry. Nevertheless, I did find myself enjoying it (and it was great to see Beth again!).

    I bought the DVD box set of the series and the TV movies. Having read the reviews of this movie, I decided to watch all of the movies in reverse order. I thought it would be best to get this one out of the way as quickly as possible., However, I did find this one to be better than expected. At least I had no trouble hanging with it, and yes, ultimately enjoying it.

    But oh my, the ending was not something I would ever associate with a Rockford entry.