The Rockford Files was a show from the 1970s starring the legendary James Garner as Jim Rockford. The story revolved around a private investigator, Jim “Rockford” Rockford. The show follows his various investigations and other capers he finds himself in Los Angeles County, California. This video pretty much sums up the character of Jim Rockford. Today I will be reviewing what I thought were the top 5 scenes of the episode “Rattler’s Class of ’63”. It is the 8th episode of the 3rd season.
With an Original Air Date of 11/26/1976, it will hit the ripe old age of 40 in just two and a half months. Here’s a link to the iconic theme of The Rockford Files.
This episode is of particular interest because it was written by David Chase, who went on to create The Sopranos. Which is one of my favorite shows, sparking my interest into his other earlier works. Leading me to The Rockford Files. He wrote 30 episodes of The Sopranos and directed 2 (The Pilot and Made In America – the final episode). The Sopranos is still widely considered to be the greatest show of all time, even though it’s been 9 years since the final episode.
And here’s a link to TV Guide’s “Top 50 Shows” list from April 26, 2002. Notice that not only is The Rockford Files is ranked 39th, but The Sopranos is ranked 5th already. Just to remind you, the list is from 2002, more than 5 years before The Sopranos final episode.
Onto my top 5 scenes of “Rattlers’ Class of ’63”, the fifth ranked episode of the series, according to IMDB. Unfortunately, I could only find one video from the episode on YouTube, but it can be found on Netflix.
5). 11:13-13:37 – Bobby Boyajian and his goons walk in his sister Regine’s apartment while she’s talking to Rockford. Bobby points out, “here’s the guy that pounded me at the church,” while pointing at Rockford. Chubby guy with curly hair (Leo I think?) punches Rockford in the stomach and Bobby and the other goon hold Rockford. They pull him outside where Leo says to Rockford, “You’re in deep trouble, Mr. Brewmeister!”. Then cocks his elbow back ready to swing into Rockford’s gut. Rockford is able to fight back and flee. Epic chase scene ensues. Rockford pulls away and his pursuers lose sight of him. He then hides behind a corner and surprise sucker-punches Leo causing him to fall into the pool.
4). 5:36-6:40 – Regine Boyajian and Angel Martin (Stuart Margolin) are tying the knot. Regine’s brother, Bobby Boyajian, barges in and interrupts the wedding, saying “what do ya call this?!…I gotta hear it from your landlord?” Bobby then sucker punches Angel. Next, Rockford grabs Bobby to stabilize him, and Bobby tries to punch Rockford and he gets bitch slapped. Rockford don’t take no shit. Bobby cries out, “He’s not even Armenian!”. I was surprised no one else in the Boyajian family in attendance intervened to control Bobby’s outburst.
3). 28:10-31:52 – We see Rockford walking with Regine at Bobby’s wake. In this emotional moment, Rockford assures Regine that he and Angel had nothing to do with her brother Bobby’s death. It’s surprising to me that the victim’s family would even allow someone who was suspected of the man’s murder at his wake. Regine goes into details on how in recent months, Bobby became closer to people like Leo and has always been drunk and “perpetually” broke. Here’s an interesting video of the “women of The Rockford Files”. Rockford knows Regine and Angel aren’t making love so he wants to swoop in and help a woman out!
2). 33:30-35:28 – Rockford talks to his friend LAPD Sergeant Dennis Becker (Joe Santos). He inquires as to what Dennis found on Chechick and Leo Cale. The duo buried Eddie Groger and another body in the landfill (Boyajian Brothers Sanitation Co.) and forced the sleazy car salesman to buy the property. Rockford keeps trying to pry for further information. Dennis forcefully lets Rockford know he’s being charged with “conspiracy to commit”. And Rockford sarcastically repeats “conspiracy to commit?”. Rockford promptly zips his lips.
1). 41:20-43:09 – We find Rockford and Angel talking in a trailer, waiting to be attacked by whoever is pursuing them. Then we see the used car salesman and some other man in the driver’s seat, watching them from a distance. Soon after, Angel hears noise outside the trailer. Rockford says to wait to attack until the person gets inside because they’re gonna stick with the plan they already set up. We then hear the man messing with the gas cap, and Angel remembers that he did not lock it. The car salesman lights fire to the gas tank and the trailer explodes, but Rockford and Angel escape and exchange fire with the guys. It’s the fat guy from the landfill driving the getaway car for the used car salesman. They get stuck on a rock and Rockford catches up to them (ironic?).
As a big time Soprano’s fan, I definitely found it interesting to go back in time and see some of David Chase’s ealiest works. However, I did not see much in this episode of The Rockford Files that reminded me of anything in The Sopranos. Regardless, it was still an entertaining 50 minutes of my life.
Please share your thoughts and comments! Of course my list is imperfect, and not all peeps will agree with my opinions.
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