Fan and blogger Jim Suva reminds us that today marks 40 years since the debut, on March 27, 1974, of the pilot film that launched The Rockford Files. Also known by the title “Backlash of the Hunter,” that 90-minute NBC teleflick found perennially broke ex-con private eye Jim Rockford (James Garner) being approached by a young bikini-shop proprietor (played so delightfully by Lindsey Wagner), who is convinced her wino father was murdered, rather than having committed suicide. She wants Rockford to prove that she’s right.
The Rockford pilot ranks as one of my all-time favorites of the breed, and it spawned what I believe is the best gumshoe series ever broadcast on the American small screen. If you haven’t seen the film before, or would enjoy watching it again, you’ll find it here.