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View Full Version : Did Jim Rockford carry a gun?


Johnny L.A.
04-03-2015, 02:41 PM
The Rockford Files often plays in the background while I work. I like the noise of the TV, and I don't have to pay attention to what's on. (Although there are things on TV that I can't filter out, which is why I play ignorable pablum.)

I know Jim Rockford was an ex-con, but that he received a 'full pardon'. ISTR that he was, in fact, wrongly convicted and that his pardon acknowledged this and restored his civil rights. As such, it seems that there would be no barrier to his owning a firearm.

In the show, was he legally allowed to own a firearm? Did he carry one whether he was legally allowed to or not? Since I don't pay attention when it's on, I'm not sure; but it seems he generally went unarmed.

Master Wang-Ka
04-03-2015, 02:55 PM
I don't recall him carrying a firearm in any episode I ever watched. Considering the number of times he got the crap kicked out of him, I'm assuming he either could not legally carry one, or had some sort of moral objection to them that outweighed getting his ass kicked about every third episode.

Leaffan
04-03-2015, 02:58 PM
Didn't he keep it in the cookie jar in his trailer? He never carried as far as I recall.

Procrustus
04-03-2015, 02:59 PM
In the deep recesses of my memory I seem to recall he had one locked up somewhere, and he only went to get it when he was expecting some bad shit to go down.

silenus
04-03-2015, 03:00 PM
According to Wiki, he owned a Colt Detective pistol, but he didn't have a carry permit.

CarnalK
04-03-2015, 03:05 PM
In the deep recesses of my memory I seem to recall he had one locked up somewhere, and he only went to get it when he was expecting some bad shit to go down.

That is my foggy memory as well.

And holy jeez. I can't believe how many full episodes are on youtube. Are the rights to the show in limbo or something?

Fear Itself
04-03-2015, 03:11 PM
I seem to recall he kept a revolver in a coffee can.

Dallas Jones
04-03-2015, 03:12 PM
Didn't he keep it in the cookie jar in his trailer? He never carried as far as I recall.

This is right. He did have one stashed in the cookie jar. I do not recall him ever shooting it or drawing it during a case, but I think he may have taken it with him once or twice.

Or maybe he pulled it out of the cookie jar and then thought better of it and put it back. But yes, he had a gun and there weren't any cookies in the jar.

Johnny L.A.
04-03-2015, 03:25 PM
but he didn't have a carry permit.

Ha! When I moved up here, I got a carry permit. Not because I want to carry a firearm, but just because I could. I've heard it's virtually impossible to get a permit in L.A.

Just Asking Questions
04-03-2015, 03:49 PM
"His gun is deadly. Mine's in the cookie jar."

From White on White, and Nearly Perfect. (The episode with Tom Selleck.)

He rarely carried it, preferring the non-deadly approach. Probably didn't want the legal trouble if he used it, even in self-defense.

I loved the episode where he cracked shelled peanuts in his pocket to imply he was carrying. One of the Richie Brockelman episodes.

Quercus
04-03-2015, 03:54 PM
I don't recall him carrying a firearm in any episode I ever watched. Considering the number of times he got the crap kicked out of him, I'm assuming he either could not legally carry one, or had some sort of moral objection to them that outweighed getting his ass kicked about every third episode.It might not be legal or strictly moral reasons.

For instance, maybe he considered the number of times he got the crap kicked out of him, and decided that having something deadly available to his attackers would be a bad idea, even if some percentage of the time the deadly object might help him avoid a beat-down.

PatriotX
04-03-2015, 04:19 PM
Jim Rockford was a felon iirc

Johnny L.A.
04-03-2015, 04:21 PM
Jim Rockford was a felon iirc

But he was wrongly convicted and received a full pardon.

pkbites
04-03-2015, 04:40 PM
I recall an episode where he was in a car and a woman handed him a handgun and he said "I don't happen to have a permit to carry one of these".

Peter Morris
04-03-2015, 05:00 PM
But he was wrongly convicted and received a full pardon.

Yes, but a pardon is not the same as an acquittal. It means that the crime has been forgiven, not that the person was innocent. Officially, he is still a convicted criminal.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardon

A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the cancellation of the relevant penalty... Pardons are sometimes offered to persons who are wrongfully convicted or who claim they have been wrongfully convicted. In some jurisdictions, accepting such a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt (see Burdick v. United States in the United States), so in some cases the offer is refused.

Just Asking Questions
04-03-2015, 05:41 PM
There has never been any clarification as to what Rockford was actually convicted of, was there?

SirRay
04-03-2015, 06:52 PM
There has never been any clarification as to what Rockford was actually convicted of, was there?

As CarnalK mentioned, all 120+ episodes of the original series can be found on the web, so I took advantage of that wonderful fact over the past few months. In none of the OS episodes do I recall anyone stating the exact crime he was sent to prison for 5 years for. There are episodes where its clearly indicated he was working as a con-artist prior to prison, but nothing about the arrest itself.

Jim would sometimes carry his cookie-jar-stashed gun with him and draw it, but was much more likely to take a gun from the villains (one Rockford way or another) and use that to threaten the criminals, persuade them to surrender, etc. without firing it.
He definitely fired a shotgun at a criminal during a shootout in the Season 5 episode "Heartache of a Fool", and I believe he fired a weapon in a few more episodes, but what he mostly did with guns was to take them from the criminals he outwitted/outpunched/outraced and hand them to the law enforcement officers just arriving on the scene (after the action was over).

cochrane
04-03-2015, 07:10 PM
The Rockford Files also runs Mon-Fri on MeTV. And I'm sure Universal still owns the rights, so they could probably claim copyright infringement and have them pulled from YouTube if they chose to.

pkbites
04-03-2015, 07:14 PM
Yes, but a pardon is not the same as an acquittal. It means that the crime has been forgiven, not that the person was innocent. Officially, he is still a convicted criminal.


That is incorrect, per the BATF (http://www.atf.gov/files/firearms/industry/0501-firearms-top-10-qas.pdf):

Felons whose convictions have been set-aside or expunged, or for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored are not considered convicted under section 922(g)(1)
____________________________________________________________________
Therefore, a person who has been pardoned is no longer considered convicted of that crime, and if they had no other felonies they were convicted of they can legally own/possess a firearm.

sparky!
04-03-2015, 07:33 PM
As others said, no, he didn't carry a gun, but did keep a revolver in the cookie jar (which Rocky was too pleased with).

Does anyone know if the TV movies are streaming anywhere?

cochrane
04-03-2015, 07:45 PM
Also, a convicted felon can't become a licensed private investigator in California, can he? Rockford has a license, so his pardon must have expunged the conviction from his record.

CarnalK
04-03-2015, 07:55 PM
As others said, no, he didn't carry a gun, but did keep a revolver in the cookie jar (which Rocky was too pleased with).

Does anyone know if the TV movies are streaming anywhere?

Do a search on youtube.

terentii
04-03-2015, 07:56 PM
In none of the OS episodes do I recall anyone stating the exact crime he was sent to prison for 5 years for. There are episodes where its clearly indicated he was working as a con-artist prior to prison, but nothing about the arrest itself.

In the pilot episode, didn't he and Angel explain to a woman in the records office how they ended up in prison together? (In Angel's words: "We wuz framed!") And later on, didn't he tell Lindsay Wagner about his experience when they were sitting on the couch at her place?

I think Jim did in fact keep cookies in the cookie jar, at least some of the time. Oreos. He was eating them behind his desk in at least one episode.

terentii
04-03-2015, 07:58 PM
Does anyone know if the TV movies are streaming anywhere?

Some of them, but not all. I've searched for them more than once.

Leaffan
04-03-2015, 08:57 PM
... (which Rocky was too pleased with)...
Not?

SirRay
04-03-2015, 09:53 PM
In the pilot episode, didn't he and Angel explain to a woman in the records office how they ended up in prison together? (In Angel's words: "We wuz framed!") And later on, didn't he tell Lindsay Wagner about his experience when they were sitting on the couch at her place?

I think Jim did in fact keep cookies in the cookie jar, at least some of the time. Oreos. He was eating them behind his desk in at least one episode.
Now that you mentioned it, I was able to find "Backlash of the Hunter" (the Pilot), and there is indeed a scene in the newspaper records office where Angel admits he did a bank job, and tries to get Rockford to admit that he did a robbery (Rockford says he didn't do it, but nobody believed him). However, with other things like Rocky looking quite different (because he was played by Robert Donley, not Noah Beery Jr.), can't say how canonical this episode is.
Along with Lindsey Wagner, the pilot has Billy Mumy as kind of a dickish drug store employee (as well as Lindsey's brother).
And yes, there were cookies in the cookie jar, and one supposed reason Jim kept his gun there (given much later in the series) was to reduce the effects of the corrosive salt ocean air on it.

terentii
04-03-2015, 10:21 PM
However, with other things like Rocky looking quite different (because he was played by Robert Donley, not Noah Beery Jr.), can't say how canonical this episode is.

I remember watching an interview with Meta Rosenberg on line in which she explains how, after seeing Donley in the pilot, everyone felt he just wasn't right for the part and they cast Beery instead, once the series went into production.

sparky!
04-03-2015, 10:41 PM
Not?

Not

*wasn't*

Charlie Wayne
04-03-2015, 11:26 PM
I've watched every episode at least three times and have them all on my hard drive. I loved that show.

He never carried a gun that I recall but he did take one once in a very dangerous situation and was prepared to use it if he had to. I think it was that episode where his dorky friend Angel advertised he was a hit man. He had a great way of making money. He took half the price in advance and then just disappeared. What an idiot. You can guess at the result. I forget who gave Jim the gun.

Robot Arm
04-04-2015, 12:07 AM
I can think of at least twice Jim took his gun out of the cookie jar.

In Resurrection in Black and White (S2:E8) Jim is hired by a journalist trying to clear someone she believes has been wrongfully convicted of murder. Once they figure out the real murderer has left on his boat, they borrow another boat and chase after him. Jim gets in some trouble when the journalist's article includes a picture of him with his gun.

Profit and Loss (a two-parter, S1:E12 and E13) ends with Jim and Rocky (in Rocky's truck) chasing after Leon Fielder (Ned Beatty, in a Rolls Royce) and shooting at him. They get Fielder to stop, but after five shots Fielder gets Jim's gun. Our hero should be a dead duck, but the gun doesn't fire. Early in the episode Jim was trying to un-stick his garbage disposal. After the gun doesn't shoot, he concludes the sixth bullet must have fallen down his drain.

There's also The Battle of Canoga Park (S4:E3), in which Jim's gun is used in a murder. The gun was taken by someone connected to his cleaning lady, Viola, who gives herself away when she denies knowing about the gun, but says she never ate a store-bought cookie in her life.

Hilarity N. Suze
04-04-2015, 01:54 AM
He gets asked occasionally, "Don't you carry a gun?" or "Why don't you carry a gun?"

His answer: "I don't like to shoot people."

In one of those episodes, and I think it was "Resurrection in Black and White" mentioned just above, he did eventually pull out the gun, but he said, "I didn't shoot it. I pointed it."

I don't recall him ever shooting it, but there were a couple of episodes where he pulled it out of that coffee can (or cookie jar) and then you knew Shit Just Got Real.

All seasons stream on Netflix I think. I watch one or two a week.

blondebear
04-04-2015, 09:32 AM
Now that you mentioned it, I was able to find "Backlash of the Hunter" (the Pilot)...Watch that episode all the way to the end and you'll see Rockfish put his gun to good use...he shoots down an airplane! https://youtu.be/MgWb2uk8NS4?t=1h6m19s (https://youtu.be/MgWb2uk8NS4?t=1h6m19s)

sparky!
04-04-2015, 10:19 AM
Watch that episode all the way to the end and you'll see Rockfish put his gun to good use...he shoots down an airplane! https://youtu.be/MgWb2uk8NS4?t=1h6m19s (https://youtu.be/MgWb2uk8NS4?t=1h6m19s)

Spoiler: I love how it exploded after it landed. :D

Ah, the 1970's crime shows, where so much as a pothole can cause a car to explode.

Johnny L.A.
04-04-2015, 10:23 AM
Why did the fuselage blow up? The fuel tanks are in the wings.

sparky!
04-04-2015, 10:31 AM
Why did the fuselage blow up? The fuel tanks are in the wings.

The late 1960's through early 1980's "exploder" device (nickname for a temperamental antismog device using left over WWII munitions) was generally mounted near the trunk of large Detroit sedans, while small plane manufacturers mounted them under the pilot's seat for better weight distribution.

Sudden change in elevation could "explode" them, hence the nickname. This can clearly be seen in many archive films of cars exploding in the air after driving off cliffs.

Why they were ever put in planes given such temperamental combustion is still a mystery.

Luckily, they were banned in use of all internal combustion engined vehicles in 1983.

epbrown01
04-04-2015, 12:46 PM
Spoiler: I love how it exploded after it landed. :D

Ah, the 1970's crime shows, where so much as a pothole can cause a car to explode.

What I love is how helicopters and planes always exploded - just after they crash out of sight behind a convenient hilltop.

I love the old Rockford Files for car-spotting - so many classics in their prime on that show.

Gatopescado
04-04-2015, 03:33 PM
I don't recall him carrying a firearm in any episode I ever watched. Considering the number of times he got the crap kicked out of him, I'm assuming he either could not legally carry one, or had some sort of moral objection to them that outweighed getting his ass kicked about every third episode.

Ya know, Magnum always carried a big old .45, and still got his ass kicked on a fairly regular basis as well. Shot a lot, too.

pkbites
04-04-2015, 05:09 PM
Ya know, Magnum always carried a big old .45, and still got his ass kicked on a fairly regular basis as well. Shot a lot, too.

I always wanted to know how magnum was carrying a pistol. Hawaii has some of the most draconian gun laws around, and issue CCW permits to nobody.

sparky!
04-04-2015, 05:49 PM
I always wanted to know how magnum was carrying a pistol. Hawaii has some of the most draconian gun laws around, and issue CCW permits to nobody.

Why stuffed into the waistband of his tight, short shorts, of course!

blondebear
04-05-2015, 05:47 PM
I love the old Rockford Files for car-spotting - so many classics in their prime on that show..It's a crack up watching those old boats bounce around during the chases.They sure don't make suspensions like they used to!

Hail Ants
04-05-2015, 07:53 PM
What I love is how helicopters and planes always exploded - just after they crash out of sight behind a convenient hilltop.

I love the old Rockford Files for car-spotting - so many classics in their prime on that show.Even as a kid, what I loved even more was the entire preposterous-ness of a helicopter chasing an automobile (without shooting down at it!!) I used to say, "Just ignore it, what can it possibly do to you?!" In fact I figured that if a car slammed against the helicopter's landing skids hard enough it was more likely to cause the chopper to crash! Being a fan of GM cars I loved later watching reruns and being able to see the obvious differences in the newer & newer Firebirds he drove without him ever officially buying a new one (and every one always being gold). I later owned a couple and there were significant headlight & taillight changes on Firebirds throughout the 70s. There was even an episode where his car was blown up, and right before you can clearly see it's a much older model (like a '71!) that they blew up to save money.

Rockford not carrying a gun was part of his whole persona in the series. He lived in a crappy trailer, he never carried a gun, he never got paid, he always got beat up, and he (almost) never got the girl!

Gatopescado
04-06-2015, 10:59 PM
.

Rockford not carrying a gun was part of his whole persona in the series. He lived in a crappy trailer, he never carried a gun, he never got paid, he always got beat up, and he (almost) never got the girl!

Jeez! I just realized, I'm Jim Rockford!

cochrane
04-06-2015, 11:47 PM
In the episode I watched today, the client asked Rockford if he carried a gun and he said, "Nope, in fact I'm scared of guns."

MsKaren
04-07-2015, 12:04 AM
I love Rockford Files. I recall his neighbors getting together and complaining about the noise, gunshots and dangerous activity around his trailer. They got him and Rocky thrown out of the trailer park if I recall correctly. Of course none of the gunshots were by Jim. I think one neighbor had a tape of squealing tires and gunshots, and said something like "And this was on Christmas Eve!"

cochrane
04-07-2015, 12:29 AM
I love Rockford Files. I recall his neighbors getting together and complaining about the noise, gunshots and dangerous activity around his trailer. They got him and Rocky thrown out of the trailer park if I recall correctly. Of course none of the gunshots were by Jim. I think one neighbor had a tape of squealing tires and gunshots, and said something like "And this was on Christmas Eve!"

Rocky didn't live at the trailer park. He had his own home, (the one Jim grew up in), but he spent a lot of his time fixing Jim's trailer up, getting together with him to fish, occasionally nursemaiding him when he got injured. And it was mainly one of Rockford's neighbors who had a grudge with him who was trying to get Rockford thrown out, but he wasn't successful. The rest of his neighbors didn't have anything against him.

Robot Arm
04-07-2015, 02:36 AM
I love Rockford Files. I recall his neighbors getting together and complaining about the noise, gunshots and dangerous activity around his trailer. They got him and Rocky thrown out of the trailer park if I recall correctly. Of course none of the gunshots were by Jim. I think one neighbor had a tape of squealing tires and gunshots, and said something like "And this was on Christmas Eve!"Season 6, episode 1, Paradise Cove; C.C. Calloway, a retired former sheriff, is trying to get Rockford run out of the neighborhood. He has even won a civil judgment against Rockford for an injury he suffered, although Rockford thinks he's faking. It turns out that Calloway was corrupt, and he's trying to get Rockford out of the neighborhood so he can dig up some gold that's buried under Jim's trailer. Mariette Hartley (of the Polaroid commercials) played a receiver appointed by the court to evaluate Jim's business.

Tim R. Mortiss
04-07-2015, 10:21 AM
Ya know, Magnum always carried a big old .45, and still got his ass kicked on a fairly regular basis as well. Shot a lot, too.

Ah, Magnum. I see you've been beaten up again.

carnivorousplant
04-07-2015, 11:00 AM
but was much more likely to take a gun from the villains (one Rockford way or another) and use that to threaten the criminals, persuade them to surrender, etc. without firing it.


"OK, everybody out of the pool!"
:)

cochrane
04-09-2015, 02:38 PM
And yes, there were cookies in the cookie jar, and one supposed reason Jim kept his gun there (given much later in the series) was to reduce the effects of the corrosive salt ocean air on it.

Actually, in the episode "The Big Ripoff," Rockford told a local sheriff he kept his gun in a can of freeze dried coffee to keep the moisture from the ocean climate from rusting it.

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