The Rockford Files (1974) – Caledonia – It’s Worth a Fortune!

 

This week, Jim Rockford (James Garner) becomes a bit of a treasure hunter in this episode written by Juanita Bartlett from a story by Roy Huggins.

The phone gag is a doctor who leaves a message for Jim about the fact that he’s got broken bones in his hand, and is wondering if he had hit someone.

Rockford is hired by Jolene Hyland (Shelley Fabares) to help recover a fortune that her ill and imprisoned husband, Gerry (Don Eitner) hid before he was arrested. Thinking that if she finds the money she’ll be able to help get him out of prison and get him a good doctor, she agrees to Rockford’s fees and they go off to Caledonia. 

caledonia

Right off the bat, Jim realizes they are being followed by a couple of thugs, including cult favorite Sid Haig as B.J.

In the town of Caledonia they come up against a troublesome sheriff (Ramon Bierri) and Rockford leaves the case not intent on messing with the law.

Jolene, on her way home, is confronted by Gerry’s ex-partner and her ex-lover, Len (Richard Schaal), who reviews that he has directions to the fortune, if she knows the place…

Jim gets a cut of the deal, but right off the bat, its obvious Len is going to double cross them any chance he gets.

But before the end of the episode there are more twists and turns coming their way, and not all of them good.

This one was actually a lot of fun, as Jim tries to avoid the sheriff, stay one step ahead of Len, and has a bit of a flirt with Jolene.

Rocky (Noah Beery, Jr.) is sadly missing from the episode, but Jim’s fun dialogue and the plot make up for it.

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I also love the fact that Rockford negotiates the larger share of the money for Jolene by promising to only take 5% of the take, but Len believes he’s taking 33.3%, that is when Len isn’t try to screw them over, and betray them so he can take all the cash himself.

Sid Haig, is dreadfully underused, but is suitably threatening when he comes along…

The only thing I had a real problem with this time around, is Rockford’s sweater, I’m used to the blazers, and the shirts, that were emblems of the 70s, and rather reflect his blue-collar sensibilities but I think he can probably pass on this sweater to Rocky.

The end of the episode, as everything gets wrapped up, is rather funny, and leaves us wondering if Jim will ever make more than his $200/day plus expenses.

Next time around is another two-part mystery, Profit and Loss, with each part named appropriately, of course.

I’m looking forward to digging through more of his files then…

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