Over the past few years I have become a big fan of 60’s and 70’s movie stars. I’m not sure why, it probably has something to do with the childhood shows I grew up watching on Friday nights. Last year I focused on Steve McQueen and watched pretty much every movie he made. He is a fascinating star with both good and bad lessons to be learned from his short life.
One of Steve’s best friends and Hollywood neighbor was James Garner. For Christmas I asked for the Rockford Files, the complete collection and spent most of the holidays watching every episode of the first season. With five more sessons to go, I looking forward to the rest of the year.
What I like best about the James Garner and his show is how authentic he is. As a combat veteran of the Korean war, it is ironic that this private investigator is so non-violent in his style. I also like that fact that instead of playing a rich investigator like Magnum PI, James Rockford lived in a trailer, wore off the rack cloths and was always being stiffed by his clients after solving their cases. He was dead broke most of the series.
This show is also a fantastic time capsule of American life in the late 70’s in California. The cars, all American, the people and lifestyles of the rich folks he mostly worked for are fascinating to watch. James Garner is the real deal.