The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. (1994)

rockford files i still love la dvd collection
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

James Garner is back as Jim Rockford

Primarily for fans of the show

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Rockford Files:  I Still Love L.A.

Studio:  MGB Productions/Universal Television

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Drama

Release Date(s):  November 27, 1994

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

rockford files i still love la suicide james garner

Jim has a mission

Jim Rockford (James Garner) has decided to retire and leave L.A. once and for all…but when his ex-wife Kit (Joanna Cassidy) contacts him about the murder of Lila Lansing (Jean Bartel) in her driveway during the L.A. riots, Jim finds him called involving Lila’s children Josh (Geoffrey Nauffts) and Dorrie (Shannon Kenny).  Jim learns his favorite players Mickey Ryder (Joseph Campanella) might be involved and is out to find the truth about the murder.

Directed by James Whitmore Jr., The Rockford Files:  I Still Love L.A. is a mystery suspense drama.  A spin-off of the popular The Rockford Files which ended with Season 6 in 1980, the TV movie aired on November 27, 1994 on CBS.

I remember The Rockford Files was always on when I was young.  In the mid-1990s, there was a big resurgence of classic 1970s TV series, and The Rockford Files benefited from this resurgence.  Jim Rockford is a classic TV detective and the movies prove that he still has legs.

rockford files i still love la angel rodney king riots james garner stuart margolin

Angel’s got a scheme

Despite technically being a stand-alone movie, it does feel a lot like the series.  Rockford is older, but he still is the flawed detective with a heart of gold.  The series brings in his friends Angel (Stuart Margolin) who has his own get rich scheme involving the riots and his old police buddy Lt. Dennis Becker (Joe Santos).  The characters remain true, and the story is a welcomed return.

James Garner continues to make Jim Rockford a classic detective.  He is a screw-up, but he gets the job done…but you know he’s never going to end out ahead.  Joanna Cassidy is a nice match for Gardner though I would have liked her more heavily involved.  The Angel storyline feels a bit tacked on but Stuart Margolin is always fun.  Joseph Campanella always is a nice addition to these TV movies among other character actors, and the movie also features an appearance by Eddie Mekka of Laverne and Shirley fame.  Noah Beery Jr. who played Rockford’s father Rocky died before the film was made, and the film is dedicated to him.

rockford files i still love la jim kit james garner joanna cassidy

A visit to Jim a visit to danger…

It is hard to screw up a detective movie set in L.A./Malibu which always feels like such a perfect location for crime.  The film continues to get it right…but it does have the increasing problem of Jim’s trailer which is on prime real estate in Malibu…while he couldn’t even afford to drive through the neighborhood now, at least the joke is that he can’t sell it.

The Rockford Files movies technically provide stand-alone mysteries, but unlike something like the revival of Perry Mason around the same time, the movies are more showcases for characters that you like and love.  Jim Rockford has a style and grit to him that has been attempted time and time again…but it is hard to match.  The Rockford Files:  I Still Love L.A. was followed by The Rockford Files:  A Blessing in Disguise in 1995.

Related Links:

The Rockford Files—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The Rockford Files:  A Blessing in Disguise (1995)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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