Sunday, July 20, 2014

Remembering James Garner and The Rockford Files

"This is Jim Rockford; at the tone, leave your name and message. I'll get back to you." So goes the famous answering machine message one heard at the beginning of every episode of THE ROCKFORD FILES, and which you can still hear on The Rockford Files Website.

The great James Garner has died, but his memory lives on in all of his great work (I'm reminded of the way he held his own onscreen with an equally charismatic Doris Day). Recently there was talk of remaking THE ROCKFORD FILES, which was Garner's best television work. I'm not sure what became of the remake, but with the loss of Garner, one might want to reminisce about the greatness of the original series, and there are plenty of Rockford fans online who are keeping Garner's Rockford alive and well. There's a tribute to the show here, with all sorts of memorabilia, photos and links.

Then, for true Garner lovers, there's James Garner online. I had forgotten what a truly attractive and charismatic man Garner was until I wandered through these tribute sites.

Garner and his show are forever memorialized on the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Recently, according to "Tribute" site, P.I. Magazine awarded Garner with their first ever "Outstanding Achievement" Award as "Television's Most Famous Private Investigator." A more fitting tribute I cannot imagine, and a wonderful picture of Garner and his award accompany that story.

I doubt I'll watch the new version of THE ROCKFORD FILES. It's a show there's just no reason to re-make--not while Netflix still offers the Garner originals. I can't imagine anyone capturing that rare charisma that Garner gave to his character, nor can I imagine the show having the same success.