"The Rockford Files" Dirty Money, Black Light (TV Episode 1977) Poster

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The Man Who Knew Too Little
zsenorsock4 October 2006
Once again "The Rockford Files" borrows from Hitchcock's formula of getting an innocent man involved in circumstances he knows nothing about and it works to perfection with a great script and terrific performances.

Rocky has won a trip to Hawaii (something they forgot about in season six's Hawaii episode) and so Jim is getting his mail forwarded to him. He surprised to say the least when an envelope full of hundred dollar bills arrives for a total of $11,000 one day (a few bills of which Angel sneaks away!) Day after day the money keeps coming in with no clue as to why. Jim can't reach Rocky and the next thing you know, the Feds (including one agent who's a dead ringer for former California governor Grey Davis!) , the cops and the bad guys are all after Rockford.

The script is tight and full of humor. It makes good use of Angel, the fetching Gretchen Corbett as Beth and "Magnum" regular Roger E. Mosely as loan shark Electric Larry.
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One of the best episodes EVER!
jhjenntex26 September 2006
This reran on a local indie station today, (Sept 26, 2006) and it brought back a lot of fine memories! Even though the basic plot premise was a little weak, stellar performances by Roger E. Mosley and Stuart Margolin really highlight a lot of fine writing! This is VINTAGE Rockford! Classic lines include: Even as Jim was telling his dad that Angel Martin knew to keep his mouth shut, Angel was spilling his guts to the feds "It was the ROCKFORD GANG! R O C K F O R D!" And Mosley's soliloquy as a loan shark, "You don't get no terms!" is one of the best in TV drama EVER! And Angel, ever in search of a free haircut, gets his in the end!
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Rockford vs T.C.
stones784 August 2011
This episode featured a fine performance from Roger E. Mosely, who plays T.C. from another fine show in Magnum, P.I., and he portrays a crooked loan shark who lends Jim $20,000 to help get his dad off the hook for receiving dirty money in the mail. Federal agents and some local goons are interested in Rocky's (mis)fortune, as he's on vacation and unaware of the situation. All of the regulars, except for Chapman, make an appearance and add their talents to the show. I would also like to give a shout out to one of the better character actors out there that's probably unknown to most, and his name is Joshua Bryant(Salem's Lot, 1979), as he plays a federal agent and he has a very recognizable face and a good body of work through the years. This wasn't the best from season 3, but overall had some good scenes, such as when Rockford spars against a very good boxer in the ring and gets decked a few times; as he makes his escape from the gym, he runs in the streets still wearing his boxing gloves. He also poses as a rug cleaner with bogus uniform, in which is also a very funny scene; there's also a great scene when Angel rats out Jim to the agents, soon after Rocky tells his son that Angel is to be trusted. I would say this episode is on the lighter side and fun to watch, even if there are better ones for this season.
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An excellent Rockford Files episode.
jfm34 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I can't wait till they release the remaining seasons of Rockford Files ....They released season one recently....................................1977 is probably a pinnacle year for Rockford Files...It was dominating the ratings each week and won Emmys.....Dirty Money,Black Light is one of my personal favorite episodes. .....Lots of twists and turns,Ooodles of the wry witted one-liners...this episode is like a black comedy. ....It's an episode that you can't miss one minute of or you might get confused...................................a crooked land development company,a hot-headed loan shark and his goons, and pushy FBI agents intertwine as a result of a mistaken mailing of thousands of dollars in cash sent to Jim's dad,Rocky...................................Stuart Margolin who plays Rockford's sneaky buddy,Angel... directed this awesome episode....... Roger E. Mosley from Magnum P.I. fame plays "Electric Larry" the loan shark who I think steals the show in this one with his meanness and his hilarious one-liners.......Definitely an episode that makes the Rockford Files a one-of-a-kind TV series that can combine action,suspense,a thick plot and humor.
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Another episode which would make a great movie!
mm-3922 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Another episode which would makes a great movie! Dirty Money, Black Light has Jimmy at his streetwise best. Money is being unloaded at Rocky's house by mail. Angel is involved, we got nasty loan sharks, and a Vegas money laundering scheme. Great story! The F B I is on Jimmy's and his father while Angel has the best performance as he lies and rolls of Jimmy. A true classic, a cool Jimmy with a streetwise hustle con's himself out of this mess. How does Jimmy get into these mess all the time? Must be un lucky. Well written, directed and acted. A must see for a Rockford Files fan! 10 stars.
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"That's Rockford, R-O-C-K-F-O-R-D"
bkoganbing8 January 2015
Noah Beery, Jr. wins a contest for a vacation in Hawaii and little does he know that's an important part of a mob laundering scheme where bundles of cash are sent to the contest winners while away and then retrieved with break-ins. But not all the contest winners had sons who are private detectives who take care of their father's business while away.

Not all those detectives have prison buddies like Stuart Margolin either who helps himself to some of the loose bills which he doesn't know are marked by the Feds for tracking. Angel pays off a loan shark played by Roger E. Mosley whom he's into with some of the marked loot and that starts a merry criminal justice ball rolling.

In the meantime Joe Santos has a dead mob courier who took a fall out of a window. It all ties nicely together, but it takes James Garner to do the tying.

Once again Angel Martin proves he's the last guy you want to be in a foxhole with. Best scene is his interrogation by Feds Wesley Addy and John Bryant where Stuart Margolin spills his guts and gets poor Beery some time in the Federal lockup. It's a good thing Angel such a good ferret for information otherwise Rockford might have left him in an alley somewhere.

Every Rockford Files episode with Stuart Margolin is special.
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For all you perfectionists/private eyes out there, we found her!
jclabels2 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This was a fantastic episode. Possibly Stuart Margolin is even better behind the camera.

Previously comments were submitted in the Crazy Credits section (these should now have been deleted) which erroneously indicated:

'Actress Diana Ewing is identified prominently in the opening credits (without a reference to a character, as was customary for most opening credits in "The Rockford Files") but does not appear in the episode.'

Diana Ewing, the beauty from the 1969 Star Trek season 3 episode 21 "The Cloud Minders" who played the Utopian city dweller, Droxine, Spock's (rare) love interest, does in fact appear between the 31st and 34th minutes of the total 49 minutes and 41 seconds of program time (not taking into account commercial and station break times).

She in her role as a phony Miss Johnson, has 48 seconds of voice time (telephone conversation with the watchdog receptionist Miss Grayson of Carson and Caroll, Inc.) followed by actually 11 seconds of screen time, but worth reviewing as during those 11 seconds she is bathing!

One possible explanation for this oversight could be that with only those 11 seconds most people would assume that the girl in the tub was Beth Davenport.

Personally at first, her country belle/Texan accent and the unique short look at her originally led me to believe it was a previous to "Dallas" (1978 the following year) uncredited role by Linda Gray's Sue Ellen Ewing style of character! It even occurred to me that Diana may have been dubbed?

With regard to this specific episode, I felt that there were probably additional scenes shot, possibly Rocky's meeting Lina McCarthy on the plane trip to Hawaii or Rocky and Lina in Hawaii, Rockford preparing the phony carpet cleaning service con with the phony Miss Johnson, etc., but were deleted in final editing. The entire episode moves right along, however, despite a remarkable television cast of 22+ (10 of them threatening) and enough plots and subplots to make Larry David or Quentin Tarantino envious. This would have been even more enjoyable in a 90 minute format which would have allowed more character development and storytelling.

Everything comes together favorably in the end, all in all a highly recommended entry in the series.
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Not up to the show's standards
Win-523 November 2014
I was disappointed with this episode. Both the writing and directing were "off" - Rockford didn't come off as smart as he usually does, the federal agents seemed dull-witted, and various plot holes kept showing up. For example, Larry tells his thugs to tail Rockford, and they go, but immediately afterward we see Rockford, clearly not being tailed. We learn early on that Rocky is in Hawaii, but we don't learn until later that he won a contest. The interrogation room has a frosted observation window in the ceiling - completely unlike any we've seen before or since. These may be little points, but when they come one after the other during the entire episode, they add up to an unsatisfying episode in an otherwise great series.
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