Deadlock in Parma
The Rockford Files

Gold and Berke are joined by Borchert to put the final seal on this difficult exposition in an hour. Kolbe’s alert and at the same time deadpan direction always lingers to get the last note of a scene. The New Jersey mobster’s Winnebago (his rough upbringing left him afraid to fly) shakes during interiors.

The mechanics of the story are greatly interesting, and all their intricacies are superbly regulated. A small mountain town is bought into by a mob that wants to build casinos, nevertheless Las Vegas wants it stopped. Rockford stumbles into it, or rather it stumbles on Rockford, there by himself to catch some trout.

The town’s pharmacist is its mayor, half the city council is on the pad, the deciding vote is paid by both sides and eventually murdered, a nature-loving acquaintance of Rockford’s. The sheriff, too, is bribed, and when the body disappears a little like Blowup, barking hounds outside the station reveal its whereabouts in the trunk of his cruiser.

A great deal of humor is in the strange surroundings and people forming the intrusive chorus to Rockford’s unassuming fishing trip, such as the reporter for a small-town paper looking for a byline, the mobster with his tale of childhood woe and construction rackets (highway and building), the diner owner who’s out of veal cutlets but gives away a wig with a full meal, and the tough guys who run Rockford out of town with his proxy vote or bring him back.

When the reporter brings in the Highway Patrol at last, Rockford borrows a cruiser to catch the mobster fleeing town, pursued by the rest at full tilt.


The Curse of the King Kamehameha Club
Magnum, P.I.

A kahuna administers the curse in public, no-one knows why. A newswoman for a local TV station wants the property, her grandfather leases it to the club for “Hawaiians, Japanese, haules, everybody”.

The mobster Tony Alika had done the same to Five-O, Herman Wedemeyer is here as coroner to witness. Gretchen Corbett is the on-camera reporter, Lew Ayres the sentimental gentleman, Manu Tupou a club regular with the kahuna gift.

The old man’s diuretic pills kill a local athlete and damn near Rick. The reporter’s kahuna perishes in a cane fire (or rather a backfire she sets against Magnum and T.C.), like a suspect in another Five-O case.