Claude Raintree creates toys and gives them to the local orphanage. Unfortunately some of his "creations" do more than they were designed to do. Hysterical neighbors and law enforcement can't control him and even the spy from a big city toy manufacturer gets caught up in the web of ultrasonic, over-the-top harebrained adventure. Along the way, Claude tries to save his farm and the orphanage from foreclosure - marry his sweetheart of 12-years - and adopt an orphan he's fallen in love with. The Man From Clover Grove is a heartwarming story of generosity, love and life's most important attribute - the importance of family.Written by
Character actor Ron Masak's vehicle is a low budget southern country film. Everyone was making them in the 70's from Burt Reynolds to Ron Howard to David Carradine and yes, even Fonda (Peter and Henry). Their films had back road car chases (usually involving moonshine) supported by honky tonk music (usually sung by Jerry Reed), but this one has a sheriff chasing a remote control toy car supported by silence. Yes, a toy. This is a family country film in the vein of "The Dukes of Hazzard" (minus the charm, minus the humor, minus the car chases, minus the music, minus the cut-off shorts). Think of "The Dukes of Hazard" making toys in their barn and nothing else and you get the drift. This one also has no budget, no stars (Ron Masak is perhaps best known as Sheriff Metzger on "Murder She Wrote"), and no successful humor. Joe Higgins who made a living playing a poor man's version of Jackie Gleason's character in "Smokey and the Bandit" does his Sheriff act here with poorly timed double takes. Stu Gilliam (a poor man's Cleavon Little of "Blazing Saddles") plays his deputy as if he were in a minstrel show. Rose Marie has a tiny role as a nun. Even the usually cute and perky Cheryl Miller ("Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion" and "Daktari"), looking a lot like Karen Black, is used to misadvantage (cheesecake is best served without bulky long sleeve shirts buttoned to the neck and flair pants to the ground). This film had some association with St. Vincent's so the producer's heart was in the right place and if nothing else one can be assured that the film never gets worse than the beginning, a truly terrible, long, flat, off-key, song sung by Ron Masak. The film gets better merely by ending the song. But warning, he warbles a ballad (ala Rod McKuen) somewhere in the middle while doing a not too bad rendition of Red Skelton's old pantomime act.
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