I Saw A Film!
Ron Howard comes back to his role as a sheriff’s son, this time however, a young woman has his heart–the confusingly named Christopher Norris–who did a pile of television and has a striking resemblance to Melanie Griffith. Opie gets talked into stealing a winning race car driven by Dave Madden (Laugh-in, Partridge Family) and ends up leading the family deputies on a merry, though destructive, wild chase. In the backseat is real life brother Clint Howard who always played the tiny kid in cowboy outfit in Mayberry. He also was in Rock and Roll High School. And their dad, Rance Howard is in this film too, playing one of the deputies.
Much is the same in this film as was in Mayberry, the sheriff isn’t too difficult to get along with and his son causing all this trouble just seems to give him heartache. Lots of light-hearted hijinks are the order of the day and as Hoover (our Opie character) keeps digging himself a deeper hole it becomes more and more clear his little girlfriend isn’t really his girlfriend.
As they return the now beat up car, the young woman gives Opie a peck on the cheek before she’s gone, and Dave Madden’s Big Bubba lets him take it for a spin around the race track. Aw, what a nice world!
This isn’t much like American Graffiti, though I suppose it’s a Corman version, nor is there any real exploration of youth growing into maturity, it’s just a silly soda and popcorn movie meant to appeal to the youngsters likely to buy the tickets.
It’s running free on Prime (USA) and despite its preposterousness will probably make you smile, especially at the youth of television’s faces from ages ago.