The Secret Passion of Robert Clayton

Former Family Ties hunk Scott Valentine plays Robert Clayton Jr., a lawyer who leaves a great career in New York to return to his hometown in Georgia. Why? “I’m tired of too much ‘system’ and not enough justice,” he says sullenly; Valentine says everything sullenly in this drably bad TV movie. He takes a job as the local district attorney, even though he knows this will regularly pit him against his father, a local attorney played by The Human Factor‘s John Mahoney. Clayton, you see, hates his dad. Why? ”You sent me to boarding school when I was seven!” he says sullenly to his perplexed parent. The way Valentine delivers the line, you can’t tell whether it was the school or his tender age that hurt him so; either way, it seems like a pretty skimpy grudge.

Speaking of skimpy, Eve Gordon (The Powers That Be) shows up wearing dresses as small and tight as possible (Gordon is rapidly becoming the most talented actress to go sex bomb since Beverly D’Angelo). Alas, there’s nothing for Gordon to do here except act coquettish as she conducts affairs with both father and son. The main plot has something to do with Gordon’s husband (Tour of Duty‘s Kevin Conroy) being accused of murdering a stripper (Valentine prosecutes him; Mahoney defends him). But The Secret Passion of Robert Clay, directed by E.W. Swackhamer (USA’s Are You Lonesome Tonight), concentrates on the most banal questions about the psychic wounds that bad parenting inflicts. D

The Secret Passion of Robert Clayton
  • TV Show