Marian Rose White is placed in a State Home for the feeble-minded by her uncaring mother when her father dies. She is a young teenager and there is nothing wrong with her except for some clumsiness, mostly caused by poor vision. State law (in 1934) requires sterilization of all inmates. Sympathetic nurse, Bonnie McNeil, befriends Marian and protests her treatment.
Craig T. Nelson stars as Steve Freeling, the main protagonist, who lives with his wife, Diane, and their three children, Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne, in Southern California where he sells houses for the company that built the neighborhood.
When former Green Beret John Rambo is harassed by local law enforcement and arrested for vagrancy, the Vietnam vet snaps, runs for the hills and rat-a-tat-tats his way into the action-movie hall of fame.