In the grand tradition of, say, Gene Autry, Clay is the type who doesn't talk a lot but makes himself perfectly clear, whether in a romantic clinch or a barroom brawl. He is a former world champion bronc rider who still travels the rodeo circuit trying to regain his crown. Natalia, on the other hand, is almost a child but is considered a ''national treasure'' by her government. It's emphasized that her defection is not a political move. She herself notes that ''there has not been a day I do not miss my homeland.''
Before traveling to New York, the unlikely couple stop off at the mountain ranch of Clay's friend Doc. He is played by the veteran actor John McIntire, whose lovable crotchetiness makes Clay look like a young whippersnapper, which in turn helps things appear more seemly when the lovers inevitably wind up in the hayloft. Natalia's heart is captured after watching Clay tame a wild horse. ''Why was he so violent?'' she asks. ''Someone hurt him once,'' Clay explains. The symbolism is not of the most subtle sort.
Actually, the story unfolds pleasantly enough. In New York, the elegant life style of Natalia's mother makes an effective contrast to the general seediness of Clay and his best friend, Woody (Christopher Lloyd). Matters are complicated somewhat by the presence of Natalia's would-be fiance, Rudi (George De La Pena). And, of course, there is a contingent of anxious Russians (led by James Booth and Anjelica Huston) pressuring the dance star to return to her career and homeland. Unfortunately, the resolution of all this is jarringly unconvincing. Even one of Clay's final key lines seems to have been inserted as an afterthought voice-over.
Miss Wing is attractive and likable. A former dancer, she is able to do her bar exercises convincingly and, with the help of careful editing and camera angles, she comes through reasonably intact what is supposed to be a scene from ''Swan Lake.'' Mr. Majors looks slightly puffy and groans enough with just about every move to suggest that his muscles are indeed terribly sore, if not from bronc riding, perhaps from his stuntman capers in ''The Fall Guy.'' The hint of genuine weariness gives his performance a useful edge. A thought: With a bit of slimming and a different haircut, the actor could do a whale of a Walter Mondale portrayal.
Denne Petitclerc's teleplay was directed by Jerry Jameson. Jerry Weintraub and Mr. Majors were the executive producers, Neil T. Maffeo, the producer.