Nighthawks (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a great-looking, fast-paced terrorist thriller so stripped down that it's downright vague as to why--or for whom--professional assassin Rutger Hauer is on such a rampage. Pursuing him are New York undercover policemen Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams, with Stallone's estranged wife Lindsay Wagner eventually becoming Hauer's target. Also featured are Nigel Davenport as the head of Interpol and Persis Khambatta as Hauer's accomplice.
New TV movies dominate prime time this week, starting with Sins of the Father (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.). This one stars James Coburn as a high-living attorney who vies with his own son (Ted Wass) in pursuing the daughter (Glynnis O'Connor) of his late law firm partner.
Airing opposite each other Monday at 9 p.m. are The Hearst and Davies Affair (ABC) and The Execution (NBC). In the first, Robert Mitchum and newcomer Virginia Madsen play newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies in this story of their 37-year romance. In the second, Paul Wendkos directs Loretta Swit, Valerie Harper, Jessica Walter, Barbara Barrie and Sandy Dennis as five California women who plan revenge against their one-time tormentor, sadistic concentration camp doctor Rip Torn, whom they discover running a successful restaurant in Los Angeles.
Not My Kid (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) stars George Segal and Stockard Channing as a surgeon and his wife who are devastated upon learning their 15-year-old daughter (Viveka Davis) is a drug addict.
Ann-Margret made her impressive TV movie debut in the 1983 Who Will Love My Children? (ABC Thursday at 8 p.m.), a bleak real-life drama about a dying Iowa farm wife who strives to find new homes for her 10 children, knowing her alcoholic husband (Frederic Forrest, excellent) will not be capable of caring for them.
Clint Eastwood's Any Which Way You Can, that amiable and boisterous 1980 sequel to "Every Which Way but Loose," returns Friday on CBS at 9 p.m. Once again Eastwood is Philo Beddoe, footloose San Fernando Valley trucker and, when the till runs low, champion bare-knuckle brawler. This time he's maneuvered into a match of such mythic proportions that the underworld soon has lots riding on Philo's fists. As before, the film consists of one broadly humorous shenanigan after another involving Clyde, his orangutan pal.
When secretaries Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton declare war in 9 to 5 (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) on Dabney Coleman, their "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" of a boss, they deliver the goods in high comic style, scoring some points for women's equality in the office. Like "Any Which Way You Can," 9 to 5 is an audience pleaser that seldom misses an intended laugh. However, it strays so far from reality for so long that it threatens to become mired in overly complicated silliness and to lose sight of the serious satirical points it wants to make. Although it pulls together for a finish that is as strong as it is funny, the stars are finally more satisfying than their material.
To honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Channel 5 is devoting three nights (8-10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday) to a repeat of the 1977 King miniseries starring Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson.
That most entertaining of Roman spectacles, Quo Vadis, airs in two parts, at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on Channel 13. Channel 13's Friday 8 p.m. movie, incidentally, is one for the cultists, the far-out, trouble-plagued Jet Pilot, starring John Wayne and Janet Leigh (as, of all things, an ace Russian flier) and directed by Josef Von Sternberg for Howard Hughes, who kept the film under wraps for years.
Another rarity is Decameron Nights (Channel 28 Saturday at 10 p.m.), in which Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan and Joan Collins were good fun under the direction of Hugo Fregonese in this blithe, made-in-Italy adaptation from Boccaccio.
On the pay/cable channels in prime time: Bananas (Cinemax on Sunday at 8 p.m., Z on Monday at 9 p.m.), Danton (SelecTV on Tuesday at 7 p.m.), Local Hero (Showtime on Tuesday at 9 p.m.), Chinatown (WTBS on Tuesday at 9 p.m.), Treasure Island (Disney on Wednesday at 9 p.m.), Sunset Boulevard (WTBS on Wednesday at 9:20 p.m.), Wuthering Heights (Disney on Thursday at 7 p.m.), The Phantom of Liberty (Z on Thursday at 7 p.m.), Equus (Movie Channel on Thursday at 8 p.m.) and Zelig (Showtime on Saturday at 9 p.m.).
Opinions in this column are based on the original-release version of the films. Checks for the logs are based on Leonard Maltin's "TV Movies" book and other sources. Pay TV movies without checks have not been reviewed by The Times.