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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

September 22, 1985|KEVIN THOMAS

Irwin Allen's "When Time Ran Out" is back for the second time as Earth's Final Fury (NBC Sunday at 8 p.m.). It would take more than a name change to liven up this surprisingly subdued variation on "The Towering Inferno." Instead of trapping people in a burning skyscraper, Allen has them trying to flee a posh island resort in the path of a rampaging volcano. Among the menaced: Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden and Ernest Borgnine.

Holden and Borgnine are among the stars of The Revengers (Channel 11 Sunday at 4 and 9 p.m.), a solid, big-scale, traditional-style Western. Holden is a God-fearing Civil War hero turned Colorado rancher whose entire family is slaughtered in his absence. Directed by Daniel Mann and adapted by Wendell Mayes from Steven W. Carabatsos' story, this 1972 film is unpredictable and develops two major, interlinked themes: the futility of revenge and the obligations of friendship.

Monday brings two new TV movies: Izzy and Moe (CBS at 9 p.m.), which reunites Jackie Gleason and Art Carney as a pair of legendary New York Prohibition agents, and Family Ties Vacation (NBC at 9 p.m.), which takes the Keaton family of the "Family Ties" series to London, where Meredith Baxter Birney and Michael Gross become entangled in international espionage.

Four episodes from "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" on Monday at 8 p.m. on Channel 5 kick off a week of Hitchcock films: Marnie (Tuesday), Notorious (Wednesday), Psycho (Thursday) and The Birds (Friday).

The Other Lover (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie starring Lindsay Wagner as a happily married publishing executive who falls in love with one of the firm's authors (Jack Scalia).

Paul Bartel's Death Race 2000 (Channel 9 Tuesday at 10 p.m.) is a 1975 cult classic envisioning a 1984ish future, complete with Big Brother, in which our national sport, designed to satisfy a love of violence and lust for winning, is a ferocious annual transcontinental road race whose contestants are tomorrow's equivalents of Roman gladiators. Among the competitors: David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone and Martin Kove.

Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole are among the many illustrious actors who bring alive the denizens of a Welsh seaside village in Andrew Sinclair's beautiful, rarely seen 1973 film of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood (Channel 50 Wednesday at 8 p.m., Channel 15 Wednesday at 9 p.m., Channel 28 Saturday at 10 p.m.).

Harry in Your Pocket (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 11:30 p.m.) is a pleasant, slender tale about pickpockets starring James Coburn, Walter Pidgeon, Michael Sarrazin and Trish Van Devere that tells us more about pocket picking than it does about its people. It's Pidgeon who steals this 1973 picture.

Airing Friday on Channel 13 at 8 p.m. is Neil Simon's evergreen The Odd Couple, with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

National Lampoon's Vacation (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) runs out of gas before it gets under way. Anyone who has ever journeyed across this country by car knows the experience is ripe for satire, but what we're given here is a string of jokes, gags and stunts so lame as not to warrant description. Chevy Chase stars as an All-American idiot from suburban Chicago who hits the road with his wife (Beverly D'Angelo, wasted) and their two kids.

Airing Saturday at 10 p.m. on Channel 9 is the uneven 1982 TV movie remake of Johnny Belinda, most notable for Rosanna Arquette's performance as a deaf-mute. (It's the same role that won Jane Wyman an Oscar in the 1948 film.)

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