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Movies of the Week

October 13, 1985|Kevin Thomas

Toughlove (airing on ABC Sunday at 9 p.m., and illustrated on the cover) is a new TV movie that takes its title from the national organization dedicated to helping parents bring their out-of-control kids into line with firm measures. Lee Remick, Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie star as parents who turn to Toughlove for help.

Airing Sunday at 8 p.m. on Channel 4 is the so-so 1982 TV movie Prime Suspect, which deals with an innocent citizen falling under suspicion for murder as a result of the reckless zeal of a TV reporter. Mike Farrell and Teri Garr star.

An American in Paris (airing Monday) launches a week of vintage MGM musicals on Channel 5 at 8 p.m. The lineup includes Singin' in the Rain (Wednesday) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Friday).

Silent Witness (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Valerie Bertinelli as a witness to a rape committed by her brother-in-law. She's left torn between remaining silent, as her husband (John Savage) does in behalf of his family, or stepping forward to testify.

Promises to Keep (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Robert Mitchum, his son Christopher and his grandson Bentley in a drama about conflicts within three generations in what must be a nearly unique casting coup. Mitchum plays a roustabout on a Wyoming ranch who turns up in Santa Barbara to see the wife (Claire Bloom) and son he deserted 30 years before. Tess Harper plays Christopher Mitchum's wife in this drama directed by Noel Black.

Melvin Van Peebles' Watermelon Man (Channel 9 Thursday at 10 p.m.) is a provocative 1970 comedy that doesn't get beyond its premise. The late Godfrey Cambridge stars as a bigoted white man who suddenly turns black and sees his world turned upside down. Because its gimmick lays bare the evils of racism so easily, the movie works for a while, but it becomes so predictable that it runs out of gas long before the end. Estelle Parsons plays Cambridge's wife.

Elizabeth Montgomery stars in The Legend of Lizzie Borden (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.), an impressive 1975 TV movie directed by Paul Wendkos and written by William Bast. The film is a shrewd blend of fact and speculation as to whether Lizzie really did give her mother and father 40 whacks back in 1892 in Fall River, Mass.

David Lean's epic Lawrence of Arabia airs in two parts, starting Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on Channel 7 and concluding next Sunday, following Game 2 of the World Series. This is not exactly the best way to see this splendid adventure starring Peter O'Toole as the enigmatic T. E. Lawrence.

Agatha Christie's '13 at Dinner' (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie that brings back Peter Ustinov as Dame Agatha's formidable Hercule Poirot (whom he played in "Death on the Nile" and "Evil Under the Sun"). This time Poirot turns his incomparable deductive powers on the mysterious murder of Lord Edgware (John Barron), whose wife (Faye Dunaway) would seem to be the prime suspect. But then Dunaway has a dual role. Lee Horsley co-stars.

Selected evening pay TV/cable fare: The Railway Children (Showtime Sunday at 6); The Karate Kid (HBO at 8 Sunday and Friday); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (WOR Sunday at 10); The Shadow Box (WOR Monday at 6); Tightrope (ON & SelecTV Monday at 9); Juarez (WGN Monday at 9:30); Dark Victory (WGN Tuesday at 9:30); The Nutty Professor (WTBS Tuesday at 10); The Dresser (Cinemax Wednesday at 7); State of Siege (Z Wednesday at 7); Apocalypse Now (Movie Channel Wednesday at 8); Iceman (Cinemax Wednesday at 9); Now, Voyager (WGN Wednesday at 9:30); Saint Jack (Lifetime Thursday at 8); The Year of Living Dangerously (Showtime Thursday at 8, HBO Friday at 10:15); Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (WGN Friday at 9:30); The Stars Look Down (A&E Saturday at 6:45 and 10:45); Blithe Spirit (Movie Channel Saturday at 7); Hooper (Cinemax Saturday at 8); Night Moves (Movie Channel Saturday at 9).

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