December 08, 1985|KEVIN THOMAS

Final Jeopardy (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Richard Thomas and Mary Crosby as a small-town couple on a trip to a big city where they become trapped in a terrifying predicament.

Earlier Sunday--at 6 p.m.--are three vintage films, Blake Edwards' delightful A Shot in the Dark (Channel 5), The Quiller Memorandum, a fine thriller with a Harold Pinter script (Channel 9) and Gray Lady Down, a fairly routine adventure about the rescue of a nuclear submarine (Channel 13).

White Heat and The Roaring Twenties, two classic gangster pictures, both starring James Cagney and both directed by Raoul Walsh, air on Channel 5 on Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. respectively. The very Freudian White Heat is the film in which Cagney actually sits on his mother's lap!

Irwin Allen's new two-part version of Alice in Wonderland fills the 8-10 p.m. slots Monday and Tuesday on CBS.

Love Is Never Silent, a new TV movie drama (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), stars Mare Winningham as a young woman torn between her desire to marry and her sense of obligation to her deaf parents (Phyllis Frelich and Ed Waterstreet, both of whom are actually deaf). Sid Caesar and Cloris Leachman co-star in this "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation. (See Show of the Week.)

Best Friends (Channel 9 Monday at 10 p.m.) is a small gem of psychological suspense involving two buddies (Richard Hatch, Doug Chapin) and their ladies (Susanne Benton, Ann Noland) on a trip from El Paso to California.

One of John Frankenheimer's best films, Seven Days in May, screens Thursday at 8 p.m. on Channel 13. Written by the late Rod Serling, it's about a military takeover of the government. Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March and Ava Gardner star.

The 1946 version of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice (Channel 13 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is famous for what Lana Turner did for a two-piece white bathing suit. She's the bored wife of the much-older Cecil Kellaway when along comes John Garfield. It's not as sweatily sexual as the remake with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson but Turner and Garfield feel a lot more guilty for their crimes. Tay Garnett directed.

Middle Age Crazy (Channel 11 Saturday at 9 p.m.), a funny yet compassionate and incisive comedy that spans three generations, stars Bruce Dern as a Houston contractor for whom turning 40 is a painful milestone for various reasons. On the one hand, he's coping with a father (Eric Christmas) whose intimations of mortality threaten to overcome his son and a son of his own (Geoffrey Bowes) who isn't sure he wants to go to college, let alone study architecture, thus neatly capping his father's career as a contractor and his grandfather's as a carpenter. On the other hand, he has a beautiful wife (Ann-Margret) who's overly anxious to hold on to him.

Stroker Ace (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) stars Burt Reynolds as a hotshot race car driver in what is one of his worst movies. It's so mindless and unfunny you could find yourself trying to pass the time studying the intricacies of Loni Anderson's makeup.

Also screening Saturday night (at 10 p.m. on Channel 28) is Frank Capra's Meet John Doe, in which Gary Cooper is a naive, idealistic associate for corrupt politician Edward Arnold.

Selected evening cable fare: Irreconcilable Differences (HBO Sunday at 8, Movie Channel Tuesday at 6); Night of the Comet (Movie Channel Sunday at 8, Showtime Saturday at 8); Being There (ON & SelecTV Sunday at 9); The Seduction of Joe Tynan (Movie Channel Sunday at 10, Friday at 8); Songwriter (ON & SelecTV Monday at 7); The Bostonians (Movie Channel Monday at 8); When a Stranger Calls (Showtime Monday at 9, Friday at 10); Great Expectations (Cinemax Monday at 10, Disney Wednesday at 10:45); Cal (HBO Monday at 10); Hot Millions (WOR Tuesday at 6); The Red Shoes (Cinemax Tuesday at 8); Heartbreakers (HBO Tuesday at 8); The Dresser (ON & SelecTV Tuesday at 9); Repo Man (Showtime Tuesday at 10); A Love in Germany (Z Wednesday at 9); North Dallas Forty (Movie Channel Wednesday at 9:30); Out of the Past (Cinemax Thursday at 8); Next Stop, Greenwich Village (WGN Thursday at 9:30); It's a Wonderful Life (Disney Friday at 9); A Kid for Two Farthings (Disney Saturday at 7).

Los Angeles Times Articles