As usual, Sunday evening at 9 is a busy time for movies. CBS is premiering Thompson's Last Run, a suspense drama about a man's desperate flight from prison and starring Robert Mitchum and Wilford Brimley, while NBC is also offering a new TV movie, The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James, starring Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash. ABC, on the other hand, has Mr. Mom, a shallow, silly role-reversal comedy (from 1982) with a sufficiently timely premise to make it a big box-office success anyway. Michael Keaton stars as a husband who stays home while his wife Teri Garr climbs the corporate ladder.
Flashdance (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) is another movie nobody seemed to like except the public. A kind of full-length erotic aerobics class on TV, it stars Jennifer Beals as a pretty 18-year-old who works as a welder in a Pittsburgh steel mill by day and dances frenetically in a neighborhood bar at night, dreaming of auditioning for the local ballet company and somehow managing to fit in a steamy romance with her impossibly rich, unattached boss (Michael Nouri), once a working stiff just like her. Ludicrous throughout--but undeniably sexy.
Going up against Flashdance on ABC Monday at 9 p.m. is a new TV movie, Choices, starring George C. Scott as an anti-abortionist retired judge whose second wife (Jacqueline Bisset) and an unmarried daughter (Melissa Gilbert) both want abortions.
Airing earlier Monday on Channel 5 at 8 p.m. is the lively sword-and-sorcery epic, The Beastmaster, which has as its appealing hero Marc Singer, who has a gladiator's physique but a boyish face. Also airing Monday at 8 on Channel 13 (and again Friday at the same hour) is the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Rear Window, which has apparently not aired on commercial TV in 15 years. James Stewart and Grace Kelly star in this 1954 film.
One Terrific Guy (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Wayne Rogers as a high school coach who convinces his female students to participate in bogus sex research. Mariette Hartley is the mother who leads a fight to prosecute him.
Also airing Tuesday evening are the Oscar-laden drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Channel 5 at 7:30), another Hitchcock classic North by Northwest (Channel 13 at 8) and Lady of the House (Channel 11 at 9), an entertaining TV movie starring Dyan Cannon as San Francisco's colorful ex-madam Sally Stanford, who eventually won her battle to be mayor of Sausalito.
Dark, intelligent, artful yet truly horrifying in its effects, David Cronenberg's Scanners (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at the same time) tells of a small band of men and women whose ESP has developed to inhuman levels as a side effect to a mood-changing drug given to pregnant women. "Psycho-pharmacist" Patrick McGoohan, who accidentally bred the scanners, now wants to use them as a private security force since their power over minds can produce explosions as well as nosebleeds. Grisly--but provocative.
On a more pleasant note, there's a screening of Casablanca (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), the definitive nostalgia movie from 1943 starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Jean-Jacques Annaud's remarkable vision of prehistory, Quest for Fire, airs Friday on Channel 5 at 8 p.m. This is one of those films which would be demolished by a single false note, yet this never happens. It would seem that every iota of film magic has been used to free our imagination, to let it soar with the film to what life may have been like 80,000 years ago. Involved are four tribes, each on slightly different rungs of the ladder. There's a touching love story between lovely Rae Dawn Chong and the more primitive Everett McGill.
Welcome Home, Bobby (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars newcomer Timothy Williams as a teen-ager who becomes involved with a gay architect in his 30s (Stephen James). Tony Lo Bianco plays Williams' father.
Saturday night also sees the airing of the landmark musical West Side Story (Channel 13 at 8 p.m.), as well as the 1936 musical, Show Boat, with Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Helen Morgan and Paul Robeson (Channel 28 at 10 p.m.). Pre-ceding Show Boat, Channel 28 at 9 p.m. will show a documentary titled "Paul Robeson: A Man of Conscience."