May 04, 1986|KEVIN THOMAS

Mike Farrell and Margot Kidder star in Vanishing Act (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie about a bridegroom and his missing bride, who may or may not be the woman he married. Also starring in the mystery thriller are Elliott Gould, Fred Gwynne and Graham Jarvis.

Mark Harmon stars in the new two-part, four-hour Deliberate Stranger (NBC Sunday & Monday at 9 p.m.) as clean-cut law student Ted Bundy, convicted of murdering three women in Florida and suspected of killing 25 more in at least six states.

Airing at 6 p.m. Sunday on Channel 13: Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Vertigo, one of the most beautiful and romantic mysteries ever made.

Patton, that superb portrait of the complex, larger-than-life general, so remarkably portrayed by George C. Scott under Franklin Schaffner's direction, kicks off a week of solid, entertaining World War II movies on Channel 5. Patton (Monday at 7 p.m.) will be followed by The Devil's Brigade (Tuesday at 8 p.m.), The Longest Day (airing in two parts, Wednesday and Thursday at 8) and The Dirty Dozen (Friday at 7:30--and next to Patton, the best bet).

A numbing violence spoils Lone Wolf McQuade (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.), an otherwise stylish action film starring Chuck Norris as a dinosaur of a Texas Ranger who does things his way, much in the manner of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry. His nemesis is arms smuggler and karate whiz David Carradine. Lots more fun is Meatballs (Channel 11 Monday at 9 p.m.), that fast, funny comedy starring Bill Murray as the uninhibited head counselor at a summer camp.

Harper Valley P.T.A. (Channel 11 Tuesday at 9 p.m.) is a pleasant, if predictable, rendering of the popular Tom T. Hall song. Barbara Eden stars as a spunky widow who gets even with the narrow-minded members of her local PTA when they accuse her of being an unfit mother.

Also airing Tuesday night is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Channel 13 at 8 p.m.), the bravura but bloody Sergio Leone spaghetti Western with Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef in the title roles, vying for $200,000 in Confederate gold.

Hooper (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is an ingratiating tribute to those unsung heroes of the movies, the Hollywood stunt men and women. In the title role Burt Reynolds plays a stunt man at the top of his profession who feels threatened by coolly daring novice Jan-Michael Vincent. Sally Fields is Reynolds' lady.

The new TV movie The Blue Lightning (CBS Wednesday at 9 p.m.) stars Sam Elliott and Robert Culp in pursuit of a fabulous opal. It was filmed in Australia and written by William Kelley, Oscar-winning writer of "Witness."

Also airing Wednesday evening is How to Beat the High Cost of Living (Channel 11 at 9 p.m.), a silly trifle about three housewives (Susan Saint James, Jessica Lange and Jane Curtin) who'd rather plan a shopping mall robbery to ease their dire financial straits than try to get a job.

Brannigan (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) takes John Wayne off his horse and sets him down in the midst of contemporary London. It's an amusing idea that's well developed and gives a witty edge to this thriller wherein the Duke plays a Chicago police lieutenant who's to bring home fugitive racketeer John Vernon.

The fourth James Bond film, Thunderball (ABC Friday at 8:30 p.m.) finds 007 (Sean Connery) trying to learn who hijacked two nuclear bombs in a NATO plane and is ransoming them for a million pounds. It's a handsome production with a suitably spectacular finish.

Friday night also brings Hang 'Em High (Channel 13 at 8 p.m.), a Western that's as savage as it is well made. Clint Eastwood stars as a former St. Louis lawman whose unwitting purchase of stolen cattle almost costs him his life.

Love at First Bite (Channel 11 Friday at 9 p.m.) finds George Hamilton having fun as Count Dracula.

The late James Cagney was song-and-dance man George M. Cohan's choice to play him in the rousing Yankee Doodle Dandy (Channel 13 Saturday at 7:30 p.m.)--and it won Cagney his Oscar. Josh Logan's memorable film of William Inge's Picnic, with William Holden and Kim Novak, airs Saturday at 8 p.m. on Channel 9.

Selected evening cable fare: Ghostbusters (Sunday at 8 on SelecTV and 9 on HBO; Cinemax Wednesday and Saturday at 8); Another Time, Another Place (Bravo Sunday at 10); The Shooting Party (Bravo Monday at 9, Z Tuesday at 9); Madame Rosa (Bravo Tuesday at 9:30); Exposed (Movie Channel Thursday at 8); Dear Maestro (Bravo Friday at 10); Heartland (Disney Channel Saturday at 9).

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