In Paternity (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), Burt Reynolds plays a self-centered, inconsiderate 44-year-old man who pays $50,000 to waitress/music student Beverly D'Angelo to bear his child so he can have "something that says 'Buddy Evans' was here.' " The problem is that, even though a romance develops, Buddy himself changes almost not at all, which means the film leaves a sour aftertaste.
Switch to ABC, and the going is not much better. Norman Jewison's . . . And Justice for All (Sunday at 9 p.m.) is such a shrill, over-the-top indictment of our criminal justice system ills that it self-destructs. Al Pacino stars as an abrasive, idealistic Baltimore lawyer coerced into defending a judge (John Forsythe) he slugged and who has been charged in a particularly nasty rape case.
Carol Burnett stars in Life of the Party: The Story of Beatrice (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a TV movie repeat based on the real-life story of Beatrice O'Reilly, who founded the first home in Los Angeles for recovering women alcoholics.
The Lords of Discipline (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) is yet another in the decadent Southern military academy genre, but director Franc Roddam has made it a fresh experience. David Keith stars as a thoughtful, concerned senior assigned to keep an eye on a new cadet, who happens to be black.
The First Time (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), a 1982 TV movie, is a so-so drama about a mother unable to accept her daughter's loss of innocence. Susan Anspach and Jennifer Jason Leigh star.
Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) won Ellen Burstyn a 1975 Oscar for her fine portrayal of a vital, 35-year-old widow pulling up stakes in a dreary Oklahoma town and commencing a cross-country odyssey in search of a new life for her and her precocious son. Alice wavers between the convincingly sordid and the improbably romantic but even so is a winning film, and a landmark in the revival of strong women's roles.
Promises in the Dark (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), which marked an impressive directorial debut for distinguished producer Jerome Hellman, tells with restraint, extraordinary fidelity and integrity of the relationship between a dying girl (Kathleen Beller) and her doctor (Marsha Mason).
Badlands (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is Terrence Malick's lightly fictionalized and glacial re-creation of the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree that struck the Midwest in the '50s. Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are perfect within the film maker's detached context. However, in seeking so thorough an objectivity, Malick has created an experience of violence separated from any real consideration of its consequences.
Victory (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.), directed after a fashion by John Huston, is a silly, improbable reworking of "The Great Escape" and "The Longest Yard," in which a bunch of POWs in a German prison camp get a chance to escape but feel compelled to finish a soccer game. Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Max Von Sydow and Pele star.
Friday evening's best bet by far is Nestor Almendros and Orlando Jimenez Leal's 1984 documentary Improper Conduct (Channel 28 at 10 p.m.), commemorating the 25th anniversary of Castro's Cuba with one of the most damning indictments of any regime ever committed to film, a litany of hideous, stupefying injustice.
The Execution of Raymond Graham (ABC Saturday at 9 p.m.) ticks off the final moments in the life of a young man (Jeff Fahey) who's been on death row for five years after being convicted of murder.
The Scarlet and the Black (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) is an engrossing 1983 TV movie in which Vatican official Gregory Peck harbors POWs under the nose of suspicious Nazi officer Christopher Plummer.
Selected evening cable fare: First Name: Carmen (Bravo Sunday at 8); Testament (Movie Channel Monday at 7:30); Bizet's Carmen (Bravo Monday at 9); Hammett (Movie Channel Wednesday at 9); Laurence Olivier's King Lear and Othello (Bravo Thursday at 6:30 and 9:30, respectively); Into the Night (Cinemax Thursday at 9); Real Life (Z Friday at 7); The Chaplin Revue (Z Saturday at 7); The Buddy Holly Story (Cinemax Saturday at 8).