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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

September 07, 1986

While a reprise of The Winds of War fills up ABC's movie slots, CBS starts out the week with a repeat of the 1983 TV movie Secrets of a Mother and Daughter (Sunday at 9 p.m.), a dreary soap opera in which the secret is that mom (Katharine Ross) and her daughter (Linda Hamilton) are having affairs with the same man (Michael Nouri).

In the new TV movie Popeye Doyle (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) Ed O'Neill has the title role as the rough-and-tumble New York City detective first played by Gene Hackman in "The French Connection."

In Going Ape (NBC Tuesday at 8 p.m.) the humans act more like a bunch of baboons than the simians. In this numskull 1981 comedy, Tony Danza inherits $5 million from his circus-owner father with the provision that he keep three prized orangutans for at least five years and that no harm come to them. Not surprisingly, there are many who would profit from Danza's failure.

Things start to look up with Paul Mazursky's engaging Moscow on the Hudson (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a serious comedy on the nature of personal freedom and today's immigrant experience. Robin Williams is irresistible as a Moscow circus saxophonist who defects in Bloomingdale's. One of Mazursky's best, the film is a warm reminder of the preciousness of liberty.

James Klein and Julia Reichert's Seeing Red (Channel 50 Wednesday at 8 p.m., Channels 15 and 24 at 9 p.m.) does a terrific, engrossing job of making clear what the American Communist Party was all about. The film's 15 interviewees, all of whom were active members in the party's heyday in the '30s and '40s, appear to be bright, vital, caring idealists who saw the party as the only viable response to the dark days of the Depression.

Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces (Channel 7 Thursday at 8 p.m.), one of the key films of the '70s, stars Jack Nicholson as a feckless, charming drifter who has forsaken his highly refined family of gifted musicians (who live on an island in the Pacific Northwest) to work as an oil field roughneck. Yet he yearns to return home, and the film becomes an odyssey of self-discovery, touching upon the rootlessness and dissatisfactions of contemporary life. Bergmanesque, yet its idiom is completely American; sad but often outrageously funny.

Pam Dawber stars in the new TV movie American Geisha (CBS Thursday at 9 p.m.), based on the experiences of Liza Dalby, an anthropologist who became a geisha in Kyoto while a Stanford graduate student.

Skillfully adapted by Jay Presson Allen from Ira Levin's hit play and directed with zest by Sidney Lumet, Deathtrap (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.) has a plot that's absolutely undiscussible without spoiling the fun. It may be mannered, it may be hokey, but it certainly is entertaining. It's set in a wonderful windmill country house, and it has a splendid cast: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon, Irene Worth and Henry Jones. Enjoy.

Robert De Niro won an Oscar as Jake La Motta in Martin Scorsese's superb Raging Bull (CBS Saturday at 8:30 p.m.), one of the best American films of recent years. De Niro's well-publicized weight gain for the role helps, but his portrayal is created deeply from within. His La Motta is in the classic mold: the street kid who came up from nothing, caught the brass ring and lost it, largely through an ungovernable rage and jealousy. Filmed in a rich black and white by Michael Chapman, Raging Bull is an impeccable period piece and another of Scorsese's riveting expressions of the Italian-American experience.

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