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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

November 23, 1986|Kevin Thomas

As usual, Sunday at 9 p.m. brings three new TV movies. Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story (ABC) stars Farrah Fawcett as a young German woman whose life is transformed when she leaves her native Berlin for Paris in 1960, marries a Jewish law student (Tom Conti) and dedicates her life to exposing Nazi war criminals. In Women of Valor (CBS) Susan Sarandon and Kristy McNichol are interned in Bataan by the Japanese. On a lighter note, Robert Culp is cast in Combat High (NBC), playing the commandant of a military academy turned upside down by prank-loving cadets Keith Gordon and Wally Ward.

Earlier, The Thanksgiving Story, the "Disney Sunday Movie" (ABC at 7 p.m.), marks a first-time teaming of Beau Bridges with his real-life father and mother (Lloyd and Dorothy) and his 12-year-old son Jordan, who in his acting debut plays a lonely boy torn between his love for an injured Canadian goose and his promise to fatten it and slaughter it for a neighbor's Thanksgiving dinner (illustrated on cover).

Kimber Shoop has the title role in the new TV movie The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), telling about the Kennedy youth who overcame the loss of a leg to cancer at age 12. Craig T. Nelson plays Sen. Ted Kennedy and Susan Blakely his then-wife, Joan.

You will be able to judge for yourself the merits of the much-deplored "colorization" of black-and-white classics when those holiday season perennials, It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, air Monday, respectively, on Channel 5 at 7 p.m. and Channel 11 at 9 p.m. (The "colorized" It's a Wonderful Life, which has been disparaged by its star James Stewart, also airs on WOR at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.)

The new TV movie That Secret Sunday (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) involves a police cover-up of the murder of two young women and an overzealous reporter who may be faking a story. James Farentino stars as a veteran reporter whose team includes the ambitious Parker Stevenson and the more cautious Daphne Ashbrook.

The always-welcome Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, that exciting, literate and sophisticated 1969 Western with Paul Newman and Robert Redford, is back again, on Channel 11 Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Another beloved stalwart, Yankee Doodle Dandy, with James Cagney as song-and-dance man George M. Cohan, airs on Channel 28 Wednesday at 9 p.m.--and in its original black-and-white version.

Minus both Burt Reynolds and Sally Field, Smokey the Bandit III (CBS Thursday at 8 p.m.) is about as much fun as getting stuck in a traffic jam with a dead battery. Jackie Gleason et al. are back, but to no avail. The film's fragile premise has Gleason's apoplectic sheriff swayed from retirement plans by Pat McCormick, and Paul Williams promising him $250,000 against his police badge, to deliver a stuffed shark from Miami to Austin, Tex., within 24 hours.

Friday brings John Ford's Sergeant Rutledge (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.), solid vintage fare in which Woody Strode plays a black cavalry officer on trial for rape and murder.

One Police Plaza (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie based on William J. Caunitz's best seller, stars Robert Conrad as a New York police lieutenant investigating what at first seems to be a brutal but routine murder case.

The 1983 remake of The Wicked Lady (Channel 5 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is decidedly schizophrenic, part lavishly costumed romantic adventure, part soft-core peek show--this aspect may have been toned down for TV, however. Faye Dunaway looks great and has fun in the title role, based on the true story of the 17th-Century adventuress-"highwaywoman," Lady Katherine Ferrers. Her co-stars are, no less, Denholm Elliott, Alan Bates and John Gielgud. (The steamy stuff is left to supporting players Glynis Barber and Oliver Tobias.)

Selected evening cable fare: Irreconcilable Differences (HBO Sunday at 6); Witness (Z Sunday at 7 and Thursday at 8, Showtime Sunday and Friday at 8); Murphy's Romance (Cinemax Sunday at 8 and Thursday at 9); Another Country (Movie Channel Monday at 7:30); Full Moon in Paris (Bravo Monday at 9); The Brother From Another Planet (SelecTV Monday at 9:30); Le Beau Mariage (Bravo Tuesday at 8); Petit Con (Z Tuesday at 9); Kamilla (Bravo Tuesday at 10); Steamboat Round the Bend (Z Wednesday at 7); The Marquise of O (Bravo Wednesday at 8); Daisy Miller (Lifetime Wednesday at 8); A Face in the Crowd (Disney Wednesday at 9); Great Expectations (Showtime Thursday at 6); La Colmena (Galavision Thursday at 6:30); Life With Father (WGN Thursday at 9:30); Downhill Racer (WTBS Thursday at 9:30); Wise Blood (Movie Channel Friday at 7); A Soldier's Story (HBO Friday at 8); Eleni (SelecTV Saturday at 8).

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