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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

January 04, 1987|Kevin Thomas

All of Me (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) finds the spirit of Lily Tomlin, a deceased millionairess, entering the body of her lawyer, Steve Martin, a jazz lover of no fixed ambitions. The results may be somewhat to the left of whoopee, but the stars are frequently hilarious--and the picture actually does get better as it goes along.

First Blood (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) stirred up nothing like the controversy of its sequel, "Rambo," did, but all the same it is disturbing in its combination of extreme violence and exceptional craftsmanship. Sylvester Stallone is a once-heroic Vietnam vet hounded by sadistic small-town police until he turns into a killing machine. Whatever comment was intended is drowned out in violence for its own sake.

The new four-hour At Mother's Request (CBS Sunday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.) dramatizes a bizarre Utah murder case and stars Stefanie Powers.

Footloose (CBS Monday at 9 p.m.) is not nearly as inventive as it might have been, but it does have at least two jaw-dropping musical numbers, and Kevin Bacon in an electrifying star turn as a Chicago hipster who clashes with John Lithgow, a pastor in a small Midwestern town that bans dancing. Bacon's charm goes a long way in glossing over the various pitfalls of the plot.

In the new TV movie On Fire (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) John Forsythe stars as an arson investigator who fights back when age discrimination brings about his retirement.

Airing at 8 p.m. Monday on Channel 13 is the vintage Burt Lancaster swashbuckler The Flame and the Arrow, directed by Jacques Tourneur.

Yankee Doodle Dandy, the All-American classic starring James Cagney in the life story of song-and-dance man George M. Cohan, airs on Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.--in the controversial colorization process version.

Although director Jim McBride and writer L. M. (Kit) Carson's 1983 remake of Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" hasn't the ironic detachment of the New Wave classic, their Breathless (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is stylish and entertaining in a shallow, jazzy way. We follow totally amoral loser Richard Gere on a tour of seamy Los Angeles in his pursuit of a young French UCLA architecture student (Valerie Kaprisky, gorgeous but no actress).

Infrequently seen on prime time, The Graduate, the generation gap classic starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross, airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Channel 5.

In the title role of Don Siegel's terrific 1973 film Charley Varrick (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.), Walter Matthau plays a canny crook who's deliberately a small-timer, which is why the tiny bank of Tres Cruces, N.M., is a natural target. Yet Matthau quickly finds himself trying to outwit the law on one hand and the Mafia on the other. The result is a lively, engrossing struggle between brains and brawn.

Walter Hill's The Driver (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) plays like a bad imitation of a French gangster picture, which in turn is a bad imitation of an American gangster picture. Loaded down with lots of film noir fatalism, Ryan O'Neal stars as a hotshot, high-priced driver of getaway cars pursued by implacable cop Bruce Dern.

Cross of Iron, Sam Peckinpah's exciting World War I drama told from the German point of view, airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on Channel 11. James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason and David Warner star.

In Cloak and Dagger (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.), the inspired reworking of the 1947 thriller "The Window"--that's the one about the boy with the overactive imagination who witnesses a murder but finds nobody will believe him--the youth (Henry Thomas) has been given an imaginary hero and constant companion, a sort of paramilitary Tinker Bell named Jack Flack (Dabney Coleman, who also plays Thomas' sorely tried widower-father), the superspy hero of a video game. Cloak and Dagger is fun for adults as well as older kids, thanks to the imaginative writing (by Tom Holland) and direction (by Richard Franklin).

Raoul Walsh's 1924 Thief of Bagdad (Channel 28 Friday at 9 p.m., Channel 50 Saturday at 8 p.m.) isn't as fancy as Alexander Korda's lush 1940 color version, but it has lots more style and verve. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. is at his most engaging in this Arabian Nights adventure, which unfolds against William Cameron Menzies' wondrous settings.

All the President's Men, that engrossing unraveling of Watergate starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, returns Saturday on Channel 13 at 8 p.m.

On CBS Saturday at 9 p.m. there's a new TV movie, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, which manages to bring Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved sleuth back to life--in the '80s! Michael Pennington is the reborn Holmes, and Margaret Colin is a struggling Boston private eye, the great-granddaughter of Dr. Watson.

Selected evening cable fare: Oliver Twist (1948) (Movie Channel Sunday at 7); Camila (Bravo Sunday at 8); A Chorus Line (HBO Sunday at 8, Wednesday at 6); Reds (Showtime Sunday at 8); Tender Mercies (Disney Channel Sunday at 9); The Official Story (Bravo Sunday at 10); Another Time, Another Place (Bravo Monday at 8); Another Country (SelecTV Monday at 8); Swann in Love (Bravo Tuesday at 9); Call Northside 777 (WGN Tuesday at 9:30); And Nothing but the Truth (Lifetime Wednesday at 8); Wetherby (Z Wednesday at 9); Confidentially Yours (Bravo Thursday at 8); The Sundowners (WGN Thursday at 9:30).

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