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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

April 19, 1987|Kevin Thomas

Since it's Easter, it's perhaps inevitable that Charlton Heston, as Moses, will again be parting the Red Sea in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (ABC Sunday at 7 p.m.). The last of the pioneer director's biblical spectacles--he had already done this one as a silent in 1924--it is his reliable blend of piety and sensuality, presented with extravagance and, in this instance, a certain crassness.

Elsewhere, Robert Conrad directs and stars in the new TV movie High Mountain Rangers (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), in which he plays a former forest ranger in pursuit of a vicious escaped convict (Tom Towles).

Note: If you missed Gallipoli, Peter Weir's stirring World War I saga, last week, it airs again Sunday at 6 p.m. on Channel 13.

The 1985 Secrets of the Red Bedroom (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.)--originally titled "Secret Weapons"--is standard fare about a young Soviet woman (Linda Hamilton) trained by the KGB's Sally Kellerman to seduce and blackmail American officials and industrialists. Another 1985 TV movie, This Wife for Hire (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), is also routine. It's a comedy about a lawyer (Robert Klein) who offers his wife's domestic skills to a friend only to launch her (Pam Dawber) in a surrogate wife business.

Jodie Foster, Beau Bridges and Nastassja Kinski all have their moments in Tony Richardson's film of The Hotel New Hampshire (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), John Irving's seriocomic novel about a highly unconventional family, but the characters they play seem more literary conceits than real people. The result is too often tedious.

The Stone Boy (Channel 11 Thursday at 9 p.m.) is a compassionate, clear-eyed depiction of how a Montana farm family gradually learns, mainly by trial and error, to recover from the shock of its younger son's accidental killing of his older brother. This is a splendid, unjustly neglected film with Jason Presson as the boy numbed by his brother's death, Glenn Close and Robert Duvall as his parents, Wilford Brimley as his warm and loving grandfather and Frederic Forrest as a wayward uncle (one of Forrest's best performances).

Do You Remember Love?, the highly praised and much-honored 1985 TV movie dealing with Alzheimer's disease, repeats Friday at 9 p.m. on CBS. Joanne Woodward stars as a poet and college professor struck down by the disease at the height of her career; Richard Kiley plays her devoted husband and Geraldine Fitzgerald is her mother. Beautifully acted (under Jeff Bleckner's tight direction) and written (by Vickie Patlik), this film is far above the all-too-familiar "disease-of-the-week" dramas.

It's gratifying that a worthy little "lost" film like Follow Your Dreams (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.), released in theaters as "Independence Day," should show up on a network in prime time. Ostensibly, it's the familiar story about a small-town girl (Kathleen Quinlan) deciding whether to pursue a big-city career as a photographer or to settle down with her boyfriend (David Keith), but Dianne Wiest, recently an Oscar winner for her "Hannah and Her Sisters" performance, steals the film as her terrified sister, abused constantly by her husband (Cliff De Young).

Dark Victory, the 1939 film with Bette Davis as a stricken heiress living her final days to the fullest, screens in a new color version Monday at 5:05 p.m. on WTBS cable.

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