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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

October 11, 1987|Kenin Thomas

The combination of director Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood is so potent that Dirty Harry (Channel 13 Sunday at 8 p.m.) has become a kind of classic example of the kind of rabble-rousing film you ought to hate but find hard to resist. This is Eastwood's first time out as that scrappy, violent San Francisco cop not about to hesitate to take the law into his own hands in order to nab a Zodiac-like killer.

After the Promise (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Mark Harmon and Diana Scarwid in a Depression-era drama about a father's struggle to reunite his family. It was inspired by a true story and directed by Emmy-winning David Greene.

The Five of Me (Channel 4 Sunday at 9 p.m. after baseball) is an ill-conceived and preposterous 1981 TV movie, but David Birney has a field day playing a man afflicted with multiple identities. The story is based on an actual case.

A deglamorized Raquel Welch stars in the new TV movie Right to Die (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) as a psychology professor stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease (illustrated on cover).

Mariel Hemingway is luminous as a 15-year-old unwed mother, but the 1976 TV movie I Want to Keep My Baby (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.) is unfortunately flat and predictable.

An example of the exploitation picture at its most creative, Jackson County Jail (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) turns back all the obligatory genre requirements--sex, violence and action--upon themselves to produce a harrowing image of America, revealing a dark underside to our national psyche. Yvette Mimieux was never better as a chic, liberated Los Angeles ad agency executive driving across the country alone--and into big trouble in the backwoods. Tommy Lee Jones made an exciting screen debut in this 1977 production.

An offbeat gangster picture, John Flynn's The Outfit (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) stars Robert Duvall as an ex-con, just out of prison, who takes on the mob that put the hit on his brother and tried to get him as well. There are capers, chases, gun molls and hide-outs, and a rich but weary gang-leader (the late Robert Ryan). There's also a roundness of character, a brush of reality and a sense of continuous surprise that lifts The Outfit out of the ordinary. Karen Black and Joe Don Baker co-star.

Walter Matthau and Robin Williams are at the top of their form in The Survivors (ABC Thursday at 9 p.m.), but the film's comic premise starts coming apart 15 minutes into the film. Williams is fired from his dental supplies salesman's job as almost simultaneously Matthau's gas station blows up. They meet in the unemployment line, and then Matthau gets a good look at good ol' country boy gunman Jerry Reed during a robbery; what follows is hit-and-miss social satire.

While scarcely a triumph of style or sophistication, Airport (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) really is fun escapist entertainment with plenty of edge-of-the-seat suspense, a starry cast and even some criticism of the hazardous conditions of our nation's overworked air terminals. It's also a celebration of American know-how, drive and determination. Burt Lancaster is the harassed head of a large Midwestern airport. Most effective are the late Van Heflin as a man driven mad by failure and Maureen Stapleton as his luckless wife.

The 1976 TV movie Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) offers a largely touching and true-to-life depiction of an unhappy 15-year-old (Eve Plumb) who runs away to Hollywood and winds up as a prostitute.

Torchlight (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) finds Pamela Sue Martin and Steve Railsback's lives wrecked by his cocaine habit--and their story wrecked by a murky script.

Airport 1975 (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) is more a remake or variation of Airport than a sequel to it, and as such, it's too much a rehash to seem anything but mechanical and finally silly in its predictability. It helps that the late Gloria Swanson is aboard, playing herself in grand style. Charlton Heston and Karen Black star.

The Deep (Channel 13 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is diverting hokum starring Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset as lovers on a Bermuda holiday who on a diving expedition chance upon both Spanish treasure and World War II morphine ampules. Also on hand: Louis Gossett Jr. and the late Robert Shaw.

Morgan Fairchild, "the most wanted female terrorist in the world" in the ludicrous 1984 TV movie Time Bomb (Channel 7 Saturday at 9 p.m.), leads a band of hijackers across Texas to nab a cargo of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium.

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