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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

January 17, 1988

Cloak and Dagger (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.) is the inspired reworking of the 1947 thriller, "The Window." That's the one about the boy with an overactive imagination who witnesses a murder but nobody will believe him. Here, 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 imaginative writing (by Tom Holland) and direction (by Richard Franklin).

Earth-Star Voyager (ABC Sunday at 7 p.m.) stars Duncan Regehr and Brian McNamara in a new "Disney Sunday Movie" adventure about six space cadets attempting to find a new planet for the people of Earth. The conclusion arrives next Sunday.

Brannigan (Channel 13 Sunday at 8 p.m.) takes John Wayne off his horse and sets him down in 1975 London. It's an amusing idea that's well-developed and gives a witty edge to this thriller in which the Duke plays a Chicago police lieutenant who has to bring home fugitive racketeer John Vernon.

The new TV movie Alone in the Neon Jungle (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) stars Suzanne Pleshette as an embattled police captain assigned to a big city's worst precinct.

Crash Course (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Jackee of "227" and Harvey Korman in a comedy about a summer-school drivers' education class run by a dreaded instructor.

Yet another new TV movie, Stranger on My Land (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), stars Tommy Lee Jones as a Vietnam vet disputing the government's right to buy his family's ranch for a missile base. Dee Wallace Stone co-stars.

Helen Hayes returns as Agatha Christie's deceptively sweet amateur sleuth Miss Jane Marple in the amiable Murder With Mirrors (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.), teamed for the first time with Bette Davis as Miss Marple's dear friend, whose husband (John Mills) has persuaded her to turn her ancestral estate into a home for juvenile delinquents.

In the new TV movie Child Saver (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) Alfre Woodard plays an advertising executive who puts her life on the line for a boy (Deon Richmond) involved with drugs.

The David L. Wolper production What Price Victory (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, is a drama about a gung-ho team booster (Robert Culp) who tries to lure a top high school athlete (Brian Wimmer) and his coach (Mac Davis) to a college where football is king.

The Return of a Man Called Horse (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is decidedly superior to the original and truly transports us to a different time and place, coming away with a hauntingly beautiful but tragic vision of American history. Once again Richard Harris stars as Lord John Morgan, who became a member of the Yellow Hands, a branch of the Sioux, and after six years back in England, returns to the tribe only to discover it has been ravaged by a vicious fur trapper (Geoffrey Lewis) and his men. Irvin Kershner directed, superbly.

Lady of the House (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), a biography of San Francisco's colorful ex-madam and longtime Sausalito restaurateur Sally Stanford, tells it a bit more like the way it ought to have been than the way it was. Even so, this 1978 TV movie is absorbing and affords Dyan Cannon one of her best roles as the indomitable Sally.

Helen Hayes is again Agatha Christie's redoubtable Miss Marple in the enjoyable A Caribbean Mystery (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.). Maurice Evans is a retired British officer concerned with her welfare at a resort where Miss Marple of course detects something awry.

Alien (ABC Thursday at 8:30 p.m.) is a wonderfully scary, well-told science fiction adventure in which seven earthling space travelers visit a strange planet and unknowingly acquire a fellow traveler, an alien--a seemingly indestructible and ever-growing Thing. In this 1979 Ridley Scott film, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto and Sigourney Weaver are taking back home with them 20 million tons of minerals from that planet aboard a spaceship the size of Central Park. There's little time for character development--or for the chance to question anything. Who, if anyone, will survive the clutches of the Alien becomes the big question.

D.A.R.Y.L. (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.), a big, modern super-movie crammed with high-speed car and plane chases, explosions and video games, has a heart and even wears it on its sleeve. The trouble is that it's too much to swallow. It's a "Twilight Zone"-like tale about a strange little boy (Barret Oliver) of unfathomable intelligence and skill, who turns out to be a runaway robot from a Pentagon think tank. D.A.R.Y.L. means Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform.

He Knows You're Alone (Channel 5 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is standard grisly rampaging killer fare that marks a no-more-than-competent feature debut for director Armand Mastroianni, billed by MGM as an American cousin of the great Marcello. Scott Parker's script is but a pretext to pile up as many stabbed and slashed corpses of pretty young women as the traffic will bear.

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