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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

April 03, 1988|Kevin Thomas

The new TV movie The Woman He Loved (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) stars Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Olivia de Havilland as the Duchess' Aunt Bessie; an earlier TV movie starred Faye Dunaway and Richard Chamberlain as the Windsors.

The five-hour The Fortunate Pilgrim (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 8 p.m.) stars Sophia Loren as Mario Puzo's strong-willed Italian immigrant heroine. Edward James Olmos and Hal Holbrook co-star.

Back again is the delightful 1980 Superman II (ABC Sunday at 7 p.m.), in which our hero (Christopher Reeve) must at last confront his invincibility, choosing between the woman he loves, Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), and the world he has vowed to protect.

The 1982 Best Friends (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) teams a delightful Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn as successful Hollywood screenwriters whose troubles begin when they finally tie the knot. Norman Jewison's direction is slick and driving, but his stars can't overcome the crassness of the circumstances, which presents the central figures in the round only to satirize heavily the peripheral characters.

Costa-Gavra's 1982 Missing (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) plunges us into an unnamed Central American country with more than a passing resemblance to Allende's Chile in the throes of revolution. When a young American (John Shea) disappears, his naive, conventionally liberal middle-aged father (Jack Lemmon) arrives to join forces uneasily with his daughter-in-law (Sissy Spacek) and gets his consciousness drastically raised. Message and suspense don't mesh completely, but even so this is a strong, important film.

Conduct Unbecoming (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), adapted by Robert Enders from Barry England's play, peers beneath the teatime tidiness and clockwork pomps of regimental frontier life in India a century ago to discover a rancid stew of lustings, frustrations, tauntings, dishonor and even madness, all papered over in the sacred names of tradition, duty and honor. Michael York, Richard Attenborough, Trevor Howard, Stacy Keach, Christopher Plummer and Susannah York star in this 1975 production.

Antony Thomas' Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done (Wednesday, Channel 24 at 9 p.m., Channel 15 at 10 p.m.), a comprehensive and revealing survey of Christian fundamentalists and their growing right-wing political power, is a timely, disturbing and utterly fascinating account deserving of reaching the widest audience possible. Held up by PBS for reasons still unclear for nearly a year, when it was supposed to air just as the Bakker scandal broke, it now ironically surfaces in the wake of Jimmy Swaggart's woes. It also airs Friday at 10 p.m. on Channel 28 and Saturday at 11 p.m. on Channel 50.

In The Last Married Couple in America (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) writer John Herman Shaner zeroes in on the predicament of a couple (Natalie Wood, George Segal) whose friends can't stand their happiness to the degree that they unwittingly try to break them up. Directed by Gilbert Cates, this 1980 romantic comedy skewers the evils of this kind of social pressure along with the familiar reasons why so many marriages go wrong. As it turns out, the film did anticipate the '80s in its suggestion that square may be better than hip after all.

Movie Movie (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) is an amusing and enjoyable exercise in nostalgia for the all-talking, all-singing, all-corny movies that everybody says nobody makes any more. This 1978 film celebrates, with accuracy, skill and warm affection, the plotty and propulsive film delights that a later generation speaks of as real movies. Director Stanley Donen and writers Larry Gelbart and Sheldon Keller have concocted a whole double feature: a fight film in black and white and a musical in color. George S. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Harry Hamlin and Red Buttons star.

Selected evening cable fare: Death of a Salesman (1985) (Bravo Sunday at 7); Hoosiers (Sunday, HBO & Z at 7; Wednesday, Z at 9, Cinemax at 9:30, Saturday, Cinemax at 8); Rosemary's Baby (Z Sunday at 9, Cinemax Tuesday at 8, TMC Friday at 9); Clockwise (HBO Monday at 6:30); A Simple Story (Z Monday at 7); Come Back, Little Sheba (TMC Monday at 9); The Shooting Party (A&E Tuesday at 6); Sorry, Wrong Number (Cinemax Tuesday at 6:30); Finnegan Begin Again (HBO Wednesday at 6); The Naked Prey (Cinemax Wednesday at 6:30); The Gig (Bravo Wednesday at 7); The Tarnished Angels (Z Wednesday at 7:30); Down By Law (Bravo Wednesday at 9); White Dog (Life Thursday at 6); Air Mail (Z Thursday at 7:30); Working Girls (Bravo Thursday at 8); Raising Arizona (SelecTV Thursday at 9); A Private Function (Z Thursday at 9); Gung Ho (TMC Saturday at 7); Parting Glances (Bravo Saturday at 9).

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