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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

April 17, 1988|Kevin Thomas

Iceman (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.), a poignant fable celebrating the sacredness of nature, centers on the discovery in an Arctic cave of a Neanderthal man (John Lone) perfectly preserved in ice and on the efforts of anthropologist Timothy Hutton and cryobiologist Lindsay Crouse to bring him back to life. Directed by Fred Schepisi, Iceman evolves into yet another of the Australian director's studies of a man increasingly at odds with his environment. Iceman will be followed Sunday at 8 p.m. on Channel 13 with the classic On the Waterfront.

The new TV movie The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is based on the book "Anne Frank Remembered" by Miep Gies, the woman who hid the Frank family. Mary Steenburgen (on the cover) plays Gies, and Paul Scofield and Lisa Jacobs play Otto and Anne Frank.

Home Is Where the Heart Is (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is perhaps a more apt title for Daniel Petrie's fine 1987 "Square Dance," a wry, tender coming-of-age drama adapted by Alan Hines from his own novel about a Texas girl (Winona Ryder) who's forced to choose between the settled, rural world of her cranky grandfather (Jason Robards) and the messier, more exciting and dangerous city terrain of her mother (Jane Alexander), a fast-living hairdresser. Rob Lowe dares an admirable change of pace as a slow-witted youth who adores Ryder.

Frank Nitti: The Enforcer (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars newcomer Anthony LaPaglia as Al Capone's legendary top lieutenant.

The 1986 TV movie When the Bough Breaks (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) is a taut thriller starring Ted Danson as a child psychologist who obsessively investigates a series of murders involving a group of wealthy and powerful men.

With the 1983 The Man Who Loved Women (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) Blake Edwards and his writers managed to transform Francois Truffaut's minor but pleasing 1977 movie of the same name about a compulsive womanizer into a major bore. Burt Reynolds is stuck with having to play a man so totally self-absorbed that it's impossible to care about him.

Case Closed (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Charles Durning as a veteran detective who comes out of retirement to help brash rookie Byron Allen on a jewel heist.

The 1985 romantic comedy Key Exchange (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is a slick adaptation of the Kevin Wade play that examines the sexual tangles among a compulsively philandering detective-story writer (Ben Masters), his TV producer inamorata (Brooke Adams) and his buddy, a staunchly idealistic lawyer (Daniel Stern). What rings so false is the familiar insistence that the writer's irresponsible ways can be easily cured by the love of a good woman. Barnet Kellman's direction has a warm but skin-deep professional smoothness.

Robert M. Young's The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (Channel 50 Wednesday at 9 p.m.) is a compelling 1982 Western that vividly depicts the fate of an innocent Mexican (an intense Edward James Olmos), a victim of prejudice at its most virulent.

The notoriously overblown and long-winded 1963 Taylor-Burton Cleopatra surfaces on Channel 5, airing in two parts on Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.

The late Mervyn Leroy directed The FBI Story (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.), a well-crafted 1959 production in which the history of the bureau is told through the career of one agent, played by James Stewart.

James Farentino and Jennifer O'Neill star in the new TV movie The Red Spider (CBS Thursday at 9 p.m.), a murder mystery based on characters from the William J. Caunitz novel "One Police Plaza." Farentino plays a New York cop who clashes with assistant D.A. O'Neill over the handling of the bizarre murder of a corrupt cop.

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 Friday on Channel 13 at 8 p.m.

In yet another new TV movie, Shakedown on the Sunset Strip (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.), Perry King plays an ambitious LAPD vice cop who crusades against noted Hollywood madam of the 1940s, Brenda Allen (Joan Van Ark). Season Hubley plays King's partner.

Selected evening cable fare: The Best of Times (Showtime Sunday at 6); Burke & Wills (Z Sunday at 6:30); Hoosiers (Cinemax Sunday at 9, Thursday at 6); Something Wild (Z Sunday at 9); Murder, My Sweet (A&E Monday at 6 and 10); That's Life! (HBO Monday at 8, Saturday at 6); Burn! (A&E Tuesday at 6); The Far Country (WTBS Tuesday at 6:50); A Great Wall (Bravo Tuesday at 8:30); Mrs. Soffel (Movie Channel Tuesday at 9); Seconds (Z Tuesday at 9); Wetherby (Movie Channel Wednesday at 7); Salvador (SelecTV Wednesday at 7); Swimming to Cambodia (Bravo Wednesday at 8); Little Shop of Horrors (1986) (Cinemax Wednesday at 8, Saturday at 6); Black and White in Color (Movie Channel Thursday at 7:30); Gung Ho (Showtime Friday at 8); The Ballad of Narayama (1983) (Bravo Friday at 8:30); About Last Night (HBO Friday at 9:45); Home of the Brave (Bravo Saturday at 9); Tin Men (Movie Channel Saturday at 9).

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