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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

April 24, 1988|Kevin Thomas

April Morning (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation, dramatizes the first confrontation between English soldiers and American colonists in Lexington, Mass., which sparked the Revolutionary War. Delbert Mann directed from James Lee Barrett's adaptation of the Howard Fast novel. Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Urich, Chad Lowe and Susan Blakely star.

Speaking of the American Revolution, Goldie Hawn has been quoted as saying she was inspired to do the 1984 comedy Protocol (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) because she's descended from Edward Rutledge, youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. Be that as it may, Protocol plays like a misfired "Born Yesterday" in which Hawn's kookie Washington, D.C., cocktail waitress accidentally stumbles into the world of high stakes international politics.

The Town Bully (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Bruce Boxleitner as a county prosecutor who incurs the wrath of an entire town when he tries to track down and convict the killer of a universally hated and violent man.

Badlands (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) is writer-director Terrence Malick's lightly fictionalized and glacial 1973 re-creation of the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree that struck the Midwest in the '50s. The performances of Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek are perfect within the frame of the film-maker's detachment. However, in seeking a thorough objectivity, Malick has created an experience of violence separated from any real consideration of its consequences.

Little Girl Lost (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie based on a true story, stars Tess Harper and Frederic Forrest as a couple who fight to adopt a foster child (Marie Martin) who they think is being abused by her natural father.

Sharing Richard (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Eileen Davidson, Nancy Frangione and Hillary Bailey Smith as three friends who discover they're dating the same man (Ed Marinaro).

Manhunter (Channel 9 Tuesday at 10 p.m.) is a solid and satisfying 1974 TV movie starring Ken Howard as a Marine who comes home from a tour of duty in China, circa 1934, to take on Bonnie and Clyde-like bank robbers Gary Lockwood and Stefanie Powers.

China Beach (ABC Tuesday at 9 p.m.), is a two-hour TV movie launching a limited-run series about the experiences of a group of women in mid-'60s Vietnam. Dana Delany, Chloe Webb and Nan Woods star.

In the fresh, virulently funny and offbeat 1984 Repo Man (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), writer-director Alex Cox sets his contemporary comic portrait of the way we are (but might be happier forgetting) against the scabrous background of the automobile repossession business in Los Angeles. In this faintly surreal satire, Cox unleashes his Liverpudlian wit on cults, punks, UFO-followers, the CIA, televised religion, the nuclear bomb business, credit buying and generic can labeling--among other of life's ills. That icon of low-life, Harry Dean Stanton, plays an ace repossessor who becomes mentor to Emilio Estevez. This is a real collector's item.

William Wyler's Oscar-laden 1959 blockbuster remake of Ben Hur airs in two parts on Channel 5 Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. and features a great sea battle and the famous chariot race between Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd.

Hitchcock's celebrated 1965 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much airs on Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m. James Stewart and Doris Day star.

The Enforcer (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.), the third and possibly best of the "Dirty Harry" movies, finds Clint Eastwood's tough and ornery San Francisco Police Department homicide inspector Harry Callahan getting a new partner (Tyne Daly, in a warm-up for "Cagney & Lacey") who proves her mettle and then some.

Caboblanco (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a feeble 1980 attempt to resurrect romantic '40s intrigue--"Casablanca" in particular. Charles Bronson is no Bogart and Dominique Sanda no Bergman. Also wasted: Fernando Rey, Jason Robards and Gilbert Roland.

Youngsters may be forever blowing bubbles, but there's never been one like the translucent sphere that the three young Explorers (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) unexpectedly generate from their homemade computer. This "bubble" can tear through walls like a bullet and expand to contain a quaint spacecraft assembled by the boys (Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson). Written by Eric Luke and directed by "Gremlins' " Joe Dante, this 1985 film may be bubble-thin but it glides by gracefully on the charm of its three young heroes and their vividly envisioned adventure in space.

Red Sonja (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.) is a ponderous sword-and-sorcery saga, based on pulp stories by Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian. Not an auspicious debut for Brigitte Nielsen. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sandahl Bergman, who were teamed in "Conan," co-star.

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