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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

May 15, 1988|Kevin Thomas

Writer-director Blake Edwards returns to TV for the first time since his "Peter Gunn" and "Mr. Lucky" series with Justin Case (ABC Sunday at 7 p.m.), in which comedian George Carlin has his first starring role as the ghost of a private eye who returns from the dead to solve his own murder.

The two-part Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun (CBS Sunday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.) stars Stefanie Powers as the late, legendary aviatrix-author-horse trainer who was the first person to fly the Atlantic from east to west. Markham once vied with Isak Dinesen for the affections of great white hunter Denys Finch Hatton.

Perry Mason: The Case of the Lady in the Lake (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) finds Mason (Raymond Burr, natch) investigating the disappearance of a young heiress.

Beverly Hills Cop, the 1984 Eddie Murphy smash hit, at last makes it to network TV (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.). It's a slick, sleek (and violent) high-style Hollywood entertainment that seduces you in spite of yourself. Murphy plays a sassy, streetwise Detroit cop set down in the lush Hills of Beverly.

If none of those Sunday evening offerings seem tempting, National Lampoon's Animal House is back (Channel 13 at 8 p.m.).

Loni Anderson and Joe Penny star in A Whisper Kills (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie about a series of telephone threats made by a killer in a small town.

Sands of Iwo Jima (Channel 11 Monday at 8 p.m.) is the only film that brought John Wayne an Oscar nomination prior to "True Grit"--thanks to the astute direction of the veteran Allan Dwan. This stirring 1949 World War II saga is always watchable, but alas, it's now been colorized.

Definitely not worth a look is Zapped! (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.), a silly 1982 youth-oriented fantasy about a shy kid genius (Scott Baio) who becomes confident when he discovers he's developed telekinetic powers in the wake of a lab accident.

Sleepy-eyed, sexy and vulnerable, Nicolas Cage made a terrific film debut in Martha Coolidge's sweet, fast, unpretentious, funny and even touching Valley Girl (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) as a working-class Hollywood High Romeo who falls for a nice, decent and affluent Juliet (Deborah Foreman, in the title role). Neat twist to this 1983 film: Foreman's parents, time-warp hippies (Frederic Forrest and Colleen Camp) seem younger than their daughter.

Jagged Edge (NBC Tuesday at 9 p.m.) may vanish from memory like an old grocery list, but while you're in it you're caught. Shocked, intrigued, confused, unnerved and finally snapped right back in your seat with fright, you're held all the way by this 1985 hit. It's a roller-coaster ride in San Francisco's playgrounds of the privileged in which attorney Glenn Close defends Jeff Bridges, accused of murdering his newspaper-heiress wife.

The 1985 Fletch (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is at times smart, dead-pan dry and funny but at others it's faintly superior and condescending; in any event, it's one of the better Chevy Chase movies. Chase plays an investigative reporter (the view of the workings of his newspaper is right out of "The Front Page" or "Superman") on the trail of high-level drug trafficking on the beaches of Santa Monica whose derelict disguise sends him off on another plot strand.

Promised a Miracle (CBS Thursday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie starring Judge Reinhold and Rosanna Arquette as Larry and Alice Parker, a couple accused of manslaughter in 1974 following the death of their diabetic son, whom they had sought to heal through spiritual rather than medical means. It's based on Parker's book, "We Let Our Son Die."

On a lighter note, there's a vintage Sam Fuller adventure, Hell and High Water (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.), involving a U.S. submarine on an Arctic mission. Richard Widmark stars in the 1954 film.

Directed by Arthur Hiller, the 1976 Silver Streak (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.) is pleasant and amusing--even if it takes a tad too long to arrive at its literally smashing finish. Gene Wilder and Jill Clayburgh become entangled in adventure and romance aboard a train bound from L.A. to Chicago. Richard Pryor, as an amiable crook, steals the picture.

Based on a James Michener novel and directed (in 1954) by the late Mark Robson, The Bridges at Toko-Ri (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) is one of the best, least compromising American films about the Korean War. William Holden stars as an attorney recalled by the Navy to fly jets. Grace Kelly plays his wife.

I Saw What You Did (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV remake of the 1965 William Castle shocker (which featured a Joan Crawford cameo) starring David and Robert Carradine as brothers who become involved with a pair of teen-age telephone pranksters. It's directed by Fred Walton, who helmed the similar (and very scary) 1979 "When a Stranger Calls."

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