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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

May 22, 1988|KEVIN THOMAS

Keith Carradine and Karl Malden star in My Father, My Son (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), based on the true story of Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., who ordered the first use of the defoliant Agent Orange in Vietnam in 1968, and his son, then a lieutenant in the Navy. The younger Zumwalt (Carradine) now suffers from two forms of cancer which both Zumwalts believe was caused by the herbicide.

Baby M (ABC Sunday and Monday at 9 p.m.), a new two-part TV movie based on an even more publicized incident, stars JoBeth Williams as Mary Beth Whitehead, the New Jersey woman who contracted to bear a child for William and Elizabeth Stern but decided she wanted to keep the baby herself. John Shea and Robin Strasser play the Sterns.

On a lighter note, there's another new TV movie, The Incredible Hulk Returns (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), in which Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno reprise their roles from their popular TV series in which Bixby played a mild-mannered research scientist while Ferrigno portrayed his superhero alter-ego.

Screening earlier are The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.), the third and possibly the best of the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns, and Wait Till Your Mother Comes Home (Channel 9 Sunday at 8 p.m.), a notable 1983 TV movie in which Paul Michael Glaser plays a football coach who has to take over the household while his wife (Dee Wallace) goes to work.

The Long, Hot Summer, the impressive 1985 two-part TV movie remake of the 1958 Martin Ritt movie, returns on Channel 11 Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. Don Johnson and Judith Ivey star in roles originally played by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) brings back that elite government counter-attack group introduced in the first "C.A.T. Squad" TV movie. Joe Cortese and Jack Youngblood are back, taking on a top-secret mission in South Africa. Once again William Friedkin directs.

The 1985 comedy Summer Rental (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) finds John Candy as a frazzled air controller on a Florida vacation so filled with misfortune you'd think it would take a miracle for the poor guy to survive till Labor Day. Unfortunately, the Carl Reiner-directed film has only the barest hint of the wicked comic zeal that has propelled the best of the brashly inventive films Reiner has made with Steve Martin.

The new TV movie Nightmare at Bitter Creek (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) stars Lindsay Wagner, Tom Skerritt, Constance McCashin and Joanna Cassidy in an adventure about a group of women and their guide who become caught up in a life-and-death struggle while on a wilderness trek.

Desperado: Avalanche at Devil's Ridge (NBC Tuesday at 9 p.m.) stars Alex McArthur and Rod Steiger in a drama about a drifter who will escape hanging provided he rescues a salt-mine owner's abducted daughter.

On a less challenging level, there's the lively and enjoyable 1977 TV movie version of The Man in the Iron Mask (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) with a splendidly swashbuckling Richard Chamberlain in the title role.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the 1984 TV movie Nairobi Affair (CBS Thursday at 9 p.m.), a disappointing safari adventure starring Charlton Heston.

David Lynch's disappointing, multimillion dollar 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's best-selling science fiction novel Dune (airing in two parts on Channel 5 Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.) is one of the more peculiar films of recent years. It has an evocative and densely detailed vision of a desert planet where mammoth worms, capable of swallowing whole express trains, burrow through the sand, yet it's a cold, strange and remote film. It unfolds at an almost maddening pace yet Herbert's Byzantine plot seems ruthlessly condensed into a 140-minute running time. It is also occasionally spellbinding and splendiferous.

The title refers to a Sahara-like planet where its hero (Kyle MacLachlan) has been cast out of the haven of his family's influence and power into a hellish exile of tormented wandering, having been plunged there by the perfidy, treachery and unbelievable sadism of the Harkonnen clan, his father's sworn enemies. As the key villain in the weird adventure, Sting has all the charisma MacLachlan often lacks.

One of the best of the biblical spectacles, the 1962 Barabbas (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) stars Anthony Quinn in the title role as the thief whom Jesus replaced on the cross.

Frank and Eleanor Perry's 1962 David and Lisa (Channel 28 Saturday at 8:30 p.m.) was a tremendously successful independent picture in its day, yet even then it seemed to sentimentalize the plight of the emotionally disturbed. Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin are the troubled teen-agers.

Selected evening cable fare:

Sunday--Back to the Future (Z at 7), Outrageous Fortune (Showtime at 8), The Mosquito Coast (HBO at 9). Monday--Christ Stopped at Eboli (Bravo at 7), Ruthless People (Movie Channel at 8), Richard III (Z at 9).

Tuesday--Bus Stop (Cinemax at 6:30), Xica Da Silva (Bravo at 8), Lethal Weapon (SelecTV at 8:30), Josephine Baker: Chasing a Rainbow (A&E at 9).

Wednesday--The Gospel According to Vic (HBO at 6:30), Colonel Redl (Bravo at 7), Ossessione (Z at 7), Deliverance (Movie Channel at 8); Blume in Love (Lifetime at 9); Hoosiers (SelecTV at 9), Confidence (Bravo at 9:30).

Thursday--The Great Santini (Cinemax at 7); L'Age d'Or (Z at 7:30); The Name of the Rose (Movie Channel at 8); My Sweet Little Village (Bravo at 8:30); The Grasshopper (Lifetime at 9); Yanks (WGN at 9).

Saturday--A Room With a View (Z at 7), Children of a Lesser God (Showtime at 8), The Big Red One (WGN at 8:30), The Quiet Earth (Bravo at 9); Fast-Walking (Cinemax at 9:30).

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