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Movies to Tape

September 11, 1988

Show People (Z Monday at 1 p.m.): King Vidor's delightful 1928 silent offers a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse of MGM in its glory and reveals Marion Davies to be a gifted comedian. (But W. R. Hearst wouldn't let a pie be thrown in her face.) (1:10)

The Outlaw (Channel 7 Saturday at 1 a.m.): Although tame by today's standards, Howard Hughes' sultry '40s Western generated tremendous controversy, especially over Jane Russell's well-displayed charms. Still amusing. (2:00)

Of Human Bondage (1934) (Channel 7 Saturday at 3:30 a.m.): This is the movie in which Bette Davis, as Somerset Maugham's unforgettably slatternly waitress, indisputably became a major star-actress. (1:45)

Good Morning, Babylon (Cinemax Saturday at 3 p.m.): For their first English-language film, the Taviani brothers had the inspired idea of spinning a fictional tale of two Italian artisan-brothers (Vincent Spano, Joaquim de Almeida) who wind up creating the elephants for the famous Babylon set in D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance" (1916). There's not quite enough characterization to sustain the film's epic scale and various levels, but it's a shimmering visual treat to be cherished by movie-lovers. (2:00)

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