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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

October 09, 1988|Kevin Thomas

Last week it was Andrew Robinson as Liberace, and now it's Victor Garber in the title role of Liberace: Behind the Music (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), with Maureen Stapleton playing his mother Frances. Written by Gavin Lambert and directed by David Greene, this is the unauthorized version.

Going to the Chapel (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, stars Michele Greene and Scott Valentine in a comedy about a young couple facing the ordeal of an elaborate wedding.

Advice to the Lovelorn (Channel 7 Sunday at 9:30 p.m.), a 1981 TV movie that was also a pilot for a never-sold series, stars Cloris Leachman as a newspaper columnist who can solve everybody's problems but her own.

That's Entertainment! (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.) skims off the creamier delights from more than 40 years of MGM musicals. The excerpts from the past are punctuated by comments from Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and many others.

George Stevens brought dimension and an epic scale to his sweeping 1956 film of the Edna Ferber saga Giant (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m., completed Tuesday at 8 p.m.). This memorable film stars Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson as a dynastic Texas couple, and James Dean is the volatile wildcatter Jett Rink.

The new TV movie Winnie (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) stars Meredith Baxter Birney (on the cover) in the true story of a woman who becomes increasingly determined to live on her own after 30 years of institutionalization.

The popularity of "That's Entertainment!" led to That's Entertainment, Part 2 (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a 1976 sequel hosted by Astaire and Kelly and including sequences from comedies and dramas as well as musicals. It's not quite as cohesive as the first, but it's a joy anyway.

Written by Collin Welland and directed by Bud Yorkin, the 1985 Twice in a Lifetime (NBC Tuesday at 9 p.m.) is a compelling and realistic account of a middle-aged, blue collar man (Gene Hackman) leaving his wife (Ellen Burstyn) for a younger woman (Ann-Margret). The impact of this dramatic and painful change upon Hackman and Burstyn and their children is depicted with credibility and compassion. The film's excellent cast includes Amy Madigan, Ally Sheedy and Brian Dennehy.

The new TV movie Outback Bound (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) stars Donna Mills as a glamorous proprietor of a Beverly Hills art gallery caught up in a romantic adventure in the hinterlands of Australia.

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.

Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.) may just be the funniest movie since the advent of sound. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are those Chicago musicians who have the bad luck to witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and wind up in drag with an all-girl band heading for Miami. Its vocalist is, of course, Marilyn Monroe.

The new TV movie Red Earth, White Earth (CBS Thursday at 9 p.m.) stars Timothy Daly as a California businessman who returns to his family farm in the Midwest to visit his dying grandfather (Richard Farnsworth) and becomes involved in a conflict between Native Americans and farmers over land rights. Ralph Waite and Genevieve Bujold play Daly's estranged parents. David Greene directed from Michael Guzman's adaptation of the Will Weaver novel.

The new TV movie Crossing the Mob (NBC Friday at 8 p.m.) stars Jason Bateman as a South Philly teen-ager who believes that working for the mobsters controlling the waterfront is the only way out of his inner-city neighborhood--until he learns that he has fathered a child. Frank Stallone and Patti D'Arbanville co-star.

Play Misty for Me (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) marked Clint Eastwood's assured directorial debut in a suspense thriller about a Monterey Bay deejay stalked by a deranged fan (Jessica Walter).

Missing Pieces (Channel 9 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a clever 1983 TV movie starring Elizabeth Montgomery as a widow who turns private eye to track the killers of her reporter husband.

Cahill, U.S. Marshal (Channel 13 Saturday at 10 p.m.) is an amiable 1973 John Wayne movie, typical of his later Westerns.

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