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Movies of the week

February 26, 1989|KEVIN THOMAS

Naked Lie (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Victoria Principal as a district attorney who continues her affair with a judge (James Farentino) even though he is assigned to a trial for which she is the prosecutor.

In The Revenge of Al Capone (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, Ray Sharkey (on the cover) plays the infamous gangster, and Keith Carradine is the FBI agent who nails him for tax evasion. Michael Pressman directed from Tracy Keenan Wynn's script.

In Get Smart, Again! (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) Don Adams and Barbara Feldon return as Maxwell Smart and Agent 99, who have seven days to stop a KAOS plot.

Losin' It (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.) could set back U.S.-Mexico relations a couple of centuries. This 1983 movie about three Southern California high school boys (Tom Cruise, Jackie Earle Haley and John Stockwell) trying to lose their virginity in Tijuana in the '60s spends most of its time smirking and sneering at every conceivable stereotype of Mexican border-town corruption. True enough, the guys get their comeuppance, but it's too little, too late.

In the new two-hour Columbo: Murder, Smoke and Shadows (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), Peter Falk's canny police detective looks askance at a film director with a nasty streak who's renowned for special effects.

The two-part, four-hour From the Dead of Night (NBC Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.), stars Lindsay Wagner as a fashion designer who narrowly escapes accidental death only to be terrorized by strangers who seem bent on her destruction. Bruce Boxleitner and Diahann Carroll co-star.

Although awesome in its fantasy splendor, Ridley Scott's 1985 Legend (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is pretty thin stuff, lacking in humor and invention. Tom Cruise stars as a handsome young hermit who does battle with the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry), who has imprisoned a beautiful princess (Mia Sara). Best left to the very young.

John Carpenter's underrated 1982 The Thing (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is not really a remake of the 1951 science fiction classic. Carpenter actually goes back to the source, John Campbell Jr.'s "Who Goes There?" to create a shivery, occasionally overly gory tale of men imprisoned on a Antarctic base with an extraterrestrial who can kill them at will and assume their identities. Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and David Clennon are among the explorers who anxiously eye each other for alien traces.

Into the Night (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), John Landis' terrific 1985 comic thriller, takes us on a roller-coaster ride of contemporary Los Angeles when a harried aerospace engineer (Jeff Goldblum) crosses paths with a beautiful woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) with four killers pursuing her. Landis and writer Ron Koslow are wonderfully knowing, and the film is studded with loopy vignettes--and a roster of directors in cameos. It's a gem all the way.

Buffalo Bill and the Indians (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.), Robert Altman's 1976 film adapted by Alan Rudolph from the Arthur Kopit play, is an alternately pretentious and tedious parable on the condescending, exploitative and treacherous treatment of Native Americans by whites, expressing a demythologizing of Buffalo Bill (Paul Newman), seen to be a posturing, ignorant never-was who sprang full-blown from the sozzled brow of pulp-writer Ned Buntline (Burt Lancaster, deftly ironic). The strongest asset is the film's setting, a splendid re-creation of Buffalo Bill's famous tent show.

Richard Chamberlain has the title role in the lavish and entertaining 1977 TV movie version of Alexandre Dumas' The Man in the Iron Mask (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.).

Other worthy vintage offerings: The Caine Mutiny (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.), Somebody Up There Likes Me (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.) and Rio Bravo (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.).

The 1985 Maxie (Channel 9 Saturday at 8 p.m.) provided Glenn Close a tempting dual role as Jan, a sedate church secretary, and Maxie, a flaming flapper, dead nearly 60 years, who invades Jan's body as well as spirit. It also provided a fitting farewell for Ruth Gordon as Jan's pixieish landlady and Maxie's one-time dancing partner. Unfortunately, the film itself lacks the stylishness of its cast, which includes Mandy Patinkin, Barnard Hughes and Valerie Curtin.

The ratings checks on movies in the TV log are provided by the Tribune TV Log listings service.

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