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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

March 26, 1989|Kevin Thomas

Once again Charlton Heston, as Moses, will be parting the Red Sea in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 The Ten Commandments (ABC Sunday at 7 p.m.). The last of the pioneer director's biblical spectacles--he had already done this one as a silent in 1924--it is his reliable blend of piety and sensuality, presented with extravagance--and a certain crassness.

Still Crazy Like a Fox (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a pleasant 1987 TV movie reprise of the "Crazy Like a Fox" TV series with detective father Jack Warden and lawyer son John Rubinstein getting involved in a mystery caper in England.

The new TV movie Quantum Leap (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) stars Scott Bakula as a young scientist trapped in a time warp and Dean Stockwell as a colleague (and ex-astronaut) trying to rescue him.

In The Rose (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.), made in 1979, Bette Midler is unforgettable as a Janis Joplin-like late '60s rock star on the skids. Midler's Rose craves love and acceptance as an artist yet is unable to muster the self-control fame demands. The Rose--and Midler--are stunners, thanks to Mark Rydell's nobly self-effacing direction and a dynamic script by Bill Kerby and Bo Goldman.

Barbara Eden stars in the new TV movie Your Mother Wears Combat Boots (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) as an overprotective mother who follows her teen-age son (David Kaufman) into airborne training with the Army.

Jinxed! (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) was one of the most aptly named movies ever. This is the misfired 1982 comedy which offered the unsettling spectacle of a star bursting out of a story too scant to contain her. Actually, it's supposed to be Midler's co-star Ken Wahl, a young blackjack dealer who's been jinxed and who crosses paths with would-be singer Midler.

The Stone Killer (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is a fast, slick, violent, entertaining minor spinoff of "The French Connection," complete with a vicious, rebellious cop (Charles Bronson) who takes on Mafioso Martin Balsam.

Wildcats (CBS Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a good-natured but superficial comedy, is a sort of "Bad News Bears Go to the Ghetto" in which a spunky female football coach (an endearing Goldie Hawn) strives for recognition while taming a gang of inner-city delinquents.

Wednesday brings you a choice of all-star World War II epics, The Longest Day (Channel 5 at 8 p.m., completed Thursday at 8) and A Bridge Too Far (Channel 13 at 8 p.m., completed Thursday at 8)--but it's The Longest Day that's the better bet.

Stroker Ace (CBS Wednesday at 9 p.m.) is an unfunny 1983 Hal Needham-Burt Reynolds car-chase comedy, the kind of film that has done Reynolds' career no good. Loni Anderson co-stars.

Lynn Littman's unforgettable, uncompromising and understated Testament (Channel 28 Wednesday at 9 p.m.) is quite simply the most powerful anti-nuclear American film ever made. Jane Alexander is superb as a woman trying to hold her family together in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.

The Cannonball Run (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) is an earlier Reynolds-Needham car-chase collaboration, and just as bad as Stroker Ace.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) suffers from the censorship of the '50s, but under Richard Brooks' direction Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman are memorable as the tormented Tennessee Williams couple.

The 1984 TV movie The Burning Bed (Channel 2 Saturday at 8 p.m.) was a personal triumph for Farrah Fawcett, who in this fact-based story played a battered wife who finally struck back after years of abuse from her husband (Paul Le Mat).

The Mirror Crack'd (Channel 5 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a witty, diverting 1980 adaptation of an Agatha Christie mystery in which Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak are great fun as catty veteran movie stars alongside supporting players Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis and Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple. (Look for Pierce Brosnan in a small role.)

Breaking Away (Channel 28 Saturday at 9 p.m.) merges the spirits of Booth Tarkington and "American Graffiti" in this 1979 sleeper directed by Peter Yates and written by Steve Tesich, which chronicles the adventures of four Bloomington, Ind., pals (Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earle Haley and Daniel Stern.

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

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