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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (ABC Sunday at 8:30 p.m...

June 18, 1989|KEVIN THOMAS

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (ABC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) again propels us into the 23rd Century, recapturing the spirit of the TV series rather than trying to compete with the "Star Wars" movies. This time around, Paul Winfield and Walter Koenig are scouting for a dead planet as a site for a life-generating experiment when they come across Khan (Ricardo Montalban, a fine, hiss-inspiring villain), an old nemesis of Admiral Kirk (William Shatner).

Deadly Care (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a mediocre 1987 TV movie starring Cheryl Ladd as a nurse heavily dependent on drugs and alcohol.

Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is standard Mason fare, with Raymond Burr investigating the murder of Ann Jillian's ex-madam involved in bank fraud.

Toughlove (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), a 1985 TV movie, takes its title from the national organization dedicated to helping parents bring their out-of-control children into line with firm measures. It's overly contrived but Lee Remick, Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie shine as parents who turn to Toughlove for help.

A Different Story (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is a highly improbable tale about a gay (Perry King) and a lesbian (Meg Foster) who marry for convenience but fall in love, he becoming more masculine and she becoming more feminine in the process. Lots of misleading stereotyping here.

Alan Alda wrote The Seduction of Joe Tynan (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) for himself, and this 1979 film is a very decent effort that examines the pressures on a rising politician, both from within and without. The women in his life are especially well-drawn; Barbara Harris is his supportive wife, and Meryl Streep is his mistress, an ambitious labor lawyer.

Eyewitness (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), a hopelessly contrived 1981 whodunit, finds William Hurt's night janitor at a Manhattan skyscraper and Sigourney Weaver's TV newscaster rather swiftly in love and in danger.

One of the most undeservedly neglected films of 1989, Rachel River (Channels 28 and 15 Wednesday at 9 p.m.), directed by Sandy Smolan from Judith Guest's adaptation of the stories of Minnesota writer Carol Bly, centers on the resiliency of a group of people living in a small Midwestern town. Pamela Reed, Viveca Lindfors, Craig T. Nelson and others have never been better.

A sophisticated attempt at a contemporary "Casablanca," Peter Weir's 1983 The Year of Living Dangerously (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) has Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver caught up in a romance as steamy as its exotic Indonesian locale. The time is the toppling of Sukarno. The film offers a tragic perception of East-West relations, and it has Weir's usual bold, sensual style. All these elements don't quite mesh as stunningly as they might, but it's a worthy and entertaining film all the same.

Robert Redford turned Judith Guest's Ordinary People (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) into an extraordinary film in this compassionate study of the WASP mentality, in which a wealthy suburban Chicago family attempts to smooth over its deep fissures. With Timothy Hutton, Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Judd Hirsch.

Sam Whiskey (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.), a delightfully unhackneyed and mischievous comedy-Western, finds the widow Angie Dickinson urging Burt Reynolds to recover $250,000 in gold bars from a steamboat wreck.

Jaws 3 (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.), which was "Jaws 3-D" when it opened in theaters in 1983, is a modest action thriller for kids, no more than that (and probably less, shorn of 3-D). Dennis Quaid starred, before he hit it big.

Right of the People (ABC Saturday at 9 p.m.) is a confused 1986 TV movie that tells what happens to an American city after a local law is passed allowing its citizens to carry guns in self-defense. Michael Ontkean stars.

Competing for viewers Saturday at 10 p.m.: Hello, Dolly! (Channel 9) and Ingmar Bergman's classic Wild Strawberries (Channel 28).

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

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