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MOVIEW OF THE WEEK

A handsome and smoothly likable Roger Moore made his...

June 25, 1989|KEVIN THOMAS

A handsome and smoothly likable Roger Moore made his effective debut as James Bond in Live and Let Die (ABC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.), but this 1973 film itself lapsed into burlesque. This time out, Bond investigates evil doings in Harlem linked to nefarious activities on a mysterious Caribbean island.

The 1988 TV movie Body of Evidence (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) proved to be more of a nail-biter than many a theatrical film thriller. Criminal pathologist Barry Bostwick and police detective Tony Lo Bianco investigate a series of brutal stranglings in a small Massachusetts town; Margot Kidder plays Bostwick's wife.

Pete Kowanko stars in the new TV movie The Gifted One (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) as a man with telepathic powers in search of his natural mother.

In Carnal Knowledge (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.), Mike Nichols' landmark 1971 film, Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel reveal the emotional malaise of two men who come of age during World War II. Ann-Margret won a well-deserved Oscar for her portrayal of Nicholson's pathetic sex-pot mistress.

Pleasures (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), a so-so 1986 TV movies, finds three women living out their fantasies with the men of their dreams. With Joanna Cassidy, Linda Purl and Barry Bostwick.

Middle Age Crazy (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a funny yet compassionate and incisive comedy that spans three generations, stars Bruce Dern as a Houston contractor for whom turning 40 is a painful milestone.

Yoshimitsu Morita's 1984 The Family Game (Channel 28 Tuesday at 10 p.m.) was one of the first Japanese films to spoof Japanese middle-class life outrageously (but in this instance, ever so subtly). Its story turns on the familiar predicament of a bright but mischievous teen-ager who won't make it to college unless he shapes up.

Jock Peterson (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is an unjustly neglected Australian film starring Jack Thompson as a macho electrician who tries for more education.

Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is a shocking, perverse, amoral, sexy, bloody and finally offensive Hitchcock pastiche of Hitchcock in general and "Psycho" in particular. Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson star.

Joyce Chopra's shiveringly memorable 1985 film of a Joyce Carol Oates novel, Smooth Talk (Channel 28 Wednesday at 9 p.m., Channel 50 at 10 p.m.), may be the first film to get adolescence in contemporary America just right. The setting is summertime in Petaluma, where a 15-year-old (Laura Dern) is just discovering boys' attraction to her and her attraction to them. Treat Williams, never better, is the insinuating and confident man--no, boy--who hangs out at the high school kids' hamburger stand. Scary, acutely perceptive and genuinely enigmatic.

Although repetitive and meandering, Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg's Before Stonewall (Channel 28 Wednesday at 11 p.m.) is an entertaining, comprehensive, invaluable historical record of what life was like in America for homosexuals and lesbians before gay liberation.

There's no denying the excitement and tension of Alan Parker's Midnight Express (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.). But there's also no getting around the fact that this hugely successful 1978 film, inspired by a young American's ordeal in a Turkish prison, is highly exploitative, of questionable accuracy and gratuitously xenophobic. Brad Davis stars as the college student who makes the mistake of trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey.

George Lucas' American Graffiti, that affectionate yet detached examination of the last hours of settled youth, returns on Channel 7 Thursday at 9 p.m. Much has been effectively crowded into one final night in the late summer of '62. Paul Le Mat, Cindy Williams and Richard Dreyfuss star.

Only one of the four directors who contributed episodes to the 1983 Twilight Zone--The Movie (CBS Friday at 8 p.m.) has succeeded in resurrecting the spirit of the Rod Serling TV fantasy series of the '60s. That's the final segment, in which John Lithgow gives a last, full measure of emotion to the fear of flying. It was adapted by Richard Matheson from his own 1963 TV episode and directed by George Miller.

Faye Dunaway is the delicious villainess of the light, airy Supergirl (ABC Saturday at 8 p.m.), which introduced Helen Slater in the title role as Superman's young cousin.

John Cassavetes' Gloria (Channel 13 Saturday at 9 p.m.) is a glorious, giddy gangster comedy that finds moll Gena Rowlands on the lam with a youngster.

The Return of Martin Guerre (Channel 28 Saturday at 10 p.m.), a superbly made, constantly surprising 1983 French film set in the 16th Century, is about a peasant (Gerard Depardieu) who returns to his home village after a nine-year absence.

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

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