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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

August 27, 1989|KEVIN THOMAS

Channel 13 offers a nifty Woody Allen double feature Sunday evening: Broadway Danny Rose (at 6) and Zelig (at 8).

Tricks of the Trade (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is an amusing 1988 TV movie, a caper comedy that finds Brentwood housewife Cindy Williams joining forces with Hollywood prostitute Markie Post to investigate the murder of Williams' husband (an unbilled John Ritter).

Michael Mann's L.A. Takedown (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, finds a brilliant young police detective (Scott Plank) being put to the test when he encounters an elusive criminal (Alex McArthur).

The Gladiator (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a 1986 TV movie directed by the stylish action specialist Abel Ferrara, stars Ken Wahl as a man determined to avenge his brother's death by a hit-and-run killer.

The 1982 Fighting Back (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) is an exploitation picture that actually appeals to the mind as well as the gut in which Tom Skerritt stars as a South Philadelphia resident who decides to fight the crime in his neighborhood instead of moving out.

Final Jeopardy (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a mediocre 1985 TV movie about an out-of-town couple terrorized on their night out in the big city, stars Richard Thomas and Mary Crosby.

Touch and Go (Channel 7 Monday at 9 p.m.) is one of the best but least-known of Michael Keaton's movies, a contemporary love story in which hockey star Keaton becomes involved with Maria Conchita Alonso, cast as a single parent struggling to make ends meet.

The most you can say for Police Academy 3: Back in Training (CBS Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a 1986 release, is that it's no worse than "Police Academy 2," which was awful; only the original in the series was really funny.

The Formula (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is a complicated, trouble-plagued 1980 thriller whose subject is oil and the manipulation of it by a handful of men. George C. Scott is an L.A. detective on the trail of rumpled and folksy tycoon Marlon Brando.

Burt Lancaster has the title role in The Midnight Man (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), an offbeat 1974 murder mystery that he produced and wrote with director Roland Kibbee. Lancaster plays a college security officer with a past who investigates the murder of a co-ed.

Partisans of Vilna (Channels 28 and 15 Tuesday at 10 p.m., Channel 50 Saturday at 10 p.m.) is a fine documentary on the Jewish Resistance movement in the ghetto of Vilna, Lithuania.

The Final Option (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), which deals with the 1980 siege of the Iranian Embassy in London by Khuzistan partisans, is a textbook example of a potent premise botched, lapsing into a disturbing piece of rabble-rousing that tends unjustly to defame the entire anti-nuclear movement. Judy Davis stars.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is a good, solid suspense story starring Walter Matthau as a Manhattan transit detective up against four gunmen holding for ransom a subway car full of passengers.

Point Blank (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is that stunning 1967 John Boorman cult film, which is at once the story of a gangster (Lee Marvin) bent upon revenge and a commentary on how affluence and corruption go hand in hand.

A rather impersonal disaster picture, Gray Lady Down (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) features a downed nuclear sub containing skipper Charlton Heston and 41 comrades as it slips off the continental shelf. Stacy Keach, David Carradine and Ned Beatty co-star.

The 1988 TV movie Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.) hardly does justice to the incredible saga of a man who went on to football-coaching glory after refusing to be conquered by Lou Gehrig's disease. Michael Nouri and Pam Dawber star.

Carny (Channel 9 Saturday at 8 p.m.) captures the enticingly sleazy atmosphere of the two-bit traveling carnival, and it reveals the tension that builds between a con man and his mark, but it's still too much a picture all dressed up with no place to go. Gary Busey, Jodie Foster and Robbie Robertson head its terrific cast.

The 1946 Jean Cocteau classic Beauty and the Beast airs Saturday at 10 p.m. on Channel 28.

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

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