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The Week's Other Prime-time Films

April 15, 1990|KEVIN THOMAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Disney's beloved 1964 live-action/animation fantasy Mary Poppins returns on KNBC on Sunday at 7 p.m. Julie Andrews, of course, has the title role as the "practically perfect" nanny hired by the Banks family of Edwardian London.

The Living Daylights (KABC, Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) introduced in 1987 a new James Bond, Timothy Dalton, who is splendid-provided you can put Sean Connery out of your mind-but after a quarter of a century of 007, it's pretty much the same as before, except for less casual sex in this AIDS era.

Top Secret! (KCOP, Wednesday at 8 p.m.) tries to send up-and update-the World War II spy adventure, a rather antiquated target. There's a nonstop barrage of gags, many inspired and hilarious in themselves but scattershot in effect. Dynamic Val Kilmer stars as an American rock 'n' roller who's a last-minute substitute for Leonard Bernstein at an East German cultural festival-and who winds up trying to help an imprisoned scientist escape to the West, along with his pretty daughter.

Tarzan, the Ape Man (KTLA, Thursday at 8 p.m.), the delirious 1981 Bo and John Derek version,should've been called "Me, Jane." Silly, tedious and soft-pornish--but surely tamed for TV--Bo's virginal Jane invades West Africa alone in search of her great white hunter father (Richard Harris) and winds up saved from a lion by an equally virginal Ape Man (Miles O'Keeffe).

In Endangered Species (KTLA, Friday at 8 p.m.), Alan Rudolph's taut 1982 political thriller, the cattle near a small Colorado town begin to be decimated, their carcasses peculiarly mutilated while their internal organs seem to have evaporated. The plot proves to be timely and chilling, but its unraveling is less than inspired.

Two vintage adventures also air Friday: Robert Aldrich's 1954 Western Vera Cruz (KTTV, Friday at 8 p.m.), with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster, and Michael Curtiz's classic 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood (KCOP, Friday at 8 p.m.), with Errol Flynn.

With the 1982 I Ought to Be in Pictures (KTLA, Saturday at 6 p.m.), Neil Simon wrote two of his most believable characters-a burnt-out screenwriter and his girlfriend, a studio hairdresser-and under Herbert Ross' direction, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret are wonderful. Unfortunately, Matthau's obnoxious teen-age daughter (Dinah Manoff) turns up to become the film's center of attention.

Ian McShane stars in the 1989 Dick Francis mystery, In the Frame (KCOP, Saturday at 8 p.m.).

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