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Set Your VCR

April 15, 1990

Hammett (A&E Sunday at 9 a.m.): Wim Wenders' highly atmospheric 1982 film of the Joe Gore novel finds Dashiell Hammett (Frederic Forrest), while writing "The Maltese Falcon," maneuvered into searching for a missing Chinese girl (Lydia Lei). A bit uneven but fascinating and original. (2:00)

Ball of Fire (KTTV, Tuesday at 2:30 a.m.): This is the 1941 Howard Hawks' comedy classic, written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, in which a burlesque queen named Sugarpuss O'Shea (Barbara Stanwyck) tries to teach slang to eight professors, including a very shy Gary Cooper. (2:30)

Angel Baby (TNT Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.): Paul Wendkos' offbeat 1961 film about an evangelist (Salome Jens) manipulated by unlikely husband-and-wife George Hamilton and Mercedes McCambridge. With Joan Blondell, Henry Jones and, in his film debut, Burt Reynolds. (2:05)

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