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June 03, 1990|KEVIN THOMAS

Steven Bauer is wasted in the silly, old-fashioned 1984 Thief of Hearts (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.) as a sleek San Francisco burglar who falls for a high-tech interior designer (Barbara Williams) when he reads the drivel in her stolen diaries.

Michael Apted's well-made but thin 1984 Firstborn (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) finds Teri Garr's vulnerable, well-fixed divorcee falling for an all-too-obviously dangerous loser (Peter Weller), whose sons (Corey Haim, Christopher Collet), ages 10 and 15 respectively, view with increasing horror.

The deft and amusing Back to the Beach (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) imagines that Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon of all those "Beach Party" movies of the early '60s got married and settled down in Ohio where Frankie has become a workaholic champion car salesman and Annette a model housewife and mother; what gets them back to Malibu is a visit to their daughter. The film is nostalgic without being embarrassing and knowing without being either cruel or cynical.

Richard Franklin's 1981 Road Games (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a nifty Australian thriller starring Stacy Keach as a truck driver and Jamie Lee Curtis as a hitchhiker who are pursued by a killer across a vast desert. Nice Hitchcock touches along the way.

Battle Beyond the Stars (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a "Star Wars" carbon with a "Seven Samurai" plot; cut-rate but blessed by a sense of humor.

Terence Malick's 1978 Days of Heaven (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is one of the most beautiful color films ever made, a poetic turn-of-the-century love triangle set against a wheat harvest in the Midwest and involving Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard. Nestor Almendros won an Oscar for his glorious 70mm camerawork.

The Kidnapping of the President (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.), a not-bad 1980 theatrical production that was sold directly to TV, stars Hal Holbrook as a U.S. President who fails to heed the warning of Secret Service deputy director William Shatner that a group of South American terrorists may be planning to disrupt his visit to Canada. With Van Johnson and Ava Gardner.

Elia Kazan's unforgettable 1955 film of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) stars James Dean as the tormented Salinas Valley youth with a stern father (Raymond Massey) and a mother (Jo Van Fleet) who turns out to be the local hard-bitten madam.

A Special Day (Channel 28 Saturday at 10:40 p.m.), Ettore Scola's stunning 1977 film of strong contemporary implications, teams Sophia Loren as weary, oppressed Roman housewife and mother of six and Marcello Mastroianni as a homosexual threatened with imminent deporation to a concentration camp who meet during Hitler's triumphant procession through Rome on May 6, 1938.

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