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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

June 10, 1990|Kevin Thomas

Trouble in Paradise (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is not a remake of the Lubitsch classic but a so-so 1989 TV movie starring Raquel Welch as a widow and Jack Thompson as a sailor cast adrift on a South Seas island.

Gremlins (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) turns Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" inside out with sweet-and-sour funny results involving cuddly stuffed animals that turn into lethal monsters; not for the very young.

Richard Attenborough's 1987 Cry Freedom (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m., conclusion Tuesday at 8 p.m.), derived from white South African journalist Donald Woods' books, is clunky as a narrative but it does illuminate the racist conditions of apartheid. Kevin Kline plays Woods and Denzel Washington is the martyrized Steve Biko.

In Coal Miner's Daughter (KCOP Monday at 8 p.m.), Sissy Spacek is a luminous Loretta Lynn; the heart of this 1980 movie about the country music star is her relationship with her husband, played with strength and humor by Tommy Lee Jones.

The 1980 Rough Cut (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) is unfortunately just that: a jewel heist caper that seems to capture the spirit of "To Catch a Thief" only to go awry before the end. Burt Reynolds and Lesley-Anne Down star.

The Night Stalker (KTTV Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.) is that terrific, popular 1971 TV movie that finds Darren McGavin as a hard-driving reporter on the track of vampires in Las Vegas; improbable-sounding but amusing and scary.

Less Than Zero (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) lives up to its title as a vacuous 1987 study of rich, affectless Beverly Hills teens. Andre McCarthy stars.

A far better bet than these two is Ken Wiederhorns's stylish, intentionally hilarious horror picture Return of the Living Dead, Part II (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.).

Jack Nicholson and Candice Bergen pair up in the 1971 landmark film Carnal Knowledge (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.), directed by Mike Nichols to reveal the emotional malaise of two men who come of age during World War II. Also starring Art Garfunkel and Ann-Margret, who received acclaim for her portrayal of Nicholson's pathetic see-pot mistress.

Robert Redford turned Judith Guest's Ordinary People (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.) into an extraordinary film, a compassionate 1980 study of the WASP mentality in which a wealthy suburban Chicago family attempts to smooth over its deep fissures. With Timothy Hutton, Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Judd Hirsch.

In his final film, Rich and Famous (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.), director George Cukor got terrific performances from Jacqueline Bisset and Bergen. It's a witty, occasionally uneven 1981 update of the Bette Davis-Miriam Hopkins film "Old Acquaintance."

With the frequently hilarious Love at First Bite (KTTV Friday at 8 p.m.), George Hamilton finally got a part he could sink his teeth into-Count Dracula. The 1979 film is oddly marred, however, by gratuitous humor at the expense of blacks and gays.

George C. Scott is an impressive Hemingway alter ego in Franklin Schaffner's fine and affecting 1977 film of Hemingway's Islands in the Stream (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.), set in Bimini on the brink of WWII and involving a sculptor's attempts to get to know his sons from various marriages.

Terror on Highway 91 (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.) is a routine 1989 TV movie in which Ricky Schroder plays a gradually disillusioned young Southern cop.

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