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July 01, 1990|Kevin Thomas

Harold and Maude (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.) is that irresistible 1972 cult classic, written by Colin Higgins, directed by Hal Ashby and starring Bud Cort as a suicidal 20-year-old rescued by Ruth Gordon's 79-year-old swinger.

Without the affecting setting of the last days of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, the 1983 Under Fire (Channel 9 Sunday at 8 p.m.) would simply be a weary old love triangle involving journalists Nick Nolte, Joanna Cassidy and Gene Hackman; there's an edge to Nolte's growing loss of objectivity, but the filmmakers tend to walk away from it.

Desperate for Love (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a 1989 TV movie based on actual events, stars Christian Slater and Brian Bloom as Georgia teen-agers whose attraction to the same girl (Veronica Cartwright) has tragic consequences.

Network (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) returns with its all-out assault on the evils of commercial TV. At the heart of this savage 1976 satire is Peter Finch's fed-up elder statesman of TV newscasters.

The title of the 1987 TV movie A Special Friendship (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) refers to an extraordinary relationship between a plantation owner's daughter turned Union spy (Tracy Pollan) and her former slave (Akosua Busia); the film itself is ordinary fare.

KCOP Channel 13 celebrates the Fourth of July with a commercial-free movie marathon, starting Tuesday at midnight and running until 10 p.m. Wednesday. Screening in their uncut theatrical versions, the movies are (in order, with scheduled starting times): On the Waterfront (midnight), Now, Voyager (1:55 a.m.), The Right Stuff (3:55 a.m.), The Alamo (7:01 a.m.), The Music Man (9:50 a.m.), West Side Story (12:20 p.m.), A Star Is Born (Judy Garland version, 2:55 p.m.), Red River (6:02 p.m.) and Bonnie and Clyde (8:17 p.m.).

Daniel Petrie's thoughtful, autobiographical 1984 film The Bay Boy (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 3 p.m.) is an exceptional, complex coming-of-age drama starring Kiefer Sutherland and Liv Ullmann. Marred--but not critically--by a melodramatic murder (an actual incident in Petrie's youth).

Circle of Violence: A Family Drama (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.) is a well-crafted if pat 1986 TV movie dealing with a generational cycle of abuse starring Tuesday Weld and Geraldine Fitzgerald.

Blake Edwards' vitriolic 1981 Valentine to Hollywood, S.O.B. (Channel 9 Saturday at 8 p.m.) is always audacious and often hilarious but sometimes downright appalling. In the story, producer Richard Mulligan and his wife Julie Andrews, America's G-rated sweetheart, sex up their latest film to save it from disaster.

KCET Channel 28 offers a terrific, vintage British double feature Saturday: Joseph Losey's The Servant (at 9 p.m.) and Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life (at 11 p.m.).

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