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Movies to Tape

July 15, 1990|Kevin Thomas

Cabin in the Cotton (TNT Tuesday at 12:15 a.m.): This 1932 Warners film, directed by Michael Curtiz, is today remembered for containing Bette Davis' favorite line: "Ah'd love to kiss ya but ah just washed mah hair." No campy item, as the quote might suggest, it's a hard-hitting and authentic expose of feudal exploitation of tenants by Southern planters. Davis undercuts the film's preachiness with her portrayal of a shallow, uninhibited planter's daughter. (1:45)

The Phenix City Story (Cinemax Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.): Phil Karlson's terrific, documentary-like 1955 expose of the clean-up of a famous Southern Sin City stars Richard Kiley as a crusading lawyer. (1:30)

The Little Foxes (Channel 11 Friday at 2:30 a.m.): William Wyler's splendid 1941 film of Lillian Hellman's timeless indictment of greed today seems prophetic in its concern for the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the fouling of the environment. Bette Davis had one of her greatest roles as Regina Giddens, the rapacious turn-of-the-century Southern matron. (2:30)

Beauty and the Beast (Channel 28 Saturday at 9 p.m.): The intermingling of the mundane and the supernatural creates a tension from which emerges the peculiar poignancy of this and other Jean Cocteau classics. Jean Marais and Josette Day have the title roles in this 1946 masterpiece. (1:35)

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