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Prime-Time Flicks

July 22, 1990|Peter Rainer

Airplane II: The Sequel (KCOP Sunday at 6 p.m.) is the 1982 sequel to the original "Airplane!" and, despite the fact that it was pilloried at the time of its release, it's actually rather amusing for its first half. A different writer-director worked on this one, but the cast includes many repeat offenders from the original, including Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves.

Saturn 3 (KTTV Sunday at 8 p.m.) is probably the strangest movie ever directed by Stanley Donen. Released in 1980, it stars Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett locked in outer space combat with Harvey Keitel and a ludicrous robot. And it's not a comedy-at least not intentionally. Keitel's dialogue was dubbed in part by another actor, which, alas, deprived the galaxies of its first taste of Brooklynese.

A lot of talented actors in the first flush of their movie careers show up in the 1983 The Lords of Discipline (KCOP Sunday at 8 p.m.), including Michael Biehn, David Keith, Robert Prosky, and Judge Reinhold. Based on a Pat Conroy novel about the induction of the first black cadet into a South Carolina military school, it's overwrought but occasionally powerful.

Steve Martin has rarely been funnier than he is as the obsessed surgeon Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr in The Man With Two Brains (KCOP Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a 1983 Carl Reiner comedy co-starring Kathleen Turner. It's a wonderfully loony piece of work, inexplicably neglected when it first opened.

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (KCOP Wednesday at 8 p.m.) sounds like a generic title and the film itself has a standardized sheen. It's worth seeing for the early sequences in the jungle between the boy Tarzan and the apes; and for Ralph Richardson's wonderful performance, his last, as the boy's grandfather.

The Hollywood Knights (KTTV Friday at 8 p.m.), like "The Lords of Discipline," features a terrific cast at an early point in their careers. Look for Michelle Pfeiffer, Tony Danza, Fran Drescher, and, in the lead, Robert Wuhl, who's amazingly good. This 1980 film is nothing much more than an "American Graffiti"-style spree, but it's surprisingly enjoyable.

In Ron Howard's Night Shift (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) Henry Winkler plays a morgue attendant who-surprise!-works the night shift. Michael Keaton's appearance was so startling it made him a star. He's demonically funny. Is it possible his performance influenced Jack Nicholson's Joker?

Claude Sautet is one of France's finest (and in this country most unheralded) directors. The 1972 Cesar and Rosalie (KCET Saturday at 10:45 p.m.) is one of his best, a melancholic menage a trois starring Yves Montand, Romy Schneider and Sami Frey.

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