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September 02, 1990|KEVIN THOMAS

Falling in Love (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.) is a handsome if conventional 1984 variation of "Brief Encounter" starring Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep as suburban Manhattanites married to others who become involved in spite of themselves.

Who Gets the Friends? (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a painfully misfired 1988 TV movie comedy about a divorcing couple (Jill Clayburgh, James Farentino).

The outrageously entertaining--in all possible meanings of the phrase--Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) takes us far, far past the Apocalypse and into a chaotic arena where combatants battle tooth and claw. Mel Gibson again plays the heroic loner; Tina Turner is the dynamic villainess.

The 1987 TV movie Love Among Thieves (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is an old-fashioned adventure starring Audrey Hepburn as a wealthy concert pianist caught up in a perils-of-Pauline journey, during which she encounters a mysterious Robert Wagner.

Nicolas Roeg's 1985 Insignificance (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) is a pretentious, talky concoction which brings together four unnamed but easily identifiable '50s icons--Marilyn Monroe (Theresa Russell), Joe DiMaggio (Gary Busey), Albert Einstein (Michael Emil) and Joseph McCarthy (Tony Curtis)--on a sweltering night in Manhattan.

Gena Rowlands' Emmy-winning portrayal in the title role of The Betty Ford Story (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) is the best reason by far for catching this 1987 TV movie. Josef Sommer and Nan Woods co-star.

Don't let your daughter grow up to be a drug-addicted porn star. That's about the only point of the 1988 TV movie Shattered Innocence (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), an example of how TV can strip a sensational true story of its complexities and power.

Cross My Heart (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a well-intended 1987 romantic comedy that doesn't quite jell; Martin Short and Annette O'Toole play a pair of star-crossed daters.

A 1988 satire of Los Angeles, consumer culture and modern dating, You Can't Hurry Love (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 5 p.m.), tries to have it both ways, simultaneously damning contemporary hedonism and wallowing in it.

The 1980 tale of infidelity A Change of Seasons (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) exploits rather than satirizes contemporary sexual mores. Among the victims: Shirley Mac-Laine, Bo Derek and Anthony Hopkins.

The unintentionally campy Tarzan, the Ape Man (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.), in which Miles O'Keeffe and Bo Derek vie for best chest honors amid hilarious dialogue and predicaments, also boasts a gloriously hammy turn by Richard Harris as Bo's father.

Night Walk (CBS Friday at 9 p.m.) is a trite 1989 TV movie in which police lieutenant Robert Urich falls for the gorgeous witness (Lesley-Anne Down) he is protecting.

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