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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

February 03, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS

Sarah, Plain and Tall (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie on "Hallmark Hall of Fame," stars Glenn Close as a New Englander who travels to the Midwest in 1910 to make a difference in the life of a widowed farmer (Christopher Walken) and his two children. (See Cover Story on Page 3.)

Another new TV movie, In Broad Daylight (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), stars Brian Dennehy and Cloris Leachman in a fact-based drama about a small town terrorized for years by a local criminal.

Robert De Niro, as a hard-case bounty hunter, and Charles Grodin, as a soft-shelled embezzler, are the stars of Midnight Run (Channel 5 Monday at 7:30 p.m.), an often murderously funny 1988 chase comedy.

Star 80 (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.), Bob Fosse's shimmering yet creepy 1983 film about ill-fated Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratten, doesn't rise enough beyond its tragic subject to draw the larger conclusions that are to be had. You never get to know Mariel Hemingway's Dorothy, which has the effect of shifting the focus onto her killer-husband, Paul Snider, played by Eric Roberts.

In the new TV movie The Marla Hanson Story (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), Cheryl Pollak stars as the New York model whose story made headlines when she suffered a razor attack from men hired by an admirer.

Sea of Love (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a slick, knowing 1989 hit, works as long as you ask nothing of it but simple diversion. Al Pacino, teamed with John Goodman, are seasoned New York cops in search of a serial killer, who may or may not be Ellen Barkin, with whom Pacino commences a scorching affair (probably toned down a bit for TV).

Blade Runner (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) takes place in the used-up future: Los Angeles in 2019, a dense and ominous metropolis. Director Ridley Scott has made a sensational-looking film that combines film noir and sci-fi to probe a highly dangerous world in which it's hard to tell who's human and who's an android that turns deadly when it becomes defective. Starring Harrison Ford.

Only one of the four directors who contributed episodes to the 1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.). has succeeded in resurrecting the spirit of the Rod Serling TV fantasy series of the '60s. It's George Miller's segment, in which John Lithgow gives a last, full measure of emotion to the fear of flying.

In Brian De Palma's stylish and sexy 1984 Body Double (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.), Craig Wasson plays a house-sitting struggling actor whose spying on a gorgeous neighbor involves him in a complex murder plot; Melanie Griffith is memorable as a porno star.

Lawrence Kasdan's The Big Chill (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) is a deft, witty and marvelously entertaining 1983 film about a reunion of seven baby-boomers brought about by the suicide of the eighth member, a brilliant dropout (played by Kevin Costner, whose role ended up on the cutting room floor, however). Since the seven are played by William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Tom Berenger, Jeff Goldblum, JoBeth Williams and Mary Kay Place, it's hardly surprising that they engage us--but equally surprising is how little substance the film finally has.

Smart, funny, touching and sensual, Dirty Dancing (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.), the hugely popular 1987 musical/love story set in the Catskills in the early '60s, stars Patrick Swayze as the resort dancer and Jennifer Grey as the bright student beguiled by him on the dance floor--and off.

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