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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

February 17, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS

Peter Falk's Columbo made his debut in the outstanding 1967 TV movie Prescription: Murder (Channel 5 Sunday at 8 p.m.), which Richard Levinson and William Link adapted from their Broadway play.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV remake of the 1962 Robert Aldrich horror classic, finds Vanessa Redgrave in the Joan Crawford role and Lynn Redgrave in the title role.

Lawrence Kasdan's enjoyable but elusive 1985 western Silverado (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) is affectionate and caring for the form but a little too laid back to be truly satisfying. It tells of four very different men who join forces to go after the bad guys; another problem is that despite the charismatic presence of Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner and Danny Glover, no one emerges as a central, involving figure.

Fire!: Trapped on the 37th Floor (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie starring Lee Majors and is based on the 1988 blaze at the First Interstate Bank building in downtown Los Angeles.

Sins of the Mother (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie based on a true story told in Jack Olsen's book "Son," stars Elizabeth Montgomery as a domineering mother caught up in a bizarre relationship with her son (Dale Midkiff).

Murder by Natural Causes (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) is a 1979 TV movie which finds Barry Bostwick as a would-be assassin and Hal Holbrook as his intended victim. A minefield of surprises, this Levinson and Link production is sometimes sluggish and overly talky, but it is suspenseful. Bostwick and Holbrook are outstanding.

In the new TV movie Columbo: Caution, Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health (ABC Wednesday at 9 p.m.), Peter Falk matches wits with the smug, arrogant TV celebrity host (George Hamilton) of a top-rated show that features reenactments of real-life crimes.

The Petrified Forest (Channel 5 Friday at 2 a.m.) finds a very pretty and blonde Bette Davis as a dreamy waitress at a roadside cafe invaded by gangsters, including Humphrey Bogart. This memorable 1936 Warner Bros. production also features Leslie Howard.

Set in the forbidding wasteland of the future, George Miller's 1981 The Road Warrior (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.) is slam-bang entertainment envisioning a gasoline-starved post-war world in which scavengers prowl a shimmering strip of highway, ready to kill for a tank of fuel. Mel Gibson is once again Mad Max, a Shane-like loner drawn to helping a group of idealistic, bewildered survivors.

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