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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

March 17, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS

In Bonnie and Clyde (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.) director Arthur Penn--from a script by Robert Benton and David Newman--beautifully re-creates a Depression-era Midwest of abandoned farms, drowsy sun-baked towns, crackling cornstalks, F.D.R. posters, Coke machines and people with Walker Evans faces . . . and then blows it to smithereens in escalating crescendoes of violence. With Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Michael J. Pollard and Gene Wilder, the 1967 movie is an American classic: poetically bloody, madly comic and infernally beautiful.

Elizabeth Taylor as Louella Parsons and Jane Alexander as Hedda Hopper, Golden Era Hollywood's famous rival columnists, are amusing in the otherwise routine 1985 TV movie Malice in Wonderland (Channel 9 Sunday at 8 p.m.), based on George Eel's excellent dual biography, "Hedda and Louella."

The 1983 Doctor Detroit (Channel 13 Sunday at 8 p.m.) poses a deliberately silly question: What if a naive college professor were to fall heir to a stable of prostitutes? Dan Aykroyd does all his funniest stuff by way of an answer.

Rick Schroder and Wilford Brimley star in Blood River (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new made-for-TV western about a relationship between a young drifter and a cantankerous trapper.

Dick Van Dyke stars as a Florida newspaper mogul with complex relationships with his adult offspring in the new TV movie Daughters of Privilege (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.).

The Princess Bride (Channel 11 Monday at 8 p.m.), a delightful 1987 heroic fantasy with bracing humor and foolery, finds beautiful princess Robin Wright kidnaped by vile prince Chris Sarandon. In hot pursuit are her lover (Cary Elwes) and one-time kidnapers (Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant).

The Quiet Man (Channel 11 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is that wonderful 1952 John Ford film in which boxer John Wayne returns to his native Ireland.

Key Largo (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), the memorable 1948 John Huston film which Huston and Richard Brooks adapted from the Maxwell Anderson play, is the first of two Humphrey Bogart films airing on Channel 5. The other two are The Maltese Falcon on Thursday at 8 p.m., and The Big Sleep, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Backfire (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.), an effective 1987 suspense film, stars Karen Allen, Keith Carradine and Jeff Fahey.

The 1987 Wild Thing (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m.), set in a surrealistic ghetto called The Zone, is an amiable and inventive urban fairy tale whose particular virtues are its script by John Sayles and its sumptuous photography, shot in Montreal by Canadian Rene Verzier. Starring Rob Knepper.

The Outsiders (Channel 13 Saturday at 6 p.m.), Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 film of the S.E. Hinton novel, is uneven but Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze and Matt Dillon are memorable as mid-'60s teen-agers.

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