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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

March 31, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS

Directed by George Sidney in 1946, The Harvey Girls (Channel 5 Sunday at 8 p.m., Showtime Tuesday at 6 a.m.), one of the most delightful of the Golden Era MGM musicals, stars Judy Garland as a Fred Harvey waitress out west at the turn of the century; the local saloon entertainer is a very young Angela Lansbury.

In the meandering and soggy 1984 Harry and Son (Channel 9 Sunday at 8 p.m.), recent widower Paul Newman clashes with son Robby Benson and overlooks zesty pet shop owner Joanne Woodward.

Another 1984 loser, The Lonely Guy (Channel 13 Sunday at 8 p.m.) asks us to believe that a personable Steve Martin has trouble finding companionship after the breakup of a romance.

Eyes of a Witness (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Daniel J. Travanti as an arrogant American businessman arrested in Nairobi for murder and Jennifer Grey as his doctor daughter, a dedicated researcher.

Pale Rider (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.), Clint Eastwood's 1985 variation on "Shane," is a pleasant enough diversion but is marred by the unlikely and queasy development that finds a pretty teen-age idolater (Sydney Penny) trying to seduce Eastwood's grizzled Stranger, set to take on a ruthless hydraulic gold mining company.

The 1976 Breakheart Pass (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.), starring Charles Bronson, is essentially "Murder on the Orient Express" set down in the Old West but played far too broadly.

Changes (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie adaptation from a romantic Danielle Steel best seller, stars Cheryl Ladd as a top TV correspondent and Michael Nouri as one of the world's foremost heart surgeons.

The Island of Dr. Moreau (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m., TBS Thursday at 9 p.m.), the 1977 AIP remake of H. G. Wells' "Island of Lost Souls," stars Burt Lancaster, Michael York and Barbara Carrera. Well-directed by Don Taylor, the film has dignity and sincerity in its look at the horrifying consequences of a demented scientist's experiments.

John Carpenter's underrated 1982 The Thing (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is not really a remake of the 1951 science-fiction classic. Carpenter goes back to the source, John Campbell Jr.'s "Who Goes There?" to create a shivery, occasionally overly gory tale of men imprisoned on an Antarctic base with an extraterrestrial who can kill them at will and assume their identities. Kurt Russell stars.

A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Mario Van Peebles in the title role as the pro football player and concerns his friendship with a disadvantaged child (Lane Davis).

Don Siegel's crisp, unpretentious and highly satisfying Madigan (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.) centers on the edgy relationship between a New York police detective (Richard Widmark) and Henry Fonda as an incorruptible police commissioner.

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