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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

May 05, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS

Victim of Love (CBS, tonight at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars JoBeth Williams as a therapist caught in a triangle involving her handsome lover (Pierce Brosnan) and her suicidal patient (Virginia Madsen).

Loni Anderson stars in White Hot: The Mysterious Death of Thelma Todd (NBC, tonight at 9 p.m.) as the glamorous Hollywood comedian and cafe proprietor whose 1935 death remains unsolved; based on Andy Edmonds' recent, conjectural but largely persuasive book "Hot Toddy."

Night of the Hunter (ABC, tonight at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie remake of the 1955 classic, stars Richard Chamberlain as a dangerous bogus preacher, a role created by Robert Mitchum.

Sally Kirkland stars in the new TV movie The Haunted (Channel 11, Monday at 8 p.m.), based on a real-life Pennsylvania family's struggle against supernatural forces.

The Karate Kid Part II (Channel 13, Monday at 8 p.m.) is just as good as the original and finds Ralph Macchio accompanying his martial arts mentor, Noriyuki (Pat) Morita, on a return to Okinawa after the latter's 45-year absence.

In the new TV movie Cry in the Wild: The Taking of Peggy Ann (NBC, Monday at 9 p.m.), Megan Follows has the title role of an actual Pennsylvania teen-ager kidnaped in 1966 by a strange recluse (played by David Morse). Also starring David Soul as an FBI agent.

The 1988 Cocktail (ABC, Monday at 9 p.m.) is a shallow business about a young Manhattan bartender (Tom Cruise), a climber-user-apologist extraordinaire ; faring better than Cruise is Bryan Brown as his mentor, an older bartender.

Tim Matheson and Brooke Adams star in the new TV movie Sometimes They Come Back (CBS, Tuesday at 9 p.m.), based on a Stephen King thriller.

The Karate Kid (Channel 11, Wednesday at 8 p.m.). is one of those movies in which everything works right from the start. Director John Avildsen and writer Robert Mark Kamen capture a rhythm and naturalness in pacing, dialogue and acting that sustain this irresistible 1984 heart tugger straight to the finish. Newly arrived from Newark to Reseda, Ralph Macchio learns to handle the school bullies when he's tutored by kindly yet strict Noriyuki (Pat) Morita.

In his taxing, fascinating 1988 film The Thin Blue Line (Channel 28, Wednesday at 9 p.m., Friday at 11 p.m.), Errol Morris builds a powerful case against Texas justice while attempting to bring to the documentary form an ultra-cool, neo- film noir look and tone.

The 1988 Big Business (CBS, Friday at 9 p.m.), which uses the switched-baby plot, doubled, is fun to watch even though it strains a bit for laughs. Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin each play a set of identical twins from widely divergent families; however, a myopic nurse has mismatched the identical pairs, creating two sets of fraternal twins. And this is just the start.

Bob Rafelson's 1981 remake of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice (Channel 9, Saturday at 8 p.m.) got the Depression-era look just right, but Jack Nicholson is too sleazy and ravaged-looking to be fully convincing as the seducer of a young, beautiful and desperate Jessica Lange, stuck in her much older husband's roadside sandwich joint.

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