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MOVIES OF THE WEEK

May 12, 1991|KEVIN THOMAS

The Great Escape (Channel 13 tonight at 7 p.m.) is one of the most entertaining escape movies ever made, a rousing 1963 big-scale production directed by John Sturges and written by James Clavell. This suspenseful adventure, set in a German POW camp, stars Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, Richard Attenborough and James Coburn.

The two-part film of Dominick Dunne's An Inconvenient Woman (ABC tonight and Monday at 9 p.m.), a tale of manners and mores (and murder) among the L.A. elite, stars Jason Robards.

Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love (CBS tonight at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Walter Matthau, Ellen Burstyn and Ryan Todd in a drama about a grandmother's struggle to retain custody of her 9-year-old grandson.

Michael Gross and Rod Steiger star in In the Line of Duty: Manhunt in the Dakotas (NBC tonight at 9 p.m.), another new TV movie, an action-drama based on the true story of the FBI's search for a Midwest killer and former convict who has inspired a fanatical following.

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy star in Batteries Not Included (Channel 5 Monday at 8 p.m.), an enchanting 1987 fantasy, as an elderly couple holding out in a derelict stretch of New York's Lower East Side.

Harry and the Hendersons (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a misfired 1987 comic fantasy about a Seattle family taking home an injured bigfoot, emulates the Steven Spielberg look and feel, but director William Dear hasn't captured his co-writer/co-producer Spielberg's fairy-tale acumen, audience sense or flair for archetypes.

Murder: By Reason of Insanity (Channel 11 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), an outstanding 1985 TV movie directed by Anthony Page and based on an actual incident, stars Candice Bergen and Jurgen Prochnow as ill-fated defectors from Poland.

The Terminator (Channel 13 Tuesday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 6 p.m.) is a stylish, ultra-gory and ultimately empty 1984 sci-fi adventure with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role as a huge, deadly cyborg who has been transported from the future to stalk an unlikely prey, a scatterbrained waitress (Linda Hamilton).

Crocodile Dundee II (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.) is almost as much fun the second time around. As an adventure it's nothing special, yet it is good-humored and has the immensely likable Paul Hogan in the title role. This time out his lady love, a journalist (Linda Kozlowski) is kidnaped by a Colombian drug kingpin.

The Secret of My Success (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), a misfired 1987 comic fantasy on business success in the Reagan era, stars Michael J. Fox, who brings a welcome low-key chutzpah to a Kansas college graduate determined to conquer the corporate world of Manhattan.

The 1984 Starman (Channel 11 Wednesday at 8 p.m.) came as beguiling surprise from gore master John Carpenter. It's a gentle, irresistible, deeply poignant romantic fable about a woman (Karen Allen) on the lam with an endangered alien (Jeff Bridges, in a high-water mark performance).

Dyan Cannon and Phylicia Rashad star in the new TV movie Jailbirds (CBS Thursday at 9 p.m.), a comedy-adventure.

KCET's Saturday night double feature is composed of Kidlat Tahimik's 1977 Perfumed Nightmare (at 9 p.m.), a delightful mix of documentary, travelogue fantasy and autobiography, and Wayne Wang's mildly diverting 1989 Eat a Bowl of Tea (at 10:35 p.m.).

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