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Prime-Time Flicks

August 02, 1992|KEVIN THOMAS

The 1980 Flash Gordon (KTLA Sunday at 6 p.m.) is pure entertainment, a pleasant escape that transports us to an astonishing world of fantasy made real through awesome technical wizardry and unfettered imagination. It has humor, a handsome hero (Sam Jones), a beautiful heroine (Melody Anderson) and a wonderfully wicked villain in Max von Sydow's Ming the Merciless.

The Cheyenne Social Club (KCOP Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) is an entirely enjoyable 1970 comedy that finds James Stewart as a tramp cowboy who, much to his astonishment, inherits a bawdy house; Henry Fonda is Stewart's sidekick.

The Outlaw Josey Wales (KCOP Monday at 8 p.m.) remains one of the best and most ambitious films Clint Eastwood has ever directed, a handsome 1976 Western in which Eastwood plays a farmer along the Kansas-Missouri border who turns avenging outlaw when his family is massacred by a band of Northern guerrillas during the Civil War.

Peter Hyams' 1984 sequel 2010 (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) is more literal than mystical but is still a worthy and venturesome entertainment in its own right. In this one, Roy Scheider joins an American-Soviet space mission to find out what went wrong on the original flight of the Discovery.

A Fistful of Dollars (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.), shot in Italy, based on Akira Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" (with a mercenary for hire destroying his warring employers in a corrupt town), became a huge worldwide hit in 1964 and the progenitor of an entire sub-genre, the spaghetti Western. The director is Sergio Leone, the star Clint Eastwood, the chief villain Gian Maria Volonte, and the hypnotic music Ennio Morricone's; the combination still sizzles.

Shane (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.) is George Stevens' classic 1953 Western in which Alan Ladd stars as a former gunfighter determined to establish a peaceful life but who must once again resort to violence in the defense of some homesteaders.

The 1983 Eddie and the Cruisers (KTLA Saturday at 6 p.m.), which takes its title from a '50s rock group on the verge of making it big, ambitiously attempts a variation on the rock nostalgia formula but involves a plot gimmick impossible to resolve satisfactorily. Michael Pare, however, is terrific as the Jim Morrison-James Dean-like Eddie.

Permanent Record (KCOP Saturday at 6 p.m.) is a serious, important and well-made 1988 film starring Alan Boyce as an outstanding but hyper-stressed teen-ager and Keanu Reeves as his deeply concerned friend, with Barry Corbin and Kathy Baker as Boyce's parents.

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