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Prime-Time Flicks

August 30, 1992|Kevin Thomas

Never Cry Wolf (KTLA Sunday at 6 p.m.) is Carroll Ballard's stunningly seductive 1983 film of Farley Mowat's autobiographical story of a biologist (Charles Martin Smith) sent on his own to study Arctic wolves. Subtle and complex, the film is part saga, part preservationist's meditation.

The 1986 Crossroads (KCOP Sunday at 6 p.m.) requires a leap of faith to swallow it whole, to buy its Faust-like premise of a musician's pact with the devil played out against the realism of a contemporary road movie, but director Walter Hill lays out reasons enough to make us want to make that leap. Ralph Macchio stars.

The two-part, made-for-TV 1988 Jack the Ripper (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m., concluding Tuesday at 9 p.m.) is one of the best of the many accounts of the 1888 London serial killer--and even attempts to identify him. Michael Caine stars as a Scotland Yard investigator.

Reds, Warren Beatty's absorbing 1981 epic of radicals John Reed (Beatty himself) and Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), airs on ABC in two parts, Sunday and Monday at 9 p.m.

Rehearsal for Murder (KCAL Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a highly entertaining 1982 TV movie about a movie star murdered on the eve of her Broadway debut. Robert Preston and Lynn Redgrave star.

Once past Sunday evening's many fine movies there's not much that's tempting until Friday, which brings High Society (KTLA at 8 p.m.), the enjoyable rather than acerbic 1956 remake of "The Philadelphia Story," with Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

Starting Over (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.), an amiable 1979 release about a man (Burt Reynolds) in the thrall of emotional ties to his ex-wife best remembered today as the film which first brought forth Candice Bergen's talent for comedy.

Underlying Martin Bell and Mary Ellen Mark's Streetwise (KCET Friday at 11 p.m.), an exceptional 1984 documentary on Seattle street kids, is the disturbing question: What was done to these children to make them think they deserve this desperate half-life?

The 1979 Australian picture Tim (ABC Saturday at 8 p.m.) is unlike any other Mel Gibson film, a tender, beautifully acted love story between a sweet, slightly retarded young man (Gibson) and an elegant older woman (Piper Laurie).

In the absorbing and provocative 1988 Gorillas in the Mist (CBS Saturday at 8:30 p.m.) Sigourney Weaver takes us inside the increasing obsessiveness and ruthlessness of Dian Fossey in her attempt to preserve a breed of African mountain gorillas facing extinction.

KCET offers a grand Saturday night double feature: Ninotchka (at 9 p.m.) made in 1939, starring Greta Garbo, and 1935's The 39 Steps (at 11 p.m.), with Robert Donat.

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