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Prime-Time Flicks

April 04, 1993|KEVIN THOMAS

The Quiet Man (KCAL Sunday at 9 p.m.), John Ford's glorious 1952 romantic comedy, is set in a verdant rural Ireland and stars John Wayne as an American boxing champ returning to the native village he left as a child--and now pursuing Maureen O'Hara, as fiery as the color of her hair.

Richard Attenborough's 1987 Cry Freedom (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m., concluding Wednesday at 8 p.m.), derived from two of white South African journalist Donald Woods' books, is clunky as a narrative but illuminates the harsh realities of apartheid. Kevin Kline plays Woods, and Denzel Washington is the martyred Steve Biko.

Phil Alden Robinson's 1989 hit Field of Dreams (CBS Tuesday at 8:45 p.m.) is about crazy dreams and impossible reunions, and it presents baseball as a kind of national sacrament, the instrument of near-holy reconciliation between generations. The film is set in an Iowa cornfield, where an obsessed young farmer (Kevin Costner) has built a baseball diamond because he has heard a voice promising him, "If you build it, he will come." The film can be taken as a Christ fable, a sports comedy--or both.

Moon Over Parador (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.), Paul Mazursky's hilarious 1988 satire, starring Richard Dreyfuss as a minor American actor strong-armed into masquerading as an inconveniently deceased Latin American dictator, never got the attention it deserved.

The 1984 comedy Protocol (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.) plays like a misfire of "Born Yesterday" in which Goldie Hawn's kooky D.C. cocktail waitress accidentally stumbles into the world of high stakes international politics.

Table for Five (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.) is a shameless but potent 1983 tear-jerker, thanks to Jon Voigt's engaging central performance as a negligent parent who takes his children on a Mediterranean cruise only to be confronted with unexpected tragedy.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.), the sluggish first (1979) of the big-screen Trekkie reunions, turns upon a large, mysterious cloud of destructive energy zipping toward Earth.

The Manchurian Candidate (KTLA Saturday at 7:30 p.m.), the classic, prophetic 1962 political thriller stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh and Angela Lansbury.

In Alan Alda's misguided 1986 comedy Sweet Liberty (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m.), Alda stars as a college professor caught up in the filming of his historical novel; Michelle Pfeiffer contributes a breath of reality as a star of the film-within-the-film, but even she (not to mention Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins) can't save the show.

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