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MOVIES TO TAPE

June 20, 1993|Michael Wilmington

The Wages of Fear (Cinemax Sunday at 9:30 a.m.) is Henri-Georges Clouzot's great 1953 suspense film that follows a group of desperate European emigres (including Yves Montand) trapped in a rotten little South American town. The film follows their attempted escape over mountain roads with a volatile cargo of nitroglycerin; a black, pitiless movie, at the outer limits of film noir.

Hail the Conquering Hero (AMC Wednesday at 10 a.m.), Preston Sturges' outrageously funny satire of motherhood, patriotism and wartime hero worship, stars Eddie Bracken as the hapless "hero" Woodrow Truesmith.

The Big Knife (KCET Friday at 1 p.m.) is Clifford Odets' adaptation of his furious drama of a Hollywood superstar in a maelstrom of corruption and cover-up. One of the darkest "backstage" movies ever; Robert Aldrich directs Jack Palance and Rod Steiger in roles reminiscent of John Garfield and Harry Cohn.

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