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Prime-Time Flicks

September 19, 1993|Kevin Thomas

In The Hunt for Red October (CBS Sunday at 8:30 p.m.), a smart, amiable 1990 underwater suspense tale, Soviet captain Sean Connery seems to be parking his monster sub somewhere off Manhattan, but to what purpose? Dogged, low-level CIA analyst Alec Baldwin just may be able to second-guess him.

Break of Dawn (KCET Sunday at 9 p.m.) is an awkward yet moving 1988 biography of Pedro Gonzalez (Oscar Chavez). The Mexican singer became an influential recording and radio star in Los Angeles in the '30s, but his career ran afoul of corrupt Anglo politicians.

A 1990 revisionist Western, with Australian aborigines replacing Native Americans, Quigley Down Under (NBC Sunday at 9:05 p.m.) has the panoramic scope of a big-screen epic but the soul of a TV movie, so it may play better on television. (It was in fact directed by "Lonesome Dove's" Simon Wincer.) It has an interesting premise: A sharpshooter from Wyoming (Tom Selleck) hires himself out to a slimy cattle baron (Alan Rickman) in Western Australia only to discover his job entails picking off aborigines. As in "Die Hard" and "Robin Hood," Rickman steals the movie.

The 1988 Cocktail (ABC Saturday at 8 p.m.) is a shallow business about a young Manhattan bartender (Tom Cruise), a user-apologist extraordinaire. Faring better than Cruise is Bryan Brown as his mentor.

In Enamorada (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.), legendary Mexican director Emilio Fernandez's 1946 reworking of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," tempestuous Maria Felix stars as a rich man's daughter pursued by a revolutionary general.

It will be followed at 10:50 p.m. by Fernandez's 1944 classic Maria Candelaria, in which romantic melodrama is raised to the level of poetic tragedy. Dolores Del Rio stars as an ill-fated beauty of Aztec descent, scorned because of her mother's reputation but adored by handsome peasant Pedro Armendariz. Photographed largely in Mexico City's floating gardens by Gabriel Figueroa.

Late late show: Night Train to Munich (KABC next Sunday at 3 a.m.), a 1940 Carol Reed-directed high adventure of the kind paid tribute to by "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Rex Harrison stars as a fearless, self-mocking British secret agent, disguised as a Nazi major.

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