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Prime-Time Flicks

June 11, 1995|Peter Rainer

Reversal of Fortune (KCOP Sunday at 5 p.m.) is a devilishly tasty cerebral thriller worth seeing again (it aired on this same channel the week before). It is part black comedy, part legal eagle drama, about Claus von Bulow, the real-life aristocrat who was accused of murdering his socialite wife Sunny. Jeremy Irons plays Claus, and he brings such an arch zest to the performance that it's a bit like watching Boris Karloff as a lounge lizard. As Sunny, Glenn Close is at her best: clipped and effete and, in her way, as spooky as Irons' Claus. The film's drawback is that it's meant to deify Alan Dershowitz, the lawyer who reversed Bulow's murder rap. As played by Ron Silver, Dershowitz is the life of the party and the savior of wronged souls.

If you like luxurious nastiness you couldn't do much better than the 1990 police drama Internal Affairs (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), starring Richard Gere as a depraved cop manipulating the system. The film plays out like a nasty-cop version of "Othello," and the supporting cast, including Andy Garcia, William Baldwin, Nancy Travis, and Laurie Metcalfe, is tip-top. The director Mike Figgis succeeded where most modern directors fail in creating a film noir in color. Everything gleams with villainy.

Mindlessly enjoyable escapist fare can be had with 1988's Shakedown (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.). A Manhattan legal aid attorney (Peter Weller) teams up with a grizzled undercover cop (Sam Elliot) to declare war on drugs and corruption.

Writer-director Steve Anderson's film South Central (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.), loosely adapted from Donald Bakeer's "Crips," is a generational crime saga, set in South-Central L.A., about how fatherless children turn to the gangs--and how fatherhood can save them. Some very good actors--Glenn Plummer, Carl Lumbley and others--help turn around an otherwise ineffective movie.

The Major and the Minor (KCET Saturday at 11 p.m.) features Ginger Rogers as the plucky heroine who decides to save on train fare by impersonating a 12-year-old. Billy Wilder's directional debut. His script (written with Charles Brackett) flirts with the unspeakable and then laughingly skips away from it.

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