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Prime-Time Flicks

July 21, 1996|Kevin Thomas

The Godfather, Part III (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m., completed Tuesday at 9 p.m.) concludes one of the extraordinary achievements of the American cinema--Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo's three-film saga of the Corleone family. This 1990 film is artistically audacious in ways most movies don't even attempt with unforgettable performances by aging don Al Pacino and rising young maniac Andy Garcia. Not the perfect capstone we might have wanted, it's still a sweeping, tragic tale of ambition, compromise, betrayal, murder and family.

Driving Miss Daisy (CBS Thursday at 8 p.m.) was skillfully brought to the screen by director Bruce Beresford, and this 1989 film of Walter Uhry's play brought Jessica Tandy a well-deserved Oscar as a cranky Atlanta widow, who over a 25-year-period (starting in 1948) gradually develops a tender friendship with her endlessly patient chauffeur (Morgan Freeman). The film is a tribute to the power of friendship as well as a commentary on the evolving civil rights movement.

All the President's Men (KCOP Friday at 7 p.m.), the 1976 hit from the Woodward-Bernstein account of the Washington Post's Watergate investigation, has a wonderfully brittle, dry, paranoid feel. Nothing terrible happens on screen, but it seethes with menace; the Nixon Administration honchos are either shadowy offstage presences or scared functionaries trying to lie their way loose. With Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam and Jane Alexander; directed by Alan J. Pakula.

KCET's Saturday night double feature is Isadora (at 9 p.m.), the uncut version of the 1968 film bio of the legendary modern dancer (Vanessa Redgrave), and Man of a Thousand Faces (at 11:35 p.m.), the 1957 bio of silent star Lon Chaney (James Cagney).

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