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Prime-Time Flicks

August 25, 1996|Kevin Thomas

First there was ABC's "Gregory K.," about the boy who successfully dumped his parents. CBS followed with A Place to Be Loved (Sunday at 9 p.m.), the authorized version, meaning the youth, his attorney and his newly adopted family approved of the script. Actually, it's not much different from the first Gregory yarn, but at least the odyssey of the boy who pioneered a child's legal right to separate from his biological mother because of abuse and neglect remains timely, informative material. "A Place to Be Loved" features affecting performances headed by Tom Guiry as the 12-year-old Gregory.

As a visualization of the wicked cartoons Charles Addams drew for decades for the New Yorker, The Addams Family (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is doubtless something to see, but all that visual splendor serves only to point out how lacking this 1991 film is in any other way to hold our interest. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston look perfect, but their arch dialogue wears thin rather fast.

Unlawful Entry (Fox Monday at 8 p.m.), a 1992 urban paranoia thriller, starring Ray Liotta as an, shall we say, overzealous police officer who can't seem to stop protecting young marrieds Kurt Russell and Madeleine Stowe. Though hampered by the usual glaring script implausibilities, solid performances and Jonathan Kaplan's fluid, unforced direction place this a cut above your average suspense film.

Stay Tuned (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) is an elaborate misfired 1992 comedy dedicated to the overly familiar proposition that there's nothing like high adventure to recharge a stale suburban marriage. John Ritter and Pam Dawber star as a couple sucked into their huge new back-yard satellite dish.

The Romantic Englishwoman (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.), an ironic 1975 Joseph Losey film, from a Thomas Wiseman novel and a Wiseman-Tom Stoppard script, is a mean-tongued, clear-eyed vivisection of a successful novelist's extramarital triangle; it's as if "Design for Living" were spitting sulphur. Losey keeps it intellectual and detached; the urbanity is a balm over the characters' nasty self-absorption. With a superb cast: Glenda Jackson, Michael Caine, Helmut Berger, Beatrice Romand, Kate Nelligan and Michel Lonsdale.

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