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Prime-Time Flicks

March 02, 1997|Kevin Thomas

In The Fugitive (NBC Sunday at 8:30 p.m.) Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) never stops to catch his breath, and neither would you if fearsome U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (supporting actor Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones) was on your trail. A crisp and jolting 1993 melodrama that screws the tension pitilessly tight, director Andrew Davis' super-adrenalized version of the old TV show about the innocent man simultaneously fleeing the law and trying to find his wife's murderer.

The Stepfather (ABC Sunday at 11:30 p.m.) is that clever 1987 psychological horror picture with an amazing performance by Terry O'Quinn as a chameleon-like psychopath who keeps switching identities in his endless pursuit of the perfect American family. O'Quinn plays this mad outsider, this faceless man obsessed with becoming ordinary like a modern Ward Cleaver with a real, bloody cleaver.

With Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia in starring roles as a couple as much in trouble as they are in love, When a Man Loves a Woman (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.), directed by Luis Mandoki from a script by Ronald Bass and Al Franken, demonstrates why emotional turmoil is always a tricky subject for studio films to deal with effectively. Garcia and especially Ryan have worked extremely hard on their performances, with excellent results. But the honesty of their work only serves to point up the surrounding artificiality, which displays their accomplishments in a shallow light.

In Postcards from the Edge (KCOP Friday at 8 p.m.) Mike Nichols' knowing direction provides the perfect witty touch in bringing to the screen Carrie Fisher's adaptation of her own novel about a very bright actress (Meryl Streep) who short-circuits her talent with drugs and her brassy, competitive mother (Shirley MacLaine), a Golden Era Hollywood star. A sharp, sophisticated 1990 entertainment that offers a sharp insider's view of Hollywood.

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