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Prime-Time Flicks

September 07, 1997|Kevin Thomas

A Father for Charlie (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a gritty, Depression-era story starring Louis Gossett Jr. as a dirt-poor farmer who becomes a savior/father figure to an abandoned white boy in the rutty, steamy Ozarks of 1932 America. What earmarks this 1994 TV movie is its unflinching edginess, violence and heated atmosphere.

Join an entire Stax-Volt and Atlantic catalogue of soul tunes--some of the most melodic, euphoric music ever written--with a fantasy plot about a young Dubliner (Robert Arkins) who assembles a soul ensemble, and you have an astute formula for The Commitments (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 11:30 p.m.), a high-spirited, infectious 1991 film directed by Alan Parker with brisk and breathless brio.

The bad girls of Bad Girls (FOX Tuesday at 8 p.m.) are really Good Girls, or at least Good Bad Girls. The timing for this 1994 western is right: This is the movie era for women with guns and attitude. Madeleine Stowe, Andie MacDowell, Mary Stuart Masterson and Drew Barrymore star.

Intelligent, complex and engrossing, Presumed Innocent (CBS Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.), the 1990 adaptation of the Scott Turow novel, works from a fascinating hypothesis: A respected Midwestern prosecuting attorney (Harrison Ford) suddenly gets a reverse view when he becomes a suspect in the lurid sex murder of a colleague (Greta Scacchi) with whom he had a torrid affair.

Beethoven's 2nd (NBC Friday at 8 p.m.) is just as funny and appealing as "Beethoven" the first. Beethoven is the name given to a lovable but horrendously messy Saint Bernard who escapes dognapers to become adopted by the Newtons, much to the chagrin of the fussy head of the family (Charles Grodin). Now it's time for Beethoven to fall in love--with Missy, whose owner is played by Debi Mazar with hilarious, scene-stealing nastiness.

Crossing Delancey (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.) From its first romantic encounter to its last, this 1988 film is an unqualified pleasure. Izzy Grossman (Amy Irving) is a Manhattan bookstore manager, single for now and seemingly unfazed about it. But it's not a situation that suits her grandmother (Reizl Bozyk). Enter Sam Posner (Peter Riegert), the thirty-something pickle king of Delancey Street.

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