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Movie Spotlight

March 08, 1998|Kevin Thomas

Director Jon Amiel and writers Ann Biderman and David Madsen have loaded the 1995 Copycat (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) with terrorized women and graphic close-ups of tortured female corpses. But by having Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter play the maniacs' feisty antagonists, the filmmakers seem to believe that they've made a significant feminist statement, the movie's two hours-plus of almost continual sadistic abuse of women notwithstanding. Even in an industry known for self-delusion, that is quite a feat.

My Fair Lady (AMC Tuesday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.) is the elegant 1964 film adaptation of Lerner and Loewe's piquant rendering of Shaw's "Pygmalion" with patter songs that suggestGilbert & Sullivan and a patina of romantic urbanity. Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway deftly repeat their stage roles as Henry Higgins and Doolittle--though Julie Andrews, their blithe Eliza, was replaced, for "star power," by nonsinging Audrey Hepburn (dubbed by Marni Nixon). There's discreet, masterly direction by George Cukor.

Bagdad Cafe (Bravo Tuesday at 9 p.m. and Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.) You've seen the series, now see the original 1988 Percy Adlon movie, an adorable comic fable set in a ramshackle motel-restaurant on the edge of the Mojave Desert and featuring a triumphant teaming of of the Rubenesque Marianne Sagebrecht and the formidable C.C.H. Pounder.

Effervescent, unflappable and supremely pleased with herself, Cher (delightfully played by Alicia Silverstone) is the comic centerpiece of Clueless (NBC Wednesday at 8 p.m.), a wickedly funny 1995 teen-age farce from writer-director Amy Heckerling that, like its heroine, turns out to have more to it than anyone could anticipate.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the title roles as a pair of outdated outlaws of considerable wit and charm in this much-loved 1969 comedy-western that ends in pathos.

In the earliest days of the talkies, Broadway's legendary Fanny Brice, immortalized by "Funny Girl," made a couple of screen musicals. As movies they're hardly classics but they do convey Brice's vibrant personality and soaring talent. In the 1930 Be Yourself (AMC Saturday at 1 a.m.), Brice plays a nightclub star who falls for an on-the-skids prizefighter trying for a comeback (Robert Armstrong, a subsequent star of "King Kong"). Gertrude Astor plays the tough blond rival.

Innerspace (KCOP Saturday at 7 p.m.) stars Dennis Quaid as a Navy test pilot who's "miniaturized" and accidentally been injected into the boy of hypochondriac Martin Short with amusing results.

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