Those perennial subjects, Hollywood and Nazi Germany,...
Those perennial subjects, Hollywood and Nazi Germany, once again get the big-scale treatment on the TV screen this week.
Candice Bergen, Joanna Cassidy, Angie Dickinson and Stefanie Powers are in the starry cast of the six-hour Hollywood Wives (ABC Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 9-11 p.m.), based on Jackie Collins’ best seller.
Meanwhile, in the three-hour Hitler’s SS: Portrait in Evil (NBC Sunday at 8 p.m.), John Shea and Bill Nighy play two brothers with differing ideas about the Third Reich.
Easter’s not that near, yet once again George Stevens’ visually superb but ponderous The Greatest Story Ever Told airs in two parts on Channel 13, Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Tuesday offers a choice between two lively staples, That’s Entertainment (Channel 5 at 8 p.m.), an exhilirating compilation of some of the greatest moments in MGM musicals, and Rocky (CBS at 8:30 p.m.), the first installment in Sylvester Stallone’s potent saga of the South Philly loser who turns into a boxing champ.
Helen Hayes returns as that deceptively sweet amateur sleuth Miss Jane Marple in Agatha Christie’s Murder with Mirrors (CBS Wednesday at 9 p.m.), teamed for the first time with Bette Davis as Miss Marple’s dear friend, whose husband (John Mills) has persuaded her to turn her ancestral estate into a home for juvenile delinquents.
Also airing Wednesday (on Channel 5 at 8 p.m.) is The Black Marble, the amusing 1980 film which Joseph Wambaugh himself adapted to the screen from his novel. Robert Foxworth is a likable cop on the skids who draws a decidedly reluctant Paula Prentiss as his partner on the robbery detail. Harry Dean Stanton is the mean, sad loser who sets the mystery in motion.
Deadly Messages (ABC Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a new TV movie, starring Kathleen Beller as a woman on the run from a vicious killer whose murderous intentions have been spelled out on a Ouija board.
On Friday evening it’s a choice between two good older pictures. Steve McQueen’s Bullitt (Channel 5 at 8 p.m.), that terse cop thriller set in San Francisco, is so familiar it scarcely needs further comment. Less well-known is Don Siegel’s terrific Charley Varrick (Channel 13 at 8 p.m.), starring Walter Matthau as a canny crook who’s deliberately a small-timer yet winds up trying to outwit both the law and the Mafia when he decides to knock over a tiny bank in Tres Cruces, N.M.
Saturday evening brings more vintage fare. Airing on Channel 13 at 6 p.m. is King Solomon’s Mines, the much-loved African adventure starring Stewart Granger, the definitive white hunter, and Deborah Kerr, the well-bred lady he thaws out. At 10 p.m. on Channel 28 is Bruce Brown’s gorgeous, seductive Endless Summer, the 1966 movie that launched a wave of surfer flicks.
Evening fare on the pay/cable services: Midnight (Z channel Sunday at 6); The Entity (Z Sunday at 9, Movie Channel Wednesday at 8, SelecTV Friday at 8:30); Reap the Wild Wind (WGN Monday at 9:30); The Beguiled (WTBS Tuesday at 7); Le Bal (Z Tuesday at 7); Rider on the Rain (Z Tuesday at 9); Jet Pilot (WGN Wednesday at 9:30); Von Ryan’s Express (WTBS Thursday at 7:20); The Rose Tattoo (WTBS Thursday at 9:50) and All the Right Moves (SelecTV Saturday at 9).
Opinions in this column are based on the original-release version of the films. Checks for the logs are based on Leonard Maltin’s “TV Movies” book and other sources. Pay TV movies without checks have not been reviewed by The Times.