The Sunday evening movie lineup is one...
The Sunday evening movie lineup is one of the strongest in memory, commencing at 6 p.m. on Channel 5 with Mel Brooks’ hilarious 1974 horror picture spoof, Young Frankenstein, with Gene Wilder heading a terrific cast.
Chariots of Fire (Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.), the 1981 multi-Oscar winner, traces the parallel lives of two very different athletes who became part of the remarkable British track and field team at the 1924 Olympics.
Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story (Channel 9 Sunday at 7 p.m.) is an exceptionally well-made 1979 TV movie with Stockard Channing starring in this real-life story about a deaf woman who became one of Hollywood’s top stunt women.
If anything, Mel Brooks’ 1968 debut film The Producers (Channel 5 Sunday at 8 p.m.) is even funnier than “Young Frankenstein.” It’s a zany farce in which Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder come up with a cockamamie scheme to profit from staging a terrible play.
The 1972 Frenzy (Channel 13 Sunday at 8 p.m.) is the finest of Alfred Hitchcock’s last films, a thriller set in his native London and dealing with a man (Jon Finch) wrongly accused of being a serial killer.
The Karen Carpenter Story (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) stars Cynthia Gibb in the title role of this new TV movie about the popular singer who died at 32 from the affects of anorexia nervosa. Mitchell Anderson plays Carpenter’s brother and singing partner Richard.
The 1984 Gremlins (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” turned inside out, upside down and pickled in brine, a sweet-and-sour comedy featuring an invasion of a small Middle American town by a horde of fast-multiplying, deceptively cute, furry creatures.
The 14th James Bond adventure A View to a Kill (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a so-so affair, with Roger Moore beginning to look a little weary as 007 (Timothy Dalton would replace him in the next Bond, the 1987 “Living Daylights”). This time the villain is Christopher Walken, intent on destroying Silicon Valley.
Watching Terry Gilliam’s 1985 Brazil (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.), an exploding cigar in the face of the future, is like watching Gilliam’s head erupt in public. Everything that has ever made an impact on the film maker seems to be whirling by in this brilliant, exhausting, savagely funny post-Orwellian satire, set in the gray confines of the Ministry of Information where his shiningly innocent hero (Jonathan Pryce) toils in his cherished anonymity. Gilliam’s targets are the usual Monty Python concerns: modern technology and the men who run it, terrorists, repairmen, bureaucrats, the plastic surgery industry, the ad game and sticklers for detail, wherever they are.
Terror on Highway 91 (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a new TV movie, stars Ricky Schroder in the true story of a young man who exposes police corruption in a small southern town. George Dzundza and Matt Clark co-star.
Blake Edwards’ 1979 10 (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m., again on Saturday at 10 p.m.), a modern comedy classic, stars Dudley Moore as a popular composer who, in the clutch of middle age, pursues a beautiful young bride (Bo Derek) all the way to Mexico, where she is honeymooning. This is a superbly constructed film which makes shrewd observations of the American obsession with sex and youth, California-style.
The Man in the Brown Suit (CBS Wednesday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie updating Agatha Christie’s 1924 mystery novel about a young American woman (Stephanie Zimbalist) traveling through Egypt in search of adventure. Rue McClanahan, Tony Randall and Edward Woodward star.
Rob Reiner’s 1984 This Is Spinal Tap (Channel 28 Friday at 11:30 p.m.) is one of the funniest movies of the decade, a delicious sendup on the making of a rock documentary in which Reiner casts himself as a film maker trying to make a record of a seedy English group on tour. The line between parody and reality becomes exceedingly and riotously thin.
The dreadful 1986 comedy Armed and Dangerous (CBS Saturday at 8 p.m.) plays like a third-generation dupe print of “Police Academy,” with frantic splices from “Beverly Hills Cop.” John Candy and Eugene Levy star as a pair of goofy misfits adrift in a Los Angeles populated entirely by bozos, nitwits, boobs and cads.
Brian De Palma’s 1983 remake of Howard Hawks’ 1932 gangster classic Scarface (ABC Saturday at 8 p.m.) moves the action from Chicago in the ‘20s to Miami’s Cuban community of the present, but for all its operatic razzle-dazzle, it becomes a lurid exercise in wretched excess. Al Pacino has the title role as a doomed drug kingpin.
The ratings checks on movies in the TV log are provided by the Tribune TV Log listings service.