Zesty yet poignant and thoughtful, Can't Buy...

Zesty yet poignant and thoughtful, Can't Buy Me Love (NBC Sunday at 7 p.m.) finds Patrick Dempsey trying to hire the prettiest girl in school (Amanda Peterson) to date him.

Walter Matthau makes his TV movie debut in The Incident (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) as a small-town lawyer who must defend a German prisoner of war accused of murder. Susan Blakely plays Matthau's daughter-in-law. See Cover Story on Page 3.

John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) offers a tantalizing fantasy for adults as well as kids: What if you could fool your parents and teachers (or your boss) into thinking you were sick, earning yourself a 24-hour free ride from the boredom and responsibilities of real life? Unfortunately, Matthew Broderick, in the title role, is so smug and invincible he doesn't give us any chance to root for him.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a rollicking, allegorical super-space opera directed by Leonard Nimoy with an irresistibly sure touch. This time the Enterprise crew travels back to the 20th Century to save Earth from itself.

Cool Hand Luke, that solid but often antic 1967 prison film with Paul Newman and an Oscar-winning George Kennedy, returns on Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.

Rick Schroder stars in the new TV movie A Son's Promise (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) as a small-town Southern teen-ager who promises his dying mother he will take of his six younger brothers.

Inside Moves (Channel 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is a mild, overly theatrical Saroyanesque tale in which all of life seems to be concentrated in one seedy neighborhood saloon whose habitues form a sort of extended family. John Savage and Diana Scarwid star in the 1980 film.

The lively 1984 Runaway (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), a Michael Crichton "science-fact" adventure, stars Tom Selleck and imagines the worst possible kind of handgun, one that shoots microelectronic bullets that are all but impossible to escape.

In the improbable 1987 Prince of Darkness (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m. and again Saturday at 8 p.m.), writer-director John Carpenter seems to be hovering between cold-eyed, mechanical fear-making and campy horror. In a peculiarly lighthearted--but unpersuasive--way, it deals with nothing less than the destruction of the world and the triumph of Hell. Donald Pleasence stars.

In 1975's Drowning Pool (Channel 13 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), Paul Newman returns as Harper, the tough detective he first played in the 1966 film of the same name, but this film is not nearly as engaging as the original.

Chillingly brilliant at its best yet never quite coming alive, Mike Nichols' film of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (Channel 11 Thursday at 8 p.m.) stars Alan Arkin as a combat flyer who wants to get out of flying any more missions in this darkly comic parable on the absurdities of man's drive for power.

John Huston's 1973 The Mackintosh Man (Channel 13 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a handsome, mellow spy thriller whose end unfortunately is almost as confusing as its beginning. Paul Newman stars.

Night of the Comet (Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m.) is an amusing and imaginative 1984 doomsday sci-fi thriller which finds Catherine Mary Stewart gamely fighting off zombies.

Fatal Vision, the suspenseful 1984 film of Joe McGinniss' best seller about a Green Beret doctor (Gary Cole) convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two children, airs on Channel 9 in two parts, Saturday and Sunday (March 11) at 8 p.m.

The ratings checks on movies in the TV log are provided by the Tribune TV Log listings service.

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