It’s toon time for Disney and TMC; other choices include three atmospheric films and a Western spoof
Writer-director Robert Towne draws upon his wry Chandleresque view of Los Angeles, as he did in his script for “Chinatown,” to define a keenly observed contemporary tale of timeless moral ambiguity, involving a disturbingly complex and equivocal drug dealer (Mel Gibson), his high school pal now a cop (Kurt Russell) and a beautiful restaurateur (Michelle Pfeiffer).
Monday 8 p.m. Cinemax
WHEN THE LEGENDS DIE
This splendid 1972 film provided Frederic Forrest with his first major role and Richard Widmark with one of the finest roles of his career. Forrest plays a Ute Indian rodeo man exploited by Widmark’s colorful aging cowboy despite their father-and-son relationship. A complex work, directed with simplicity by Stuart Miller from Robert Dozier’s fine adaptation of a Hal Borland novel.
Saturday 11 a.m. KCAL
Hugh Wilson’s 1985 comedy is a sadly overlooked joy, a sweet, affectionate spoof of old low-budget Republic and Columbia Westerns. Tom Berenger is perfectly cast as Rex the Singing Cowboy, who with his Wonder Horse Wildfire, made 52 Westerns “before the lights sort of went out.”
Saturday 1 p.m. KCOP
A splendid, unjustly neglected 1973 British film in which Sean Connery, at his very best under Sidney Lumet’s direction, plays a veteran police sergeant haunted by years of contact with terrible crimes and on the brink of a total breakdown.
Friday 6 and 10 p.m. A&E;