In Harry & Son (KCAL tonight at...
In Harry & Son (KCAL tonight at 8) Paul Newman plays a crackerjack demolition man; unfortunately, before even half of this meandering and soggy 1984 film is over, Newman, as co-writer, co-producer, director and co-star, has flattened everything in sight, including the audience. With Robby Benson and Joanne Woodward.
In George Lucas’ ingeniously structured 1973 American Graffiti (which launches a week of teen films on KTLA Monday at 8 p.m.) we get the romance of rock ‘n’ roll and the sweet, painful humor of nostalgia on the last night of summer, 1962. The cast evokes a reverie all its own: Four ex-high school buddies--Richard Dreyfuss as the brains, Paul Le Mat as the brawn, Ron Howard as the straight arrow and Charles Martin Smith as the wise guy--unknowingly witness the end of an era. Co-starring Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford, Candy Clark and a mob of others.
Teachers (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.) exposes the apathy and mediocrity that grips so many American high schools. Although the 1984 film suffers from awkward shifts in tone from satire and slapstick to the intensely earnest and heart-tugging, it offers at its core a serious study of classroom malaise. With an all-out performance by Nick Nolte.
The Best of Times (KTLA Wednesday at 8 p.m.), an unjustly neglected 1986 film, stars Robin Williams as a man so obsessed with the fact that in high school he dropped a 65-yard pass from the star quarterback (Kurt Russell) that 10 years later he tries to fast-talk a replay of the game among the school’s alumni.
Allan Arkush’s rambunctious, anarchic 1979 cult film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) shows off the New Wave rockers, the Ramones.
In Class of 1984 (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.), a scary piece of pop art, director Mark L. Lester takes the familiar exploitation subject, the contemporary urban American high school run amok, and prophesies a time when a teacher (Perry King) can be driven to pull a gun to make his class pay attention.
The 1987 Amazing Grace and Chuck (KTLA Saturday at 6 p.m.), a misfired idealistic fantasy, is about a Little League pitcher (Joshua Zuehlke) disturbed by missile silos who suddenly decides to sacrifice playing baseball until the arms race has ceased.
As a director, Danny De Vito, in the 1987 Throw Momma from the Train (CBS Saturday at 8 p.m.) is as explosive as he is an actor in this raucous, hilarious takeoff on Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train.” With Billy Crystal and the late Anne Ramsey as Momma.
Set in the slums of Mexico City, Luis Bunuel’s 1951 masterpiece Los Olvidados (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.) is social protest raised to the level of tragedy in its depiction of juvenile delinquency. Followed by The Illusion Travels by Streetcar (KCET Saturday at 10:30 p.m.), a minor 1953 Bunnuel.
Movies to Tape
Paris, Texas (Bravo tonight at 5 p.m., Monday at 12:30 a.m.).: Mysterious and magnificent, Wim Wenders’ deeply affecting 1984 film is about family, separation, loss and a man’s last act of repentance.
Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt: (HBO Monday at 6:30 a.m.): Jeffrey Friedman and Robert Epstein’s 1989 documentary confronts us with the reality of AIDS with such simplicity and directness that it is hard to imagine how the enormous tragedy of this disease could be expressed with greater impact.