There’s lots that’s crass and over the...

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There’s lots that’s crass and over the top in Beaches (CBS tonight at 8:30), the 1988 tear-jerker that tells of a seemingly offbeat friendship between a brash New York singing star (Bette Midler) and a Northern California socialite (Barbara Hershey) who meet as adolescents in Atlantic City. There’s also much that’s shamelessly entertaining as well.

Scrooge (KCAL tonight at 9) is the outstanding 1970 musical version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” with Albert Finney memorable in the title role.

On stage Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy was a galvanic experience, with Fierstein a triumph of a gusty, flamboyant personality as a female impersonator asserting his dignity and self-respect in his pursuit of love and happiness, but the lethally glossy, totally conventional 1988 Hollywood film version (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m., again Saturday at 8 p.m.) has had the life steamrollered right out of it.


Sweet Dreams (KTLA Wednesday at 8 p.m.) tells the scrappy story of country singer Patsy Cline’s hard and desperately short life like a country love song, joyful and mournful by turns. Jessica Lange as Cline and Ed Harris, the husband who was not wrong but not right enough for her, are dangerously well-matched, giving us lovers whom only success could sunder.

The Kid Who Loved Christmas (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.) is a loving, little foster-family drama. The 1990 TV movie stars Michael Warren and Esther Rolle and boasts a cast that includes Cecily Tyson, Sammy Davis Jr., Della Reese and Vanessa Williams. The chief scene-stealer, however, is Trent Cameron, as an orphan who asks Santa to send him his foster father (Warren) for Christmas.

Support Your Local Sheriff (KCOP Saturday at 6 p.m.), a very funny 1969 Burt Kennedy comedy-Western, stars James Garner as an amiable itinerant with more than a touch of larceny who signs on temporarily as sheriff in a notably disorderly gold rush town.

Caroline? (CBS Saturday at 8 p.m.), an impressive 1990 TV movie, stars Stephanie Zimbalist as a woman presumed dead who resurfaces just in time to collect her share in a large inheritance.

In the 1979 Great Santini (KCOP Saturday at 8 p.m.), Robert Duvall was never better as “a warrior between wars,” a career Marine who vents his aggression on his son (Michael O’Keefe).