Where Angels Fear to Tread (KCET Sunday at 9 p.m.), a 1991 film of E.M. Forster's first (1905) novel, is about stuffy Britishers battling the seductions of easy, erotic Italy. It is faithful to its source, intelligent and has a great cast: Judy Davis, Helen Mirren, Helena Bonham-Carter and Barbara Jefford tear into the four plum women's roles like starved thespians feeding on the lines. But it's also a little stodgy and drowsy, with Rupert Graves an odd choice for focal character Phillip.
Bloodlines: Murder in the Family (NBC Wednesday at 9 p.m.) offers Elliott Gould a wonderfully gross, sniveling role as a callow businessman who kills his parents on Yom Kippur; this impressive 1993 miniseries is based on a 1985 double-slaying in Brentwood.
A grimy, on-the-edge world of racetrack crooks and petty swindlers, sliced open with the cool panache of a killer's scalpel--that is The Grifters (KCOP Thursday at 8 p.m.). The 1990 well-received film is based on the Jim Thompson novel and Donald Westlake adapts it expertly. Director Stephen Frears gives it the amoral, creamily lit texture of a Restoration sex comedy. The cast is super: John Cusack as a baby-faced con artist, Annette Bening as his outrageously sexy accomplice and Anjelica Huston in one of the screen's least sentimental depictions of motherly love.
Conan the Barbarian (KTLA Saturday at 5 p.m.) revives the heroic epic in all its innocent pleasures, on a spectacular scale and with a sophisticated style to boot. Directed and co-written (with Oliver Stone) by John Milius in 1982 from the character created more than 50 years ago by writer E Howard, it's a classic struggle between good and evil (here, that would be Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. James Earl Jones).