What cannot and should not go unnoticed is the airing of Steven Spielberg’s black-and-white masterpiece “Schindler’s List” (1993) on NBC Sunday starting at 7:30.
This reverent movie, a Holocaust tale of great proportions, will be shown without commercial interruptions. And that’s how this intense tale should be shown - devoid of distractions.
The film, based on Thomas Keneally’s fact-based novel, opens just after the Nazi occupation of Poland. A greedy, womanizing businessman named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in the city with plans to exploit Jews as free labor for his factory. His plan is to make a fortune.
He enlists a Jewish accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), to help with the books. Stern soon discovers that Schindler’s factory is a safe haven for Jews. It’s a place that means survival.
With brilliant subtlety and finesse, Spielberg shows us how Schindler finds outsmarting the Nazis and saving lives more appetizing than turning a profit. Schindler’s transformation from self-absorption to humanitarian is understated and becomes a curiosity.
Why would such a man try to make a difference? His motivation is something you’ll think about long after the film ends.
Each scene is a minimasterpiece filled with images of the nightmarish life Jews suffered in Krakow during the Nazi occupation. Evil engulfs the once bustling city. Ralph Fiennes epitomizes the horror as the commandant of a nearby labor camp. (From his villa overlooking the camp, he shoots Jews for target practice.) This film, winner of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, is a TV event few will want to miss.
“All-New All-Star TV Censored Tickle-Me Bloopers,” NBC Saturday at 8: If you haven’t had your fill of goofs, gags and slipups, this is the place to turn. Drew Carey, clad with his dry wit, helps Dick Clark host.
“The Screen Actors Guild Awards,” NBC Saturday at 9: Yet another awards show. This time the Screen Actors Guild honors its own members by choosing which ones performed best during the year. Angela Lansbury receives a special salute.
“Oops! World’s Funniest Outtakes 5,” FOX Sunday at 7: Harry Anderson introduces another installment of clips of stars caught in embarrassing moments. The networks must believe we just can’t get enough of this stuff.
“The World’s Deadliest Volcanoes,” ABC Sunday at 8: Volcanoes have become hot. ABC wants to keep the interest flowing by airing this hour-long documentary on some of the Earth’s most powerful volcanoes.
Of course, this is all designed to get folks to stay tuned for the network’s volcano-disaster tale, “Volcano: Fire on the Mountain,” following this show at 9. Dan Cortese and Cynthia Gibb play good-looking former lovers who rekindle their passion amid an eruption.
You’ve seen these movies before: A resort town is threatened; a greedy mayor refuses to acknowledge the problem; and everyone is stranded in a lodge. By the midway point, this tale has more than started to go up in smoke. It just doesn’t flow.
“The Simpsons,” FOX Sunday at 8: Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, who play America’s most famous and favorite dueling brothers, act as brothers in this rejoinder-filled half-hour.
Grammer voices the character of criminal Sideshow Bob, just released from jail and reunited with his brother Cecil (Pierce). What’s most clever about the show is the title, “Brother From Another Series.”
“Night Sins” (1997), CBS Sunday and Tuesday at 9: This four-hour-long thriller steals its small-town weirdness from “Twin Peaks” and borrows psycho-babble from “Silence of the Lambs.” The end result is a stirring whodunit about a child abduction.
Valerie Bertinelli and Harry Hamlin team up for this drama that may not be the best-acted movie on the block, but it certainly will keep your attention.
“Miss Evers’ Boys” (1997), HBO Saturday at 9: Alfre Woodard, Laurence Fishburne and Joe Morton star in this wrenching tale about a 40-year U.S. Public Health Service study in which black men were withheld treatment for syphilis so health officials could study the disease.
“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit ‘97,” TNT Saturday at 6 and 7: This yearly documentary on the making of the magazine’s annual swimsuit issue resembles a “Baywatch” episode - only this hour has more plot. Rob Schneider gets to do what he does best - act like a man behaving badly.
“The Ditchdigger’s Daughters” (1997), FAM Sunday at 7: Carl Lumbly plays daddy dearest in this fact-based family-in-turmoil tale. His character, Donald Thornton, will stop at nothing to realize his dream that his six daughters attend medical school.
“The Bodyguard” (1992), Saturday ABC at 8: Americans love to worship their stars, so much so that Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston parlayed this perfectly ordinary movie into a blockbuster.
Costner plays an ex-Secret Service man hired to protect a pop diva (Houston) who has received death threats. They eventually mix pleasure with business … as the movie drags on through three hours.
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