Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day After the Fair (1987) TV Movie

Contemporary production of a Thomas Hardy novel.

Day After the Fair (1987) TV Movie
Cast: Anna Massey, Hannah Gordon, Jane Garnett, Jonathan Adams, Kenneth Haigh, Roy Holder, Sammi Davis, Veronica Clifford

Dark Eyes (1987)

Aboard a ship early in the 20th-century, a middle-aged Italian tells his story of love to a Russian.

AKA Oci Ciornie

Dark Eyes (1987)
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Marthe Keller

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Calendar Girl Murders (1984) TV Movie

Tom Skerritt and Sharon Stone star in this eerie thriller about the mysterious murders of several nude models.

Calendar Girl Murders (1984) TV Movie
Cast: Alan Thicke, Barbara Bosson, Claudia Christian, Michael C. Gwynne, Pat Corley, Robert Beltran, Robert Culp, Robert Morse, Sharon Stone, Tom Skerritt

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Your Move (1984) TV series 1984-1985

Young Jason Bateman stars in this high school comedy. Funny in a rearward looking way, more charm than humor.

Season 1, Episode 1
26 September 1984

Season 1, Episode 2
Put to the Test
3 October 1984

Season 1, Episode 6
Love Letters
14 November 1984

Season 1, Episode 7
Dad and Me
21 November 1984

Season 1, Episode 8
The Rival
21 November 1984

Season 1, Episode 10
Don't Leave Home Without It
12 December 1984

Season 1, Episode 11
The Christmas Show
19 December 1984

It's Your Move (1984) TV series 1984-1985
Cast: Adam Jay Sadowsky, Caren Kaye, David Garrison, Ernie Sabella, Jason Bateman, Tricia Cast

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Talk Show (1990) TV series 1990-1991

A great show that defies proper description. A do-it-yourself talkshow? Look for the name Doug Steckler in the writing credits.

Nell Carter
September 1990

Adam Ant
September 1990

Czech Director
October 1990

Terry Kiser
October 1990

William Shatner
October 1990

Brigitte Nielsen
October 1990

Michael McKean
9 October 1990

Paul Weller
November 1990

Roxanne Pulitzer, Sha Na Na, Patricia Heaton
November 1990

Peter Allen
November 1990

Vince Edwards
November 1990

Gilbert Gottfried
November 1990

Tiny Tim
November 1990

Downtown Julie Brown
November 1990

Partial Episode
November 1990

Werner Klemperer
November 1990

Martha Quinn, Ryan Stiles

Sam Rubin
January 1991

Peter Allen
January 1991

My Talk Show (1990) TV series 1990-1991
Cast: Cynthia Stevenson, D.A. Young, David Packer, Debra McGrath, Don Lake, Stephanie Hodge

Friday, June 12, 2009

Family Blessings (1999) TV Movie

A widow finds refuge in the arms of a younger man after the death of her policeman son. Lee Reston, 44, and Chris Lallek, 30, find love while mourning the death of Greg, Lee's son and Chris's best friend and partner. Lee's family and friends oppose the relationship because of the age difference but Lee decides to pursue the relationship, with or without her family's blessing.

Family Blessings (1999) TV Movie
Cast: Ari Meyers, Bonnie Bartlett, Brendan Fletcher, Lynda Carter, Nina Foch, Pam Grier, Steven Eckholdt

Brothers (1984) TV series 1984-1989

Set in south Philadelphia, centering around the lives and relationships of the Waters brothers; oldest brother Lou, middle brother Joe, and the youngest brother, Cliff.

Season 1, Episode 14
Happy Birthday to Me!
16 December 1984

Season 3, Episode 5
A Penny a Dance
28 May 1986

Season 3, Episode 19
Lay the Points
8 October 1986

Season 4, Episode 12
Starry, Starry Night
21 August 1987

Season 4, Episode 13
Penny and the Hard Hat
28 August 1987

Season 5, Episode 2
Barney, We Hardly Knew Ye
8 July 1988

Season 5, Episode 4
L. A. Maltby
30 September 1988

Season 5, Episode 12
Guardian Angels
30 December 1988

Brothers (1984) TV series 1984-1989
Cast: Brandon Maggart, Hallie Todd, Mary Ann Pascal, Paul Regina, Philip Charles MacKenzie, Robert Walden

American Dreamer (1990) TV series 1990-1991

A widower with two children who is a former network newswriter, moves to a small Wisconsin town and writes a weekly human-interest column for a Chicago newspaper. This show was a jewel.

Season 1, Episode 1
20 September 1990

Season 1, Episode 5
Corvette Man
13 October 1990

Season 1, Episode 6
Over the Hill?
20 October 1990

Season 1, Episode 9
In from the Cold: Part 1
10 November 1990

American Dreamer (1990) TV series 1990-1991
Cast: Carol Kane, Chay Lentin, Jeffrey Tambor, Johnny Galecki, Margaret Welsh, Robert Urich

Sex Machine, The (1975)

In the future, the world's oil supply has finally been exhausted, causing a massive energy crisis. In a search for alternative sources of energy, a scientist invents a machine that can harness the energy expended during sexual intercourse and transfer it into electrical power. Italian cinema, dubbed in English. From the SelecTV library of classics.

The Sex Machine  (1975)
Cast: Agostina Belli, Christian De Sica, Eleonora Giorgi, Gigi Proietti

Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) TV series 1951-Current

One of the longest-running anthology series on television, the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" has been presenting television dramatizations of famous plays and books, as well as original programs especially written for the series, since 1951.

Season 36, Episode 1
James Garner, James Woods, Piper Laurie
21 December 1986

Season 37, Episode 3
Stones for Ibarra
Glenn Close, Keith Carradine, Kamala Lopez
21 December 1986

Season 37, Episode 4
April Morning
Robert Urich, Chad Lowe, Rip Torn
24 April 1988

Season 38, Episode 1
The Tenth Man
Anthony Hopkins, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Cyril Cusack, Brenda Bruce, Timothy Watson
4 December 1988

Season 38, Episode 2
Home Fires Burning
Barnard Hughes, Sada Thompson, Robert Prosky, Bill Pullman, Elizabeth Berridge, Neil Patrick Harris, Brad Sullivan, William Duell, Warde Q. Butler, Wallace Wilkinson, Ric Reitz, Kyle Chandler
29 January 1989

Season 39, Episode 3
Stephanie Zimbalist, Pamela Reed, George Grizzard, Patricia Neal
29 April 1990

Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) TV series 1951-Current
Cast: Assorted

Morton & Hayes (1991) TV series

Rob Reiner hosts a showing of the long-lost films of that wacky old comedy team 'Morton & Hayes'... which is really just an excuse for Christopher Guest, Joe Flaherty & Dick Blasucci to make their own comedy shorts a la Abbott & Costello.
Season 1, Episode 1
Daffy Dicks
24 July 1991
Christopher Guest, Catherine O'Hara

Season 1, Episode 4
Oafs Overboard

14 August 1991
Christopher Guest, Courteney Cox

Season 1, Episode 5
The Vase Shop
21 August 1991
Joe Flaherty, Marianne Muellerleile

Season 1, Episode 6
Home Buddies
28 August 1991
Allison Janney, Fabiana Udenio

Morton & Hayes (1991) TV series
Cast: Bob Amaral, Christopher Guest, Kevin Pollack, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wavelength (1983)

Low-budget, independent science fiction film written and directed by Mike Gray and starring Robert Carradine, Cherie Currie, and Keenan Wynn.

The story involves a young couple who discover child-like aliens being held by the U.S. government for experimentation in an underground bunker.

The film is set in the Hollywood Hills and the Mojave Desert and features a soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.

Cast: Cal Bowman, Cherie Currie, Eric Morris, James Hess, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Terry Burns

Undergrads, The (1985) TV Movie

Art Carney is virtually the only American cast member in the Canadian TV movie The Undergrads. Carney plays an elderly rest-home resident, while Chris Makepeace co-stars as his teen-aged grandson. Makepeace sneaks Carney out of the home, and together grandpa and grandson attend college. If it sounds like a Disney movie, that's because it is. The Undergrads premiered May 5, 1985, on the Disney Channel cable service. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Undergrads  (1985) TV Movie
Cast: Art Carney, Chris Makepeace, Dawn Greenhalgh, Len Birman

Danger Theatre (1993) TV series

Danger Theatre was a half-hour comedy anthology series for television, produced by Universal Studios and originally aired on the American FOX network in 1993.

Each half-hour-long show (with two exceptions) comprised two comedy segments, each a spoof of a familiar action/anthology format. The style of the comedy was somewhat similar to that of films like Airplane! and TV shows like Police Squad!

Robert Vaughn, most familiar to audiences from his role on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., was the host for each episode, introducing to camera each fifteen-minute segment with mock earnestness. The jokes ranged from humorous or preposterous dialogue to visual gags and slapstick designed to poke fun at the serious dramatic formats being lampooned.

Danger Theatre only ran to seven episodes before cancellation, but was syndicated beyond the USA; successfully gaining an airing in the United Kingdom on the BBC in 1994.

The Searcher
One segment in each episode centred on a motorbike-riding, leather-clad hero called only “The Searcher", played by Diedrich Bader. A spoof of both the stereotypical motorbiking renegade from many classic movies and the “one man on a mission” format of series such as Knight Rider (and many others), this segment is perhaps the most commonly remembered element of the series.

The Searcher would always appear coming over the horizon on his motorcycle, with a dramatic backing chorus, narrating :
“Someone needs help, so they called me. That’s what I do. I help people in trouble.......They call me: The Searcher”.

A recurring visual gag would have the Searcher conclude a scene with a quizzical stare directly at camera, utter a thoughtful, “Hmmm..”, and would then suddenly be squashed by a bulldozer, falling object, or other variant of a falling grand piano. For the actual slapstick event, it would be highly obvious that a dummy was being used in the stunt.

The popularity of this segment led to two episodes ("Go Ahead Fry Me" and "An Old Friend For Dinner") being given over in their entirety to a 30-minute adventure for the Searcher.

Tropical Punch
The other segment of the show was called Tropical Punch; a send-up of Hawaii 5-0, with Adam West (of Batman fame) playing the lead role corresponding to Jack Lord’s on the original. Adam played the Inspector Clouseau-like Detective Morgan, a police detective with no clue what is really going on. This role is similar to the role he currently plays on Family Guy as the confused Mayor Adam West. Morgan only solves crimes because his partner McCormick, played by Billy Morrisette, does in fact know what is going on and saves his face constantly.

Season 1, Episode 4
Comes a Searcher
25 July 1993

Danger Theatre (1993) TV series
Adam West, Billy Morrissette, Diedrich Bader, Laurie Franks, Peter Navy Tuiasosopo, Ricky Harris, Robert Vaughn, Todd Field, Will MacMillan

No Nukes (1980)

No Nukes (1980)
July 18, 1980

Published: July 18, 1980

''NO NUKES'' is a lively, likable concert movie, and it achieves its vitality without a strain. The performers, whether seen on stage or backstage or at planning meetings, mingle comfortably, and they are captured without any particular fanfare. Far from diminishing the movie's forcefulness, this low-keyed approach draws the audience close. The resulting footage is as warm as it is tuneful.

The in-concert camerawork, supervised by Haskell Wexler and Barbara Kopple, is particularly effective in fostering a feeling of coziness. The shows are photographed on such an intimate scale that the setting feels less like Madison Square Garden, where the series of No Nukes concerts were held, than the living room of somebody's home. Performers wander onto the stage without much introduction -near the beginning of the film, James Taylor simply appears before the audience, begins to sing ''Mockingbird,'' and is joined by Carly Simon from the wings. Although the list of performers, which also includes Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and the Doobie Brothers, would seem to be diverse, they trade off songs so smoothly during the concerts that they seem to have been cut from the same cloth.

The music of ''No Nukes,'' which opens today at Cinema I, is sturdier than its politics. It is made clear by the film's three credited directors, Danny Goldberg, Julian Schlossberg and Anthony Potenza, that the musicians on the bill, who worked to organize the concerts and performed free of charge, oppose the use of nuclear power and are greatly interested in this cause. (Some, like Graham Nash, who says something about having seen ''actual photographs of giant sponges'' at an underwater nuclear-waste dump near his California home, sound more enthusiastic than knowledgable.) And ''No Nukes'' includes a documentary segment, apparently shown during intermissions of the concerts, in which a man dying of leukemia describes his experience of witnessing an early atomic-bomb test. This man's testimony is the most deeply affecting evidence the movie offers.

The movie makes a simple point about the singers' allegiance to the antinuclear movement, but it never tackles the trickier matter of how they perceive their own political influence. Nor does it reveal much about the planning of the concerts, although the requisite juggling must have been fascinating. To its credit, though, the film makes none of the flashy generalizations to which rock movies are prone; if anything, it draws no conclusions at all. It simply show the concerts, glimpses the backstage activity, covers the enormous rally at Battery Park, and sits by quietly as Crosby, Stills and Nash crank out the same material they were singing at Woodstock. It seems that some things never change.

The music ranges from that of the aforementioned Crosby, Stills and Nash (who declare ''Not quite!'' about their harmonies during a rehearsal, and are understating the case considerably) to Bruce Springsteen, who steals the show. Mr. Springsteen, who makes his movie debut here, proves that in performance he is indeed a thing of beauty. His rendition of ''Thunder Road'' is wonderful, and his histrionics even more so: after leaping all over the stage during this song, he feigns a collapse, complaining ''I can't go on like this! I'm 30 years old! My heart is startin' to go!'' The members of his E Street Band affect concern, then coax him up for the count. After this, he bursts into a furious chorus of ''Quarter to Three,'' and all is presumably well. When ''No Nukes'' cuts away from Mr. Springsteen to another backstage planning session, the comedown is considerable.

Jackson Browne's version of ''Running on Empty'' is another of the show's highlights, as are the Doobie Brothers' ''What a Fool Believes'' and John Hall's antinuclear anthem, ''Power.'' (Like several of the other songs, ''Power'' sounds considerably better here than it did on the ''No Nukes'' triple album released some months ago; in fact, the material in the movie overlaps only slightly that on the records.) Carly Simon puts in a brief but sensational appearance, mostly singing with her husband, Mr. Taylor. Mr. Taylor's eyes twinkle with a mad gleam that is shown off to particularly merry advantage on the movie screen.

This movie has been rated PG (''Parental Guidance Suggested''). It contains occasional harsh language.

Music of Protest
NO NUKES, documentary based on the 1979 concerts and rally protesting nuclear energy's use, directed and produced by Julian Schlossberg and Danny Goldberg; also directed by Anthony Potenza; cinematographer, Haskell Wexler; released by Warner Bros. At the Cinema I, Third Avenue and 60th Street. Running time: 103 minutes. This film is rated PG. WITH: Jackson Browne, David Crosby, The Doobie Brothers, John Hall, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Gil Scott-Heron, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Stills, James Taylor and Jesse Colin Young.

Power, The (1968)

A 1968 film based on the science fiction novel "The Power" by Frank M. Robinson. Its protagonist, a researcher named Tanner, discovers evidence of a person with psychic abilities among his coworkers. As he tries to uncover the superhuman, his existence is erased and his associates murdered, until he faces a showdown with an apparently undefeatable opponent.

Produced by George Pal and directed by Byron Haskin, it was substantially changed in the John Gay screenplay, moving the location to San Marino, California, changing most of the characters' names (although retaining the surnames of Tanner, Nordlund, and department head Professor Van Zandt), and eliminating several subplots and characters, presumably to fit the story into a 108-minute film. George Hamilton starred as Professor Jim Tanner, Suzanne Pleshette as his teammate and romantic interest Margery Lansing (Marge Hanson in the novel), and Michael Rennie (famous among science fiction movie fans as Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still) as new government liaison Mr. Nordlund. Otherwise, the story proceeds in a fashion similar to the novel, except for a somewhat different twist to the conclusion.

This somewhat obscure movie is memorable for a number of intriguing scenes, including murder by centrifuge, a seemingly possessed "Walk / Don't Walk" sign, toy soldiers firing with real gunpowder, and winking inanimate objects (the last two also in the novel). The soundtrack also memorably features a beating heart to signal the mind-control attempts and eerie music from a cymbalum (a hammered dulcimer-like instrument) accompanying the more suspenseful moments. The music, written by Oscar-winning composer Miklós Rózsa, actually contributes an amusing fourth wall-breaking moment when Tanner, hearing the haunting tune, seems to expect a new disaster, only to be visibly relieved when he finds a cymbalum-violin duet being performed in the hotel lobby.

The Power (1968)
Cast: Aldo Ray, Earl Holliman, George Hamilton, Ken Murray, Michael Rennie, Nehemiah Persoff, Suzanne Pleshette, Yvonne De Carlo

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

27th Annual Grammy Awards, The (1985) (TV)

From Los Angeles, hosted by John Denver on the evening of February 26, 1985.


Talent on hand includes; Debbie Allen, Laurie Anderson, Philip Bailey, Leonard Bernstein, Kim Carnes, James Cleveland, Andraé Crouch, Ray Davies, Rick Dees, Thomas Dolby, Sheila E., Lee Greenwood, Sammy Hagar, Jermaine Jackson, Howard Jones, Chaka Khan, B.B. King, Julian Lennon, Huey Lewis, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kenny Loggins, Henry Mancini, Melle Mel, Julia Migenes, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Randy Newman, Jeffrey Osborne, Nia Peeples, Prince, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Dee Snider, Roebuck 'Pops' Staples, Andy Summers, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Andy Williams, Deniece Williams, and Stevie Wonder, among others.

13 Great Live Performances by Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis, Kenny Loggins, Stevie Wonder, Andraé Crouch, Amy Grant and more.

The 27th Annual Grammy Awards (1985) (TV)

Host: John Denver

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

E/R (1984) TV series 1984-1985

Dr. Sheinfeld, newly divorced, becomes physician on call at the emergency room of a Chicago hospital. He soon locks horns with the vivacious Dr. Eve Sheridan and attracts the puppy-love of (pediatrics) Nurse Cory. Situational humor mixes with tense medical crises. Weak writing but great casting, many familiar faces not only among the regular cast but also look for some strong guest appearances.

Season 1, Episode 3
The Sister
18 September 1984

Season 1, Episode 5
Son of Sheinfeld
2 October 1984

Season 1, Episode 11
Sentimental Journey
14 November 1984

Season 1, Episode 13
A Cold Night in Chicago
28 November 1984

Season 1, Episode 14
Both Sides Now
12 December 1984

Season 1, Episode 15
The Storm
19 December 1984

Season 1, Episode 18
I Raise You
23 January 1985

Season 1, Episode 19
Merry Wives of Sheinfeld
30 January 1985

Season 1, Episode 22
A Change in Policy
27 February 1985

E/R (1984) TV series 1984-1985
Cast: Charlie Brill, Conchata Ferrell, Corinne Bohrer, Elliott Gould, George Clooney, Jason Alexander, Luis Avalos, Lynne Moody, Marcia Strassman, Mary McDonnell, Pamela Adlon

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stoning in Fulham County, A (1988) TV Movie

When the baby daughter of an Amish couple is killed by a gang of rock-throwing teenagers, their anguish is virtually laughed off by the rest of the locals.

A Stoning in Fulham County (1988) TV Movie
Cast: Bill Allen, Brad Pitt, Debby Severs, Gregg Henry, Jill Eikenberry, Ken Olin, Noble Willingham, Ron Perlman, Theodore Bikel

Stowaway to the Moon (1975) TV Movie

A 1975 made-for-TV movie, starring Lloyd Bridges among others. The basic plot centers around a pre-teen boy who sneaks onto an Apollo-like mission to the moon.

Stowaway to the Moon (1975) TV Movie
Cast: Charles Conrad, Jack Callahan, Jeremy Slate, Jim McMullan, John Carradine, Lloyd Bridges, Michael Link, Morgan Paull

Murder of the Century - Evelyn Nesbit (TV) (1995)

Originally aired as an installment of the highly acclaimed PBS series "The American Experience", this is the story of the murder that scandalized New York society at the turn of the century.

The documentary tells the story of the beautiful Evelyn Nesbit, famous stage actress and "Gibson Girl", and her role in the murder of New York's leading architect, Stanford White.

First White's lover, the social climbing Nesbit eventually married the eccentric heir to a railroad fortune, Harry K. Thaw. Thaw was obsessed by White, hated him, and hated the fact that his wife had one been White's lover. Nesbit played off Thaw's jealousy until it led to murder.

The documentary is wonderful, and shows the feeding frenzy of the turn-of-the-century press, on which CNN has nothing.

Murder of the Century - Evelyn Nesbit (TV) (1995)
Host: David Ogden Stiers

Heartsounds (1984) TV Movie


Published: September 30, 1984

Doctors and nurses are the very stuff of television uplift. From ''Dr. Kildare'' and ''Marcus Welby, M.D.'' to ''Nurse'' and ''St. Elsewhere,'' the medical profession has furnished scriptwriters with a seemingly endless flow of selfless dedication in the face of awesome life-and-death crises. Even television comedies such as ''M*A*S*H'' or the current ''E/R'' have carefully mixed their laugh tracks with basic respect and admiration.

Meanwhile, few of us are not familiar with hospital disaster stories, the kind that may involve a confused patient being prepared for, and possibly given, the wrong operation. Nurses have been known to smirk at the pretensions and questionable practices of some doctors. And I know of at least one doctor who, when a close relative is hospitalized, bars nurses from the patient's room, convinced that they are likely to get the prescribed medications wrong. All of which might be filed under the always safe observation of ''nobody's perfect.'' Such reservations are pointedly avoided, however, in the indictments leveled in ''Heartsounds,'' the TV movie that stars Mary Tyler Moore and James Garner on ABC tonight at 9.

Fay Kanin's script is based on a book written by Martha Weinman Lear. Published in 1980, the story tells how Mrs. Lear's husband Hal spent the final five years of his life after suffering a massive heart attack in 1973. In many respects, Martha and Hal are not your average couple. He was a successful doctor, a urologist, in Hartford, before coming to New York to set up an experimental program in sex therapy at a major hospital. He was divorced and had two children when he married Martha in the early 1960's. She is about 10 years younger than Hal and has worked in various editorial and freelance writing capacities for publications that include The New York Times. His first heart attack occurs when she is working on an assignment in Italy. An editor suggests that she keep a written record of the entire experience. When friends discover she is taking voluminous notes, it isn't difficult to conclude that there must be a book lurking somewhere down the road.

On its most immediate level, ''Heartsounds'' is a love story about two people completely attached to each other. Life is generally good and fulfilling. She likes her work, occasionally getting involved in mildly feminist issues. He is adored by the patients he has helped. The roles of doctor and doctor's wife have their social and economic compensations. On the other hand, she is a New Yorker who does not like living in the ''boondocks'' of Connecticut and that may have had something to do with his taking on the sex project in Manhattan, a project that did not bring the professional advancement that he had been promised. That disappointment, along with a family history of heart problems, was almost certainly a factor in his illness.

When the heart attack strikes, it quickly becomes apparent that Hal and Martha are not the sort of people to go quietly into just any good night. He knows immediately what is happening as, alone in his apartment, some chest discomfort that he at first assumes to be little more than heartburn slowly begins triggering severe pains, mild sweating and a weakened pulse. Unable to get help by phone, he puts on his robe, stumbles to the house elevator and gets the doorman to rush him to the hospital, knowing that he is in serious trouble and that there is no time to wait for an ambulance. The sequence is harrowing, and Mr. Garner is frighteningly convincing. Meanwhile, Martha, reached in Italy, begins rushing home in terror, compiling a list of questions on how to deal with this unanticipated threat to her happiness. She quickly learns, however, that the doctors attending her husband do not necessarily appreciate questions. Their typical attitude is a paternalistic, ''Don't worry, I'll keep you informed.''

But, again, this is not your average couple. With his own medical background, Hal is capable of diagnosing his own symptoms and second-guessing the various experts around him. Martha's background in journalism has trained her to do the appropriate research and pose the uncomfortable questions. His will to live is formidable. Her desire to have him live is just about unrelenting. Together, they can hardly be ignored. Yet, even for their most ardent sympathizers, they can become impossibly annoying and demanding. But their view of themselves and the medical profession has an unflinching clarity. Mrs. Lear's overriding point is simple: ''When a doctor becomes a patient, his perceptions turn inside out.'' Hal finds that other doctors become peripheral figures in the process of recovery, stopping by the bed for a few minutes each day with their familiar questions and incessant prodding, usually performed for the benefit of obsequious interns. Nurses, on the other hand, are seen as true angels of mercy, their passing touches of kindness being of inestimable value to flagging spirits.

Hal's story becomes a veritable nightmare of faulty diagnoses, arrogant attitudes and peculiar ethics. Among the numerous problems recounted by Mrs. Lear is the unwillingness of doctors to blame each other for anything. She refers to this as the Old Boys' Hypocritic Oath. She follows her husband through a series of setbacks, including one harrowing episode where he believes he is on the verge of death in a hospital bed one night but is unable to get a doctor's help for eight hours. ''He begged, he pleaded,'' his wife recalls, ''but they wouldn't listen.'' She begins talking of an ''institutional madness.'' In fact, although the film is outspoken, it avoids some of the book's more specific charges. It does not retain Mrs. Lear's conclusion after that eight-hour experience: ''I marveled, as I had before: He is a doctor; he is white and middle- class; he has a wife who can make demands in his name; he is a private-room patient in a great medical institution; he is gravely sick; what the bloody hell goes on in the wards?''

In purely dramatic terms, ''Heartsounds'' begins to sag about two-thirds of the way through as the ending becomes apparent and the story settles into a succession of inevitable crises. Nevertheless, the film packs something of the wallop of a powerful and unblinking documentary. With superb performances from Miss Moore and Mr. Garner, the highs as well as the lows of the couple's love story survive beautifully intact. And the unusual view of a profession that too often is handled with surgical gloves is refreshingly provocative. Glenn Jordan directed. The executive director is Norman Lear, one of Hal Lear's cousins.

Heartsounds (1984) TV Movie
Cast: Mary Tyler Moore, James Garner, Sam Wanamaker, Wendy Crewson, David Gardner, Carl Marotte, Wayne Best, Anthony Bishop, David Bolt, David Clement, Beverly Cooper, Eve Crawford, Sandy Crawley, Marvin Goldhar, Lynne Gorman