Surprisingly choice movie with Bertinelli

TODAY'S TV

November 30, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

Tonight's TV is full of options, and also has its share of surprises. There is, for example, an "America's Most Wanted" that sounds most interesting, and a new Valerie Bertinelli telemovie that actually is most interesting.

* "Murder of Innocence" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Here's one that caught me totally off guard. It's the latest Valerie Bertinelli telemovie, yet this one is more harrowing, polished and impressive than anything else she's ever done. She portrays a woman descending into insanity -- and her performance is very good, and commendably restrained. The gruesome and surprising details of the fact-based story, and Tom McLoughlin's intense, artistic direction elevate "Murder of Innocence" into a TV equivalent of Roman Polanski's "Repulsion" -- an eerie, unsettling character study of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and her effect on those around her. CBS.

* "America's Most Wanted" (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- "Alcatraz: the Escape," a special edition of this series, comes armed with new information about one of the most famous prison escapes in history: the 1962 breakout by three fugitives from the island prison of Alcatraz. An interview with one of the planners sheds new light on the escape plans, and computer imagery "ages" pictures of the escapees to suggest what they might look like 31 years later -- if they survived their trip across the San Francisco Bay. There are a million reasons to watch this episode, since a $1 million reward is being offered for information leading to their recapture. Fox.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) --The best new drama series on TV presents another new episode -- one that gets Licalsi (Amy Brenneman) back in contact with the mob. ABC.

* "Frontline: 'AIDS, Blood and Politics' " (9-10 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Tackling a well-known angle to the AIDS crisis, this "Frontline" probes deeply into the blood-bank industry's initial incompetence at protecting users from potentially infected donors -- and learns that, in some cases, similar problems continue. PBS.

Cable

* "Full Eclipse" (8-9:45 p.m., HBO) -- This is one of the most violent telemovies ever made -- yet, as mature horror films go, also is relatively intelligent, interesting and full of strong special effects. Mario Van Peebles stars.

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