By John Mulderig Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of April 3. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Sunday, April 3, noon-1:45 p.m. EDT (TCM) "On Moonlight Bay" (1951). Pleasant nostalgia from Booth Tarkington's "Penrod" stories about a 1917 Indiana family whose bemused parents (Leon Ames and Rosemary DeCamp) try to keep up with their mischievous grade-school son and his big sister (Doris Day), who's in love with the college boy (Gordon MacRae) across the street. Director Roy Del Ruth relaxes with the mundane distractions of small-town life, the sweet innocence of period songs and the uncertain course of young love. Undemanding family entertainment. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Sunday, April 3, 1:57-4:57 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Outbreak" (1995). As a deadly, highly contagious African virus tears through a California town, a team of government virologists (Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Spacey) race against time to produce an antidote before their military superiors (Donald Sutherland and Morgan Freeman) solve the containment problem by vaporizing the entire town. Despite some irrational behavior by several characters, director Wolfgang Petersen's action-packed medical thriller builds considerable suspense as the ominously realistic scenario unfolds. Some military violence, shots of diseased victims and intermittent rough language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Tuesday, April 5, 8-10:10 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "Selma" (2014). A crucial battle in the long struggle for African-American equality is compellingly recreated in director Ava DuVernay fact-based drama. With the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act behind him, President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) is anxious to concentrate on promoting the economic measures of his Great Society program. But the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) is equally determined to secure long-overdue access to the ballot for minority voters in the South. With Alabama, under its implacably segregationist governor, George Wallace (Tim Roth), continuing to resist such reform, Rev. King agrees to lead a long protest march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. Screenwriter Paul Webb intersperses the inspiring rhetoric of the time with behind-the-scenes insights into heated debates over strategy among Rev. King and his associates, the constant threat of violence under which they were forced to live as well as the emotional burden placed on Rev. King's wife, Coretta (Carmen Ejogo), by her spouse's numerous infidelities. Given its historical value, the film is possibly acceptable for mature adolescents. Some harsh violence, an adultery theme, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, a couple of rough terms, occasional crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Thursday, April 7, 8-10:15 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Planet of the Apes" (1968). Charlton Heston plays the leader of a space expedition who lands his craft on an unnamed planet in the constellation of Orion where he discovers a civilization of apes trying to domesticate a species of human beings. Director Franklin J. Schaffner's entertaining screen version of Pierre Boulle's novel is an allegorical warning to a destruction-prone world. Some violence and mature themes. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was G -- general audiences. All Ages Admitted.
Saturday, April 9, 8-11:44 p.m. EDT (ABC) "The Ten Commandments" (1956). Less an inspirational story based on biblical sources than a dramatic vehicle with a sense of history, director Cecil B. DeMille's epic production offers some spectacular re-creations, excellent technical effects and good acting from a fine cast, including Charlton Heston (as Moses), Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson and many other stars of the era. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating was G -- general audiences. All ages admitted.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.