Monthly Movie guide

The following summaries of current, widely shown films are provided to help readers plan what to see. Inclusion of a movie does not imply Monitor endorsement. Further description is often supplied in articles on the arts-entertainment pages. The Movie Guide appears on the third Thursday of each month.m

AMOR BANDIDO - Cautionary but visually explicit thriller, with overtones of social realism, about a policeman's daughter who gets sexually and emotionally involved with a psychopathic killer. Directed by Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Barretto. (Not rated; contains sex and violence.)

COME BACK TO THE 5 AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN - Near the Texas town where ''Giant'' was filmed, members of a fan club mark the 20th anniversary of James Dean's death, and we learn something lurid about almost everyone. Sensitively directed by Robert Altman from an uneven and sometimes sensationalistic script by Ed Graczyk. (Rated R; contains vulgar language and sexual discussion.)

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CREEPSHOW - Like the old ''horror comics'' it mimics, this heavily written and directed black comedy includes several fantastic yarns, ranging from the intermittently suspenseful to the merely gross. Directed by George A. Romero, the trivial film is from from a script by Stephen King. (Rated R; contains violence and vulgar language.)

DIVA - Fast and furious thriller about a young music fan who secretly records a performance by his favorite prima donna, a gaggle of cops and robbers who think his tape holds criminal evidence, and some crazed capitalists who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the real opera recording. Directed by French newcomer Jean-Claude Beineix with lots of style, it avoids sensationalism except for a little nudity and some violence near the end.

EATING RAOUL - Cannibalistic comedy about a bourgeois couple who are more shocked by sex than by murder. Directed by Paul Bartel. (Rated R; contains cartoonish sex and violence, and vulgar language.)

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL - Lost on the planet Earth, a friendly spaceman becomes the secret pal of a little boy, who can't believe his own good fortune. A grade-school version of ''Close Encounters of the Third Kind,'' directed by Steven Spielberg with lots of wit in the first half, but too much artificial emotion in the long climax, which leads to a resolution right out of ''Peter Pan.'' (Rated PG; contains a little vulgar language and a sci-fi medical sequence.)

FITZCARRALDO - An obsessive music lover tries to strike it rich in South America so he can realize his dream of building an opera house in the jungles of Peru. Directed by West German filmmaker Werner Herzog, who neatly pulls off the great physical stunts at the heart of the film, but neglects the flow and logic of the movie as a whole. (Rated PG; contains a bit of violence and a character who runs a brothel.)

FIVE DAYS ONE SUMMER - Sean Connery plays a middle-aged Scottish doctor who appears to be having a happy vacation in the Swiss Alps with his young wife but is actually caught in a relationship fraught with strains and secrets. Directed by Fred Zinnemann with consistent taste and artistry despite some touchy subject matter. (Rated PG; contains an unconventional sexual relationship.)

LEAP INTO THE VOID - Ambitious but gnarled drama about an emotionally disturbed woman and the people around her. Directed by Marco Bellocchio. (Not rated; contains nudity and some scatological detail.)

MISSIONARY, THE - Hilarity battles bad taste to a standoff in this British comedy about a clergyman assigned to save ''fallen women.'' Directed by Richard Loncraine from a screenplay by star Michael Palin. (Rated R; contains much sexual innuendo.)

MY FAVORITE YEAR - Sharp jokes and clever sight gags rub elbows with cheap humor and low slapstick in this comedy about a dissolute movie star preparing to appear on a 1950s TV show. Directed by Richard Benjamin. (Rated PG; contains vulgar language, drunkenness, and a bit of sexual innuendo.)

OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, AN - Except for its realistically rotten language and sexual activity, this is a surprisingly old-fashioned military drama about a young man dragged into maturity by a tough-but-kindly drill sergeant. The training and growing-up scenes are very effective. But the movie also wants to be a love story, and here it sinks into trite and sometimes distasteful formulas. Directed by Taylor Hackford. (Rated R; contains vulgar language and nudity.)

ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR, THE - A world-famous conductor returns to his native Poland in Andrzej Wajda's earnest but languid drama starring a Polish-dubbed John Gielgud. (Not rated.)

SMITHEREENS - As deliriously tacky as its subject and milieu, Susan Seidelman's funk-punk comedy dogs the trail of a New York new-waver who's determined to invade the rock scene. (Not rated; contains vulgar language.)

SOPHIE'S CHOICE - Harrowing but humanistic drama, set in 1947, about a young writer who gets involved with a non-Semitic survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp and her brilliant but unstable Jewish boyfriend. Written and directed by Alan J. Pakula, who eliminates much of the sensationalism and sexual detail of the original novel by William Styron. (Rated R; contains vulgar language, sexual innuendo, and Nazi war crimes.)

STARSTRUCK - Noisy, messy, energetic musical about a young woman determined to make a splash on the Australian pop-music scene. Directed by Gillian Armstrong in a manic style that's worlds away from the restraint of her last picture, ''My Brilliant Career.'' (Not rated; contains nudity.)

STILL OF THE NIGHT - A psychiatrist gets involved with an enigmatic woman who may have murdered one of his patients. Directed by Robert Benton with visual elegance and comparative restraint, considering the harrowing subject matter, but far too dependent on tricks borrowed from Alfred Hitchcock classics. (Rated PG; contains some violence and a moment of nudity.)

TEX - Sensitive, moving, intelligent drama of a teen-age boy who wants to grow up but isn't sure how to go about it. The plot, adapted from S. E. Hinton's popular novel, follows the title character through several adventures, touching on difficult topics including drugs and tentative sex but maintaining a tasteful and responsible attitude in every scene. Directed with tact and insight by newcomer Tim Hunter for Walt Disney productions. (Rated PG; contains some violence and mildly vulgar language.)

THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON - Five men lurch uncomfortably into middle age, sustained by nothing more substantial than memories of a great year on their high-school basketball team. Written and directed by Jason Miller, who has extended the scope of his successful Broadway play without adding to its skimpy insights. (Rated R; contains vulgar language.)

TOY, THE - Botched comedy about a spoiled little boy who is offered any toy he wants, and insists on ''owning'' a human being. The director, Richard Donner, aims for high comedy and social commentary, and completely misses the mark on both. (Rated PG; contains vulgar language.)

VERDICT, THE - Paul Newman gives what may be the performance of his career as a down-and-out lawyer who risks what's left of his practice to take a courageous stand on a difficult case. Sensitively directed by Sidney Lumet from a screenplay by David Mamet that is flawed only by some bumpy spots near the beginning and end. (Rated R; contains some vulgar language and a few medical details.)

VERONIKA VOSS - Glowingly filmed but often sordid ''Sunset Boulevard''-type melodrama about a faded movie star in the clutches of a doctor (symbolizing the worst aspects of capitalism) who artificially eases her Angst. Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, as the centerpiece of his trilogy on postwar economic life in West Germany, shortly before his untimely passing last June. (Rated R; contains references to sex and drugs.)

WINTER OF OUR DREAMS - Muted drama about a young book dealer who meets a prostitute while investigating the death of a old friend from his Vietnam-war-protest days. Sensitively directed by Australian filmmaker John Duigan, despite the occasionally rough subject matter. (Not rated; contains some nudity and vulgar language.)

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