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Monthly Movie guide

August 18, 1983



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 the month.

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ANGELO MY LOVE - Robert Duvall wrote and directed this astonishingly vivid picture about a young gypsy boy and his family, with a cast of real New York Gypsies playing themselves in the framework of a fictional plot about a feud over a stolen ring. After a few weak moments near the beginning, it's a colorful , deeply engaging, and relentlessly dramatic movie, with some of the most unpredictable performances ever captured on film. (Not rated; contains a little vulgar language and some dissolute behavior.)

BLUE THUNDER - It's all action, little brain in this urban western about a helicopter-flying policeman battling a murderous rival and undoing a nasty political plot. The screenplay reaches pallidly for social significance, but director John Badham cuts to the chase whenever the story threatens to mean something. (Rated R; contains violence, vulgar language, and a little nudity.)

DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT, THE - Period romance about an artist who mingles amorous intrigue with a professional project. Directed by Peter Greenaway with a sense of structure that's as important to the film's effect as the story and characters. (Rated R; contains some violence and scatological detail.)

FANNY AND ALEXANDER - In what he says will be his last film, Ingmar Bergman explores the life of a provincial Swedish family in 1907, approaching his very personal material with a mixture of insight, humor, and curious detachment. Though too long, sometimes vulgar, and surprisingly uneven in its inspiration, the result is perhaps the most Dickensian drama ever filmed: crowded, colorful, and compelling. (Rated R; contains sexual activity and bathroom humor.)

FLASHDANCE - Punchy, cleverly stylized, but utterly empty yarn about a feisty young woman who welds by day, disco-dances by night, and dreams of the day when she can devote her life to her art. Directed by Adrian Lyne, who cares more about the frazzled musical numbers than the story, characters, or anything else. (Rated R; contains nudity and vulgar language.)

GREY FOX, THE - A gentle, picturesque Western set at the turn of the century, about a crusty old thief who goes back to his nefarious ways after a long stretch in the pen. Richard Farnsworth's starring performance is the picture's reason for being, though Canadian filmmaker Phillip Borsos has directed it with a good eye for mood, atmosphere, and telling detail. (Rated PG; contains a little violence and has a rather accepting attitude toward the misdeeds of its ''hero.'')

I MARRIED A SHADOW - Mildly suspenseful French yarn about a young mother involved in a case of mistaken identity. Directed by Robin Davis with some imagination but a rather heavy hand. (Not rated; contains a little violence and implied sex.)

KRULL - Mix and match the romance, adventure, and howling cliches in this ragingly old-fashioned yarn about a prince trying to rescue his beloved from the clutches of a monster on some faraway planet. Directed by Peter Yates, who at least has the courage to take the material straight, without condescending or camping it up. (Rated PG; contains violence of the sword-swinging and fang-bearing variety.)

LA NUIT DE VARENNES - Colorful, often amusing, sometimes vulgar historical romp about the waning days of the French aristocracy, which is represented by the aging Casanova. Directed, in French, by Ettore Scola. (Rated R; contains some nudity and sex-related dialogue.)

L'ETOILE DU NORD - ''North Star'' is the American title of this dull drama about a middle-aged man and woman involved in murder. Directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre with the lethargy that often mars his work. (Not rated; contains some sexual innuendo.)