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Family Movie Guide

November 29, 1996

This guide includes "family films," potential blockbusters, and movies that might interest young people. Only films with G ratings are tagged as all-family fare by Hollywood. Most have stronger MPAA ratings that call for extra alertness from parents. The Family Movie Guide and the Monitor's more-comprehensive Freeze Frames movie guide appear on alternate Fridays.

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Star ratings from Monitor film critic David Sterritt precede the film credits. Those from a staff panel of at least three viewers follow the credits. Our ratings indicate the overall quality of movies, not their suitability for children.

o Forget It

* Poor

** Fair

*** Good

**** Excellent


*** Directed by Stephen Herek. With Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson. Running time: 100 minutes.

PLOT Obsessed with furry garments, an evil clothing manufacturer has her accomplices steal 101 dalmatians so she can make a coat from their hides.

MESSAGE People can be more unfeeling than animals, but dogged determination by right-thinking humans and canines can save the day.


VIOLENCE Several scenes involving mostly comic violence directed at either dogs or people.


** Directed by Joe Pytka. With Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle, Danny DeVito. Running time: 100 minutes. **

PLOT The owner of an outer-space theme park kidnaps Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters, and they enlist Michael Jordan to help them in a basketball match that will free them if they win.

MESSAGE Different kinds of "people" can work together and solve problems.

SEX A little innuendo.

VIOLENCE Several scenes of comic fighting.

PROFANITY A few vulgar expressions.



*** Directed by Trevor Nunn. With Ben Kingsley, Helena Bonham Carter, Nigel Hawthorne, Imogen Stubbs. Running time: 125 minutes. ***

PLOT A young woman is separated from her twin brother in the mythical country of Illyria, and she disguises herself as a man to get a job as servant in the household of a lovelorn duke.

MESSAGE Relations between people of different genders, classes, and personalities can be amusingly complex, but all's well that ends well.

SEX Some innuendo.

VIOLENCE Some swordplay and other action material.



*** Directed by Nicholas Hytner. With Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, Bruce Davison, Jeffrey Jones, Rob Campbell. Running time: 123 minutes.

PLOT Caught having a wild party in the woods, several girls in 17th-century Salem blame the devil for their crimes. They try to strengthen their defense by accusing many women in their town of witchcraft and consorting with the forces of evil.

MESSAGE Hysteria, scapegoating, and bigotry may take self-righteous forms claiming that all truth and virtue are on their side.

SEX Erotic dancing and a major subplot about adultery.

VIOLENCE An atmosphere of physical and emotional violence, and views of awful punishment inflicted on those who don't cooperate with the demands of the authorities.


DRUGS/ALCOHOL Intoxication at the illicit festival in the woods.


* Directed by Barbra Streisand. With Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, Lauren Bacall, George Segal. Running time: 126 minutes. ***

PLOT A male professor asks a female professor to join him in a platonic relationship so he can have companionship while concentrating on his work. But she finds herself falling totally in love with him.