In his post-Rocky and pre-Rambo years, Sylvester Stallone was hard pressed to find another hit film. F.I.S.T. (World, 1.15am) proved to be a valiant effort that fell short of the mark. In director Norman Jewison's 145-minute epic, Stallone plays Johnny Kovak, a young truck driver during the American Depression who is disillusioned with the lack of security within his industry. Enamoured by the idea of unions which were just in their infancy, Kovak grasps the concept wholeheartedly and joins in the violent struggle for unionisation of the industry. An early meeting with a mobster (Tony Lo Bianco) engineers Kovak's success as he rises within the ranks of F.I.S.T., the fictitious Federation of Interstate Truckers, to eventually gain the top spot. The association would also prove to be his downfall. Loosely based on the life of former Teamster's leader Jimmy Hoffa who mysteriously disappeared, the film draws comparisons to the classic On the Waterfront which was filmed a quarter century earlier. Rod Steiger puts in one of his usually strong performances as the United States senator who threatens to expose Kovak's corruption. In retrospectives of Stallone's film career, F.I.S.T. will show it to be one of his better efforts. Steve Martin is another actor who has suffered from a rather chequered film career. Unable to capitalise on such massive hits as Roxanne, Martin then relies on his box-office bankability to deliver a string of flops. Grand Canyon (World, 9.30pm) was one of them. In Lawrence (The Big Chill ) Kasdan's film about deep soul-searching California style, Martin plays Davis, a film producer who is uneasy with the weirdness of his Los Angeles surroundings. His friend Mack (Kevin Kline), an immigration lawyer, is equally uneasy and obsessed with the fragility of life. Through associations with friends and a chance meeting with another lost soul in the form of a black tow-truck driver (Danny Glover), the characters find they have much in common despite their differences. However, the plot is just a little too hard to believe. More believable are the characters in State of Grace (Pearl, 9.30pm), a gritty tale about New York's tough Hell's Kitchen. Returning to his old neighbourhood after an absence of many years, Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) finds things have changed. Once a stronghold of Irish immigrants, the area is now threatened by the mafia, outside developers and a new violent breed of Irish gangsters. Reunited with his childhood friend Jackie Flannery (Gary Oldham - excellent in one of his trademark scumbag roles), Terry goes to work for Frankie Flannery, Jackie's older brother, the neighbourhood's most powerful racketeer. A further twist is added when Terry falls for the Flannerys' sister (Robin Wright - Mrs Sean Penn in real life). The sting is that Terry is really an undercover cop infiltrating the neighbourhood. For years, many critics have voted Plan 9 From Outer Space the dubious distinction of worst film ever made. Cabin Boy (HBO, 3pm) is a serious challenger to this dishonour. Considered a comedy, Chris Elliot plays a rich toff who mistakes a fishing boat for a yacht. The crew take their revenge by making Elliot work on the boat as a deckhand. The film is memorable for David Letterman's big-screen debut - however the talk show funny man does nothing to further his reputation by proving he is no actor.