Melanie's power game

THERE are feel good movies and there are feel good movies with intelligence. Working Girl (Pearl, 9.30pm), thanks to director Mike Nichols, who was responsible for The Graduate and Catch-22, is just about one of the latter. It received a bucketful of Academy Award nominations but left the presentations almost empty handed in 1988, because Rain Man was more earnest and dealt with the kind of charitable social themes Hollywood likes to pat itself firmly on the back for. The only Oscar Working Girl picked up was for Carly Simon's title song, Let The River Run.

It is unashamedly a star vehicle for Melanie Griffith, but also gives Harrison Ford the chance to grin 1,001 grins as he gets successfully to grips with some light comedy, while Sigourney Weaver turns in a decent performance as Griffith's sly and calculating boss.

Griffith is Tess McGill, an industrious secretary at a brokerage firm who longs to break out of the secretarial mold and make a name for herself. She has an idea for putting together a big deal and confides in Weaver, only to find out later that her bosshas been moving ahead with the idea without giving her credit.

From here on in Working Girl is a buoyant ''good girl against bad girl'' story dotted with tension, humour and romance (in the form of Ford as Jack Trainer, an outside deal-maker who happens to be Weaver's lover).

The performances are spot on and everything turns out fine for Tess, as we knew all along it would. For those of you with an interest in things trivial, the secretaries in the ladies room are played by Gail Bearden and Melba LaRose. Working Girl later became a television series.

ANY film set in a Midwestern town called Centreville has to have its tongue firmly wedged in its cheek. Strange Invaders (World, 9.30pm) is indeed a spoof and not a bad one. In the mid-1950s a UFO arrives, giving off a strange blue glow and inhabitants disappear. Thirty years later Charles Bigelow (Paul LeMat) decides to find out what happened. On another trivial note, think about this as you are watching: Strange Invaders measures 2,523 metres in length, or 8,356 feet, which means it would just about stretch across Hong Kong Harbour.


THANKFULLY Dead Run (World, 1.40am) is a little shorter, but provides a sobering lesson in what can happen when you follow your better half down a dark country lane. Markie Post does so and sees her husband (Michael Beck), a monstrous thug, murder hismistress. She cannot go to the law because sheriff Harv Bitterman (James Gammon) is also a monstrous thug, so she escapes in her car, crashes and wakes up in the arms of Robert Urich.

THE world is still enthralled by Tutankhamun, the Egyptian boy-king who died a few thousand years ago, give or take a hundred. The Pharoah Awakes (World, 8.30pm) examines the theory that the boy-king's tomb may have been protected by a curse, a theoryfuelled by the sudden death of Lord Canarvon and the miserable final years of Howard Carter, the men who discovered the tomb 72 years ago. New evidence indicates Canarvon's death may have been caused by radioactive minerals or long-dormant microbes reactivated by opening the tomb. This is more plausible, but less interesting.

The series is written and presented by Christopher Frayling, professor of cultural history at the Royal College of Art in London, and features some excellent archive film.

SOMETIMES it seems good old Clint Eastwood has been around as long as Tutankhamun, yet he is still going strong as he showed in In The Line Of Fire recently. Clint Eastwood (Pearl, 8.30pm) zooms in on the man himself, his friends and his colleagues.