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CLASSIC MOVIES ON TV

Camille (1936), TNT, noon Friday - Greta Garbo's performance as Dumas'ill-fated courtesan is still the best: more delicate than Greta Scacchi's in the 1984 television version, more realistic than silent predecessors Clara Kimball (1915), Theda Bara (1917) and Nazimova (1921). Garbo transcends the film, which in the words of Pauline Kael, "is luxuriant in its vulgarity; it achieves that glamor which MGM traditionally mistook for style." Camille is notable, nonetheless, for Garbo, George Cukor's direction and William Daniels' soft-focus photography.

The Country Girl (1954), SHO, 8:30 a.m. Saturday - An effective rendition of Clifford Odets' play about the wife of an alcoholic singer who blossoms when her husband makes a comeback. Grace Kelly won an Oscar for her lead. Bing Crosby was nominated for best actor as her spouse. Writer-director George Seaton won an Academy Award for his screenplay adaptation.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956), Ch. 44, noon Saturday - This is not as much a recommendation to see Godzilla as it is an opportunity to see Raymond Burr before his girth rivalled the fire-breathing monster's. Burr's scenes were spliced into the 1954 Japanese release Gojira in order to sell it in America. This tepid progenitor of Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, Godzilla vs. the Thing and King Kong vs. Godzilla tells how the prehistoric beast wreaks havoc on Tokyo after being awakened from its prehistoric slumber by

H-bomb explosions.

- HAL LIPPER

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