November 02, 1998 12:00 PM

ABC (Sun., Nov. 1, 9 p.m. ET)

This Oprah Winfrey Presents TV movie, a thoughtful remake of Frank Perry’s acclaimed 1962 film about two emotionally disturbed teens who fall in love, offers three riveting performances. Lukas Haas (Witness), in the Keir Dullea role, is David, a hostile loner who detests being touched by anyone, and Brittany Murphy (profiled on page 127) reprises Janet Margolin’s part as the sweetly childlike Lisa, who speaks only in rhyme. Both are achingly believable, but it’s Sidney Poitier’s sensitive portrayal of the boarding-school psychiatrist who slowly earns David’s trust that firmly anchors the drama in reality. At 71, Poitier is as charismatic as ever.

Bottom Line: A case study in how to rejuvenate a screen classic

Terry Kelleher is on vacation.

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