NBC (Mon., June 23, 8 p.m. ET)
Before the opening credits even finish rolling, you hear lines like this: “Flaubert is right. Art is the only answer.” And: “Oh, my dear friend, if you tore my breast open, you’d find that question etched deep in my heart.” This three-hour movie about the building of the Statue of Liberty comes off as pretentious as a high school sophomore trying to act like a college freshman. Frank Langella is Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who is said to have designed Liberty with the body of his love (played by Corine Touzot) and, the show hints, the face of his nagging mom (played by Claire Bloom). Chris (Dog Day Afternoon) Sarandon, wearing an incessantly neurotic face, is Jack Marchand, a coppersmith and a friend of Carrie Fisher as poet Emma Lazarus, whose words adorn the Lady’s pedestal. Fine. You have all the lofty motivation of Hands Across America, with some history and art thrown in. But Miss Liberty herself ends up looking more lifelike than any of the people who created her.