October 01, 1984 12:00 PM

CBS (Monday, Oct. 1, 9 p.m. ET)

This is the way movies should be made for TV. Richard (Table for Five) Crenna plays a man with two women: the wonderful Joanne Woodward as his socialite wife in Beverly Hills and the surprisingly good Lindsay (Jessie) Wagner as his mistress who’s kept in a beach mansion in Malibu. Each has a child by him. Then Crenna dies and the two women fight—with fists, even—at his funeral. “You were something to play with, like his boats and his cars!” Woodward screeches at Wagner. “We played for eight years,” Wagner replies, “and I have a 6-year-old son to show for it!” Crenna, the crumb, left nothing for that son, and Woodward at first refuses to acknowledge his cute little existence. That is the central conflict, and it works. There’s drama here and rich human interaction. And there’s fine direction that highlights the entire cast, from Woodward and Wagner and Crenna to their children, Heather Langenkamp and young R.J. Williams, to wry Viveca (The Way We Were) Lindfors as Wagner’s best friend. Passions is a movie worth paying $5 to see in a theater. You get it free.

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