Flannery O'Connor is seen in this 1962 photo. The TV show "Flannery" airs March 23, 2021, at 8 p.m. EDT on PBS. CNS photo/AP Photo, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Joe McTyre via PBS
Flannery O'Connor is seen in this 1962 photo. The TV show "Flannery" airs March 23, 2021, at 8 p.m. EDT on PBS. CNS photo/AP Photo, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Joe McTyre via PBS
NEW YORK – The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of March 21. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.

Sunday, March 21, 8-10 a.m. EDT (Showtime) "The Babe" (1992). Sprawling saga of baseball great George Herman "Babe" Ruth (John Goodman) from his youth in a home for "incorrigibles" through his exploits on and off the field to his final turn at bat in 1935. Directed by Arthur Miller, the emphasis is less on Ruth's record-setting career than on the simple-minded character whose antics and indiscretions made him one of the era's more colorful personalities. Discreet treatment of infidelity, a bedroom scene and some coarse language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II – adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG – parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

Tuesday, March 23, 8-9:30 p.m. EDT (PBS) "Flannery" (2020). The brief but remarkable life of Catholic author Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) is recounted and celebrated in this admiring documentary. Filmmakers Elizabeth Coffman and Jesuit Father Mark Bosco marshal home movies, archival television footage and interviews with the writer's friends and relatives to evoke her fiercely held faith and wickedly clever imagination. While their film, in which actress Mary Steenburgen voices O'Connor, may lack the tang of her Southern Gothic novels and short stories, viewers unfamiliar with her work will be motivated to explore it while established fans will appreciate the chance to pay an extended visit to the picturesque farm near Milledgeville, Georgia, to which the illness that eventually caused her early death long confined her. Analysis of one of her tales involving a serial killer and another in which a hermaphrodite plays a central role suggests a mature audience. Probably acceptable for older adolescents. Images of violence, references to sexuality, fleeting crass language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association. (An "American Masters" presentation.)

Thursday, March 25, 8-11 p.m. EDT (TCM) "My Fair Lady" (1964). Screen version of the Lerner and Loewe musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion," in which an egotistical professor (Rex Harrison) makes a bet that he can transform the Cockney speech and manners of a London flower girl (Audrey Hepburn) well enough for her to pass for a lady at the upcoming Royal Ball. Predictably, it is not always the professor who gives the lessons. George Cukor's nimble direction, Cecil Beaton's stunning sets and costumes, the charming performances and the wonderful music add up to splendid family entertainment. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I – general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating was G – general patronage. All ages admitted.

Friday, March 26, 7-10 p.m. EDT (AMC) "Forrest Gump" (1994). Inspired by the faith his mother (Sally Field) has in him, a slow-witted Southerner (Tom Hanks) becomes a football All-American, Vietnam hero and millionaire entrepreneur, despite intermittent rejection by his troubled, lifelong friend and sweetheart (Robin Wright). Director Robert Zemeckis' big-hearted love story cleverly incorporates gimmicks into the narrative without ever losing focus on the emotional and spiritual development of the title character. A few discreet bedroom scenes, some intense battlefield violence, fleeting drug use and an instance of rough language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Friday, March 26, 8-10 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Places in the Heart" (1984). Sally Field plays a young widow struggling to keep her family together and her integrity intact after her husband's death in rural Texas during the Depression. Under Robert Benton's direction, Field's performance winningly conveys a character of strong faith and goodwill in the face of adversity. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II – adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG – parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.  

Saturday, March 27, 8-9:40 p.m. EDT (Cinemax) "Ouija: Origin of Evil" (2016). In 1967 Los Angeles, a middle-aged widow (Elizabeth Reaser) who earns her living as a bogus medium and her two daughters (Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson), both of whom help with the act, find themselves dealing with genuinely supernatural events after they purchase a Ouija board, and the spirit they unleash takes possession of the younger girl. The family is aided in their struggle by that rarest of Hollywood figures, a sympathetic priest (Henry Thomas). Yet neither the presence of the amiable clergyman nor the restraint director and co-writer Mike Flanagan shows in keeping the blood flow to a minimum can compensate for this prequel's muddled backstory or the increasingly nonsensical behavior of its characters. Possibly acceptable for older teens, though only if all potential for real-life interaction with the titular device – which experience has proven to be spiritually dangerous – is precluded. Occasional violence with slight gore, occult themes, underage drinking, an instance of mild irreverence, at least one use of profanity, a single crude and a couple of crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Saturday, March 27, 10-11:45 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Unforgettable" (2017). Feverish domestic drama in which an obsessive ex-wife (Katherine Heigl) conspires against her former husband's (Geoff Stults) fiancee (Rosario Dawson), eventually framing her rival for murder. Director Denise Di Novi keeps the pot boiling but, together with screenwriter Christina Hodson, throws in some unsavory and gratuitous ingredients that limit the appeal of her film even for those with a taste for cinematic junk food. Occasional violence with some gore, cohabitation, strong sexual content including graphic scenes of casual and premarital sexual activity, brief rear and partial nudity, about a half-dozen uses of rough language, a few crude terms, a mild oath. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was L – limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating was R – restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.