A slate with plenty of links to the past


Two weeks after Wimbledon tennis, Saturday morning again brings live sports action weighty with English tradition. At night, movies offer the most interest -- including lengthy classics from American mythology.

* "British Open" (10 a.m.-2 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Golf's oldest tournament, launched in 1860, enters the third round at the game's oldest links: the Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Oddly enough, a former champion is drawing the most attention. Arnold Palmer, winner in 1961 and 1962, launched his round Thursday by announcing this would be his final British Open. ABC.

* "The Last Days of Russell" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- A network special with all the signs of an unsuccessful pilot, this show is described as offering a look at "an African-American family experience from the point of view of a 13-year-old boy." Russell (Yohance Serrant) worries he is about to die because his namesake uncle died at 14. ABC.

* "How the West Was Won" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Well, it's the quintessential Hollywood account, anyway. This 1963 hit was filmed in "Cinerama" and filled the wide screen with John Wayne, James Stewart and Gregory Peck in a three-generations tale about taming the frontier. The network will show the film in the "letterbox" wide-screen format to capture its original scope. NBC.

* "The Adventures of Huck Finn" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Great book, poor movies. That's pretty much the film record on Mark Twain's classic, and this 1993 treatment from Disney did not change things. Elijah Wood stars as the bright but disadvantaged youngster who sees things more clearly than most adults. ABC.


* "Special of the Week: The Wing Will Fly" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., The Discovery Channel) -- This documentary tells one of the most unusual stories of aviation history, the quest for a "flying wing," a plane without a conventional nose or tail. Envisioned from early days, it was not realized until development of the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

* "Once Upon a Time in America" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., A&E; Network) -- Long after dealing ruthlessly with the myths of the epic frontier in "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1969) and his earlier "spaghetti westerns," director Sergio Leone turned to the gangster tradition with this gritty portrait of Jewish crime families in New York. With Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern and Treat Williams.

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