Hanks made a splash early


Watch USA tonight and be reminded that Tom Hanks was making fine films even before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began showering him with praise.

"Brightest and Best: Saluting Excellence in Education" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., repeats 2 p.m.-2: 30 p.m. Sunday, WMAR, Channel 2) -- Keith Cate and Sandra Pinckney serve as hosts for this look at some of Maryland's top graduating high school seniors, including Sabita Krishman of Severna Park Senior High, Joseph Lee of Gilman, Patrick Moulding of Howard High and Constance Warren of Laurence G. Paquin High.

"Dateline NBC" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Correspondent Bob McKeown looks at the issue of police officers remaining on the job (and the payroll) while charged with brutality or misconduct -- even while their victims are being paid millions of dollars in legal judgments. NBC.

"CPW" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WUSA, Channel 9) -- It's showdown time for Dianna and Linda (Raquel Welch and Lauren Hutton), as the former "Central Park West" ends its summer run -- most likely never to be heard from again. CBS.

"Man of a Thousand Faces" (11 p.m.-12: 20 a.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- There's not a whole lot of truth in this biopic of silent screen legend Lon Chaney, but who cares? James Cagney as Chaney is a joy, and Chaney himself was a fascinating character.


"Monty Python's Flying Circus" (6 p.m.-6: 30 p.m., Comedy Central) -- Shedding light on a little-known chapter of world history, the boys tell the tale of Nazi Germany's efforts to come up with its own killer joke, a joke so funny even a single word of it has been known to send people to the hospital. Something about a dog not having a nose

"Big" (7 p.m.-9: 10 p.m.) and "Splash" (9: 10 p.m.-11: 10 p.m., USA) -- Before he became America's favorite two-time Oscar winner, Tom Hanks' movie career was a bit spotty (of course, any resume that includes "Bonfire of the Vanities" might be considered more than a bit spotty). Here are his two best early films, as he portrays first a young boy suddenly thrust into an adult's body, then a hapless food wholesaler who falls in love with a mermaid. Both are wonderful films, and Hanks is nothing if not charming.

Pub Date: 6/28/96

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