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TV highlights Aug. 24-30 

THE DUKE: All day.
  • THE DUKE: All day.

JOHN WAYNE MARATHON
All day Sunday, Aug. 27
Turner Classic Movies (Comcast Ch. 29)
What with America at war, the world going crazy, terrorists trying to blow up our airplanes and a retarded cowboy in the White House, there is something comforting to be found in the films of John Wayne. Throughout his career, Wayne consistently portrayed anybody’s version of the true-blue American; so much so that his name has become synonymous overseas with the bull-headedness Americans can exhibit when it comes to world affairs. Still — and even if you don’t agree with his kill-em-first-and-let-God-sort-em-out philosophies — you’ve got to admit: The guy was consistent. TCM rewards the faithful with an all-day dose of the Duke, including more than 15 films from his long and storied career. Highlights include 1942’s “The Flying Tigers,” 1949’s “Sands of Iwo Jima,” and the 1939 classic “Stagecoach.” Fire up the TiVo, get a hank of chaw and a bottle of Ol’ Rotgut, and set-tle in for some Wayne-sized action.

WIDE ANGLE: RANSOM CITY
9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)
While Latin America has more than its share of problems, recent years have brought a new kind of terror to the countries south of our border: organized kidnappers who torment, maim and even kill their hostages in the pursuit of small fortunes in ransom money. In response, South America’s wealthy have developed a siege-like mentality, surrounding themselves with bulletproof cars and small armies of bodyguards while protecting their finances with ransom-paying insurance policies. Here, filmmakers explore the kidnapping phenomenon in Brazil with a look inside an anti-kidnapping squad, interviews with hostage negotiators, and the details of what it took to stop a gang that specialized in abducting the mothers of some of the country’s greatest soccer stars.

P.O.V.: WAGING A LIVING
10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29
AETN (Comcast CH. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

While this writer and his family are firmly middle-class (OK, on the lower end of middle-class), we still have a hard enough time making it that we wonder how the working poor survive. Daycare, car payments, rent, food, clothing — it all adds up. And when you figure in the poor’s propensity for having more kids and often one parent trying to support the household — not to mention their need to make do with the worst in health care, nutrition, housing and transportation — you have the recipe for an American tragedy. Filmmakers with the award-winning documentary series P.O.V. follow the fortunes, falters and heartache of four work-ing-poor families
over three years.

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