Tougher editing would have improved this over-long (nearly three hours) sob opera based on the best-selling novel by Sidney Sheldon. John Beck (Audrey Rose) is sufficiently reprehensible as a caddish World War II pilot and Susan Sarandon splendid as his victimized wife. But French actress Marie-France Pisier (Cousin Cousine) is exhausting as the vengeful sexual predator Noelle Page. She pants through a sequence of graphic love scenes that border embarrassingly on the comic. It's enough to give heavy breathing a bad name. (R)

Prizewinning (Cannes and Berlin) Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura gives his lady, Geraldine Chaplin, her most pleasing and moving role to date—an antidote to her abrasive parts in Nashville and Welcome to L.A.—as the fatally ill mother of 9-year-old Ana Torrent. The story unfolds in one sun-dappled summer of childhood, moving gracefully between tragedy and lyricism. In Spanish with subtitles. (PG)

Gloriously directed by George Lucas (his first since American Graffiti), this mind-bending space fantasy incorporates Flash Gordon, 2001, Planet of the Apes and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and tops them with enough ingenious special effects (laser sabers, holographic recordings, air cars) to animate an Arthur C. Clarke anthology. Carrie Fisher (Eddie and Debby's daughter), Mark Hamill and Alec Guinness lead the good rebels against the evil Galactic Empire, abetted by a Laurel & Hardy team of robots. It's magic. (PG)