Picks and Pans Review: Down on the Waterfront

updated 07/11/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Check local listings)

A

This bizarro short, the season opener for the avant-garde PBS film series Alive TV, was nominated for an Oscar last year. Ed Asner plays an apocryphal leader of the longshoremen's union in the '50s with a very bent ax to grind. He lakes a meeting on a park bench with a couple of Hollywood hangers-on (Jason Alexander and Jonathan Penner) who are willing to say or do anything to get Asner to bankroll a film.

This satire is delightfully absurd and niftily acted. You also get to hear Asner use language Lou Grant wouldn't utter if he were accidentally handcuffed to Ted Baxter.

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