Picks and Pans Review: Take Me Home Again

updated 12/19/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Sun., Dec. 18, 9 p.m. ET)

A

Dying but still surprisingly feisty, an old man (Kirk Douglas) summons his prodigal son (Craig T. Nelson), a former hippie and draft dodger who has avoided all contact with his family for 20 years. Douglas has a final request: he wants his son to drive him across the country so he can die in the house where he was born. Simple enough, right?

Thus begins an odd odyssey. As Nelson explains to his sister (Lee Garlington) on the phone, "The old man...wanted to see a few windmills from his youth. It's Don Quixote on acid." Amid all the sparring and bantering, the estranged men learn a lot from and about each other on their circuitous migration.

The script from sentimental playwright Ernest Thompson (On Golden Pond) stumbles into some contrivances, but most of the time it treads a sure path between comic and touching. The principal actors do a fine job, as does the supporting cast, which includes Eileen Brennan, Richard Gilliland, Bonnie Bartlett and Bess Armstrong.

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