Picks and Pans Review: The Last Elephant

updated 08/20/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/20/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

TNT (Mon., Aug. 20, 8 P.M. ET)

A

In this beautifully photographed made-for-cable movie, Isabella Rossellini—she's luminous even when she's covered in mud—is in Africa trying to save elephants from poachers. The movie, produced by the National Audubon Society, is ripped from today's headlines, but the environmentalist story never gets preachy or bogs itself down in messages.

John Lithgow and James Earl Jones (who gave a fine performance in last week's TNT film Heat Wave) star as Rossellini's love interest and a police inspector, respectively. The three leads are in excellent form, and Tony Todd is equally fine as a Kenyan guide. There wasn't quite enough romance—tusk, tusk—but the gripping story more than makes up for it. And, guaranteed, you will never buy an ivory trinket again.

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