Tom Cruise showed he had ‘All the Right Moves’ early on

Paramount+ offers one of superstar's first starring roles

Tom Cruise in “All the Right Moves”

“Risky Business” had opened a couple of months earlier, but Tom Cruise still was at an early stage of his career when he appeared in the earnest 1983 drama “All the Right Moves,” currently streaming on Paramount+. He’s immensely watchable as a gifted high school football player with hopes of getting a scholarship that would lift him out of the limited opportunities in his steel town, but conflict with his ambitious coach (Craig T. Nelson) gets him kicked off the team and apparently dashes his dreams.

Also in an early role, Lea Thompson is charming as Cruise’s devoted girlfriend, who knows that encouraging him to keep after his goal could mean losing him. Made by Lucille Ball’s company (her then-husband, Gary Morton is credited as executive producer), the picture also includes such fine character actors as Chris Penn and Charles Cioffi in its cast.

Other Retro Rewinds:

“The Brady Bunch” (MeTV, Sunday, Nov. 21): Even if this iconic sitcom didn’t position itself openly as an examination of the modern battle of the sexes, some of its episodes lent itself to that notion. A case in point: “The Liberation of Marcia Brady,” in which the title character (Maureen McCormick) meets stepbrother Greg’s (Barry Williams) challenge to prove that girls can do anything boys can. To do so, she joins his Frontier Scouts troop.

“Million Dollar Baby” (Netflix, streaming): Leaving the service at the end of the month, the 2004 drama that earned Hilary Swank her second Oscar as best actress also is a solid example of Clint Eastwood’s skill as a director. In that job, he also won an Academy Award for the story of a boxer who wants the help of a reluctant, veteran trainer (Eastwood). Morgan Freeman was given an Oscar as well for the deeply moving picture.

“Kojak” (getTV, Monday, Nov. 22): Relatively new to the channel’s lineup, the Telly Savalas-starring police drama enlisted a stellar guest cast for the two-part episode “A Question of Answers,” in which the New York police detective recruits a troubled longtime friend to help get the goods on a loan shark. Eli Wallach, Jerry Orbach, Michael V. Gazzo, later Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham (“Amadeus”) and Charles Kimbrough (“Murphy Brown”) are featured.

“Robin and the Seven Hoods” (Turner Classic Movies, Friday, Nov. 26): The last of the “Rat Pack’s” fun-oriented screen ventures, this enjoyable 1964 gangster spoof offers the pleasure of three entertainment icons — Frank Sinatra (who also produced the picture, during what was a particularly tumultuous period in his life), Dean Martin and Bing Crosby — singing together. On his own, Sinatra introduced his song standard “My Kind of Town” (referring to the setting, Chicago) toward the film’s end.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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