Ken Tucker
May 20, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

White Mile

Current Status
In Season
Alan Alda, Peter Gallagher
Robert Butler

We gave it a B

Alan Alda is having good luck on cable television these days. He follows up his hard-nosed performance as an unlikable AIDS researcher in HBO’s And the Band Played On with an equally effective performance as an equally disagreeable person in White Mile (HBO, May 21, 8-9:30 p.m.). It’s about a group of L.A. business executives, led by Alda as a ruthless ad-agency exec, who go to Canada on a white-water rafting trip. A hectoring bully, Alda’s Dan Cutler insists that this inexperienced crew take a very dangerous ride, and it ends in a number of deaths. The cast includes Peter Gallagher, Robert Loggia, Robert Picardo (China Beach), and Max Wright (ALF); the script by Michael Butler (The Gauntlet) follows the aftermath of this tragedy and how it plays out in the survivors’ professional lives. Director Robert Butler (Hill Street Blues) does an excellent job of shooting, so to speak, the rapids-it’s frequently impossible to tell when Alda and company were using stuntmen on their wild ride. The post-accident drama gets bogged down in talky moralizing, but Alda is terrific-charismatically abrasive-throughout. B

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