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PARAMOUNT SET TO BOOST SELECTION OF $14.95 VIDEOS

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A visit to any well-stocked discount store will show plenty of videos for less than $15. But the question remains: How many are worth owning?

The choices are about to grow significantly with a new round of price reductions from Paramount Home Video, the company that has traditionally led the way in lower pricing.Last year at about this time, Paramount broke the $15 barrier with 15 titles priced at $14.95. Among them were some of the studio's most successful movies, including the first four "Star Trek" features and three Eddie Murphy hits: "48HRS.," "Trading Places" and "Beverly Hills Cop."

Now comes a further expansion of $14.95 selections, to be released in three groups over the next several months. By September, when they've all reached the stores, Paramount will have a total catalog of 103 under-$15 movies; 47 will be at that low price for the first time, and four will be new to cassette.

Paramount is calling its summer program "Great Movies, Great Price," and a heavy newspaper advertising campaign is planned. The first group will be shipped July 30 and will include "U2 - Rattle and Hum," "The War of the Worlds," "Harold and Maude," "The Golden Child," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "The Untouchables."

Two titles in the initial group are making their video debuts: Jerry Lewis' "The Ladies Man" (1961) and Frank Capra's "Here Comes the Groom" (1951), starring Bing Crosby.

The second group, due in stores Aug. 27, focuses on horror/slasher films with, among others, all seven installments of the "Friday the 13th" saga and a "rat pack" of "Willard" and its sequel, "Ben."

On Sept. 10, the final phase will include "Scrooged," "Fatal Attraction," "Black Beauty," "Sunset Boulevard," "Goin' South," "To Catch a Thief" and "Planes, Trains & Automobiles."

Again, two video debuts are scheduled: the Jerry Lewis comedy "The Delicate Delinquent" (1957) and the teaming of Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in "Fancy Pants" (1950).

EW VIDEO RELEASES

HARVEY - Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Mary Chase, this wonderfully daft tale of pixilated bachelor Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible white rabbit brought Jimmy Stewart an Oscar nomination. Stewart, most amiable as the kindhearted, middle-aged tippler, is cast opposite Josephine Hull, an Oscar winner for her performance as his dithery sister, who is persuaded to institutionalize her brother when his fixation becomes an embarrassment to the family. Mr. Smith goes to Bellevue and proves the psychiatrists are crazy in this rich, old-fashioned fantasy. Roger Rabbit is hare today and gone tomorrow in comparison with the enduring charms of "Harvey." 1950. 104 minutes. MCA Home Video. $19.95. - Rita Kempley (Washington Post)

STRIKE IT RICH - The career of Molly Ringwald is a bafflement, and "Strike It Rich," an extremely feeble comedy with Robert Lindsay, only contributes to the mystery. An accountant for a multinational corporation In 1950s London (Lindsay) meets, loves and marries a pert young American (Ringwald). Modest honeymoon plans are made until Lindsay's boss (Sir John Gielgud) offers to pick them up in Monte Carlo and treat them to a cruise on his yacht. But after putting the bride and groom up in the resort's fanciest hotel, the absent-minded executive forgets to fetch them, leaving them stranded with a huge bill to pay. Given the film's title and its numbers-wizard hero, we don't have to stretch our brains to figure out what's coming. And, after all, why should we? The filmmakers haven't. 1990. 86 minutes. HBO Video. $89.99. - Hal Hinson (Washington Post)

SHE'S BACK - After a string of movies centered on a husband dying and coming back to haunt his wife, we now have a movie featuring a wife (Carrie Fisher) who comes back to visit her husband. In the dead-husband movies, he invariably returns when his wife is about to marry another man. Such afterlife possessiveness is apparently considered too unseemly (or unappetizing) for a wife to indulge in. So Fisher returns in a fit of morally righteous vengefulness. She was murdered by the leader of a gang of street punks, and her spirit can find no heavenly respite until the murderous hoodlums are punished. She nags Paul into helping her "knock off" every member of the gang. Maybe it's just me, but killing a bunch of people seems an odd way to find one's eternal peace. Vestron. $89.98. - Tom Maurstad (Dallas Morning News)