By Erin Richter
Updated July 18, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

He’s no Charles Kuralt, but the Academy Award-winning star of Marty (and TV’s The Single Guy) more than makes up for that in this 45-minute straight-to-tape travelogue, Ernest Borgnine: On the Bus, that zips over the American heartland and Borgnine’s back pages on the thrust of his jovial self. Behind the wheel of a souped-up bus with an Enterprise-worthy dashboard, marble steps, and touch-of-a-button sewage disposal, Ernie holds forth on Lee Marvin (”Doggone him. He’d still be alive today if he hadn’t smoked so much”), drinking (”In my former home I always had beer on tap”), and how a boy selling candy door-to-door long ago convinced the movie actor that TV was the place to be. As the 78-year-old Borgnine stops for adulation and chats with locals, filmmaker Jeff Krulik manages to inject On the Bus with MTVish energy — and the Who’s ”Magic Bus.” Truly a trip. B