-Leading a convoy of rickety trucks loaded with nitroglycerine over hundreds of miles of bumpy mountain roads, Yves Montand stars in the most nail-biting thriller ever made, 1953’s The Wages of Fear, out this week on DVD.

-Like Wages, The River of Doubt tells the story of a perilous journey through a South American jungle. Candice Millard’s book recounts the story of a trip down the Amazon, an expedition plagued by rapids, disease, and cannibals. Did we mention that the protagonist is Teddy Roosevelt? And that the book is nonfiction?

-Two famously volatile actors, Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, strike sparks in the crime-and-showbiz spoof Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Who’d have guessed that Entertainment Weekly’s best reviewed movie of the week would be one written and directed by Shane Black, best known for extravaganzas of violence and cynicism as Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout?

-Exploding out of England, The Magic Numbers have the hipoisie buzzing. Check out their joyful, retro-pop stylings on their self-titled debut CD.

-On the tube this weekend:

-Tonight’s Living With Fran may mark not just your last chance to see this show, but also your last chance to see Fran Drescher’s mini-me, Mikalah Gordon. I mean, what else is she going to do? (The WB, 9:30 p.m.).

-At 10 p.m. on Friday, Madonna’s publicity rampage continues with the premiere of her new tour documentary, I’m Going to Tell You a Secret (MTV). Resistance is futile.

-On Saturday, Jonny Lee Miller (the first Mr. Angelina) stars in Byron as the original Goth guy. (BBC America, 9 p.m.)

-Rosie O’Donnell’s visit to Inside the Actors Studio (Bravo, Sunday, 8 p.m.) isn’t the train wreck you’d expect, though James Lipton has to tie himself in a knot to make Ro’s MTV Movie Award nomination sound impressive.

-But the best show of the weekend could turn out to be The West Wing (NBC, Sunday, 8 p.m.), which has been revitalized in recent episodes, thanks to the Vinick-Santos competition for the White House. Besides, in the who’s-a-better-fictional-president sweepstakes, Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis, above left) is impressive, but she’s no Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen, above right).