HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO - In 1943, Preston Sturges filmed this satire of military heroism about a would-be Marine (Eddie Bracken) who is rejected because of chronic hay fever. He returns to his hometown as a hero with a borrowed medal by a group of soldiers on leave. With its irreverent pricking at '40s pieties, its pinball logic and roadrunner pace, the movie is vintage Sturges. Despite Woodrow's repeated attempts to tell the truth, he's transformed into a living legend. And the truth, when it's finally revealed, only makes matters worse. It builds up comic steam like a pressure cooker. The Sturges mark is on every hilarious moment. 101 minutes, MCA/Universal, $29.95. Hal Hinson (Washington Post)

THE ELVIS FILES and ELVIS STORIES - With Elvis Presley earning more in death than he did at the peak of his career, it's apparent he still holds a great fascination for a great many people. If you believe "The Elvis Files," a sort-of infomercial put together by several leading Elvis Is Alive advocates, notably the authors of books that were - conspiratorially, they say - kept out of America's bookstores. The doubters' conclusion: Presley is in the federal witness-protection program as a result of undercover work done as an honorary federal agent. While "The Elvis Files" is a documentary, "Elvis Stories" is a giddy celebration of Presleymania, though an unsuspecting viewer may have difficulty telling the two apart. In a series of sketches (all well-conceived, acted and filmed), we meet the tortured performance chef who creates edible Elvis-profile patties, a hairdresser who is gradually possessed by the spirit of Elvis, the world's worst Elvis impersonator, a fanatic quite convinced that Presley and John Lennon are the same person. Draw your own conclusions. "The Elvis Files," 55 minutes, Media Home Entertainment, $19.95; "Elvis Stories," 30 minutes, Rhino Video, $14.95. - Richard Harrington (Washington Post)A SHOW OF FORCE - I admit my knowledge of Puerto Rican history is scanty, but prior to watching this film I had no idea the island was such a hotbed of world-power manipulations and skullduggery. Amy Irving is an American journalist who smells a coverup when a couple of Independentistas (a group pushing for Puerto Rico's independence from the U.S.) are killed by the police during the pro-American governor's campaign for re-election. A lot of unfathomably serpentine developments later, we learn that a cruelly zealous U.S. agent set up the murders. All this has the resonant credibility of a TV after-school special. Robert Duvall co-stars. Paramount. - Tom Maurstad (Dallas Morning News)

CHICAGO JOE AND THE SHOWGIRL - So much depends on little things. If Joyce (Patsy Kensit), the girlfriend of Lt. Ricky Allen (Kiefer Sutherland), had agreed to sleep with him, he might not have had to survey the loose women of wartime London. And he might not have hooked up with Georgina (Emily Lloyd), a small-time showgirl with dreams of Hollywood glory. And he might not have murdered two innocent people and become the only American tried in an English court during World War II and hanged by the neck until dead. See, it's all Joyce's fault. The movie is a somber variation of "Bonnie and Clyde," minus both psychological underpinnings and kicky thrills. 105 minutes, rated R, Live Home Video, $89.95. - Hal Hinson (Washington Post)

DADDY'S DYIN' . . . WHO'S GOT THE WILL? - Occasionally a video comes along that is quirky enough to be appealing in spite of obvious deficiencies. This one is about an eccentric Texas clan that gathers at the patriarch's deathbed for the reading of his will. That is, if anyone can find the will. The kids are all adult brats - son Beau Bridges, a thug married to a kindly, obese wife (Patricia Darby); Tess Harper, a self-righteous middle daughter fast heading toward spinsterhood; Amy Wright, the elder daughter who married a Baptist preacher, and Beverly D'Angelo, the baby, a thrice-married, would-be honky tonk singer. Fueling this menagerie is Judge Reinhold as D'Angelo's hippie beau, Keith Carradine as the hometown stud. The writing is often sloppy, but the acting is first-rate and colorful. MGM/UA. 97 minutes. - Mike Pearson (Scripps Howard)

DECEPTIONS - The packaging for this made-for-cable movie says it is a murder mystery, but its real intent is to present one hot love scene after another between "L.A. Law" hunk Harry Hamlin and "Knots Landing" vixen Nicollete Sheridan (who became a real-life item while making this movie). Hamlin is a cop investigating the murder of a wealthy businessman, the prime suspect being the victim's purringly beautiful wife, who seems to have a different bikini for every day of the week. Nick's partner thinks she did it, but Nick is too caught in the animal magnetism that flares up between hunks and vixens to give such distracting considerations much thought. Republic. - Tom Maurstad (Dallas Morning News)