THE MUSEUM of American History will screen a newly stamped 35mm copy of MGM's 1931 Arrowsmith on Friday evening at 5:30 in Carmichael Auditorium. The rare print, made from a recently cleaned original negative, runs 101 minutes and features Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy and Richard Bennett in a screenplay adapted from the Sinclair Lewis novel.

It's part of the free ongoing "America on Film" series dedicated to an "altered states" theme. Screenings on two subsequent Fridays round out the theme with Freud, directed in 1962 by John Huston, and starring Montgomery Cliff and Susannah York in the life story of the famous Austrian physician; and Little Shop of Horrors, a 1960 production that includes a young Jack Nicholson. The black comedy runs 70 minutes and was originally released as "The Film Shot in Two Days." It's considered one of director Roger Corman's best efforts and was the basis for the stage musical that followed.

"What we aim to do is give another perspective to themes and ideas in the collections at the Museum of American History," says Dwight Bowers, the performing arts research specialist who plans the programs.

Bowers' next "America on Film" series begins August 15 with an eight-week program "Days of Heaven." The series is underwritten by a grant from the Farm Family Foundation, a lobbying group for family-owned small farms. The free series begins with John Steinbeck's powerful story of the Dust Bowl Okies in The Grapes of Wrath (1940). The four-star film was directed by John Ford and stars Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell and John Carradine. "Days of Heaven" continues with Country (1986), Sounder (1972) Oklahoma! (1955), East of Eden (1955) and more.

In September, the museum's fall program begins with a series on the "Freedom of the Press." Those screenings -- at noon on Wednesdays -- will also be free. For a complete schedule, call 357-2700.

As Is, William Hoffman's poignant drama about the AIDS epidemic, has been turned into a television film, which premieres on Tuesday at the Westin Hotel. The 90-minute film stars John Carradine Jr., Colleen Dewhurst and Jonathan Hadary, who last year appeared in the same lead role as Saul on Broadway. Hadary grew up in Rockville and attended Walter Johnson High School. Tax deductible tickets are $25 and benefit AIDS research. Showtimes are 7 and 9:30 with a reception at 8:30. Call 546-2424.

For the bottom line folks at Twentieth-Century Fox, Aliens is truly out of this world. Last weekend, the Sigourney Weaver film racked up over $500,000 at 46 Washington-Baltimore area screens. The box office take is expected to grow this weekend as showings expand to more theaters. See the Movie Directory for theaters and showtimes.

Good to Go, the controversial anti-drug film shot here nearly two years ago, gets its world premiere at the Warner Theater on Thursday at 8. The theater will be outfitted with Dolby stereo for the special screening, which features such Washington Go Go groups as Trouble Funk, Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, and Reds and the Boys. Maxx Kidd, also a Washingtonian, was the film's associate producer. Stars Art Garfunkel and musician Little Beats are expected to attend. A concert will follow the screening. Ticket are $8 and benefit RAP Inc., a local drug education program. The film opens August 1. Call 626-1050.

Good fences are supposed to make good neighbors, but in Pacific Palisades, California, 12-foot fences crowned with steel spikes have made Sly Stallone's neighbors mad enough to sue the muscle-bound millionaire for $25,000. That's according to a story in this week's People magazine that says a Los Angeles zoning commission gave him a waiver on the wall that surrounds his French-style villa. But the local community association says Stallone has to bring it down to no higher than four feet. Rocky/Rambo has brought in his own legal eagle for the fencing match and to possibly countersue. Always the man with a sequel . . .

SHORT SUBJECTS -- The Museum of Natural History on Friday screens two films in conjunction with the "Fields of Grass" exhibition in the Rotunda. The films, Estuary and Twilight Estuary, will be shown at noon in Baird Auditorium. The latter film concerns Chesapeake Bay grasses and was made by the University of Maryland's Sea Grant College. The free program repeats on Saturday at 2:30 in the Naturalist Center. Call 357-2700.

This is the final weekend to see the Labyrinth display at the Capital Children's Museum. The exhibit, at 800 Third Street NE, features montages, murals and props from the new Jim Henson/George Lucas film, including two new Muppet characters, Alf and Ralph. There's also a video that gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the film's production in England. The exhibit hits the road after Thursday. Call 675-4123.

The American Film Institute's ongoing salute to director Elia Kazan features East of Eden on Saturday at 6:15. The 115-minute film, which stars Raymond Massey, Julie Harris, Jo Van Fleet and Burl Ives, gave James Dean his first major acting role. The brash young actor made two other films, "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant," before dying in a California traffic accident in 1955. Call 785-4600 or 785-4601 for tickets.

Don't forget that on Monday evening at 9, WETA TV-26 will broadcast the final segment in the three-part Charlie Chaplin series featuring clips from his City Lights and Modern Times films. The late James Mason narrates the American Masters series.

The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program continues its "W.C. Fields: Comedy Classics" series on Wednesday evening with The Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935) and The Old Fashioned Way (1934). The films begin at 7 in Natural History's Carmichael Auditorium. Cost is $5 for members; $6.50 nonmembers. Call 357-3030.

FILM HISTORY -- It was one year ago on Friday that a spokeswoman for Rock Hudson confirmed that the actor, hospitalized in Paris, was suffering from AIDS. He died October 2.

Friday's birthdays include actor Jack Gilford, who turns 79.

Celebrating birthdays on Saturday are actor Jason Robards Jr., 64; movie director Blake Edwards, 64; fellow director Stanley Kubrick, 58; rock star Mick Jagger, 43; and actress Susan George, 36.

Sunday marks the day in 1953 that the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting. It had taken 255 meetings over two years and 17 days to reach the agreement. The black-comedy television series M*A*S*H, which centered on a medical unit serving in Korea, aired in prime time for more than twice as long as the Korean War was fought.

Sunday's birthday people include former baseball manager Leo Durocher, 80; actor Keenan Wynn, 70; TV producer Norman Lear ("All in the Family"), 64; film critic Vincent Canby, 62; "Hill Street Blues" actress Betty Thomas, 38; and singer Maureen McGovern, 37.