ROXANNE

PG, 1987, 107 minutes, RCA/Columbia Home Video, $89.95.

Nothing that Steve Martin does in "Roxanne" is run-of-the-mill. Every gesture is blessed, inspired. As C.D. Bales, the fire chief of the tiny hillside town of Nelson, his smallest movement is a flourish, an opportunity for gallant display. "Roxanne" is one of the most unabashed, and most satisfying, romantic movies to come along in years. It's a swooning, delicate, heart-on-its-sleeve work. And so uninhibited are its tenderness and naivete' that it requires a leap of imagination to get on its wavelength. Few recent movies, though, reward the stretch as this one does. The picture is Martin's adaptation of Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac," and C.D. his variation on the playwright's nostrilly cavalier. Martin's C.D. is a natural romantic; poetry flows out of him. And yet his, alas, is not a lover's visage. C.D. yearns for fulfillment in love; for a night of hand-holding and walking in the moonlight. "But then," he says, "I see the shadow of my profile on the wall." What Martin and the film's director, Fred Schepisi, have created out of Rostand's work is an exhilarating comic love story about the glories of eccentricity, the triumph of peculiarity, of one-of-a-kindness. The mixture of romance and physical comedy they have created is nearly perfect. And in a hundred other details that's precisely what this movie is. -- Hal Hinson

HEAVEN

PG-13, 1987, 80 minutes, Pacific Arts Video, $79.95.

Diane Keaton turns director in this spacey documentary in which people of all sorts and sizes speculate on the nature of the Great Beyond. An off-camera Keaton queries her subjects on what looks to be the poop deck of the starship Enterprise, then combines the interviews with old movies, pictures of wheeling planets and special-effects asteroids. This curious montage is next divided into such chapters as "What Does God Look Like?" in which people, a` la Art Linkletter, say the darndest things."Maybe he's a babe," suggests a Valley Girl maybe thinking of Charlie Sheen. In contrast, an old woman figures, "He has a lot to do with electricity or else we wouldn't have pacemakers." Keaton's point: God made us in His own image -- one that seems to change with the times and our political leanings, as we see in a segment between an '80s punk and an overgrown flower child. It's a peculiar compilation, but a revelation -- albeit a repetitious, clumsily concocted one. -- Rita Kempley

THE GREAT GLEASON

Unrated, 1987, 90 minutes, MPI Home Video, $29.95.

Jackie Gleason's greatness certainly has eluded Jeff Forrester, producer and narrator of this slipshod and slapdash pastiche, supposedly recalling "35 years of 'The Jackie Gleason Show' " but culled from clips representing more like 10. Gags and sketches -- featuring the Poor Soul, Reggie Van Gleason and other characters -- are mindlessly mutilated and shoehorned into dumb thematic clumps ("The Great Improviser"). As amateurishly offered up here, the material will merely baffle those too young to know why Gleason is so widely and warmly remembered. Forrester's narration is criminally incessant and riddled with such dubious insights as "Gleason degressed {sic} from the script" and, of the immortal Ralph and Alice, "The Honeymooners may not have had any children, heh, but Alice Kramden was married to one." Heh, indeed. Some of the old footage is good but would be better seen in context on full-length shows, and the narration precludes repeat viewings. One editing mistake makes it look as though Arturo Toscanini conducted Gleason's band for him. Really, with tributes like this, you don't need probate. -- Tom Shales

O.C. AND STIGGS

R, 1987, 109 minutes, Key Video, $79.98.

The executives at MGM didn't have enough faith in this Robert Altman film to actually allow it into movie theaters, and watching it, you can kind of see why. Based on a story from "National Lampoon," the movie is egregiously potty. The characters -- all citizens of Phoenix -- behave in a manner hitherto unknown to mankind. And the story takes so many side trips and wanders down so many blind alleys that it's a real challenge to stay with it. In some respects, the movie's style has the looseness of "Nashville," which it echoes -- presidential candidate Hal Philip Walker makes a return appearance -- but none of the focus or control. It doesn't seem to have a real subject, either. The premise is that two high school juniors, O.C. (Daniel H. Jenkins) and Stiggs (Neill Barry), are waging an all-out war for revenge on the Schwabs, the local insurance barons -- their motto is "Misery loves our company" -- who canceled the retirement insurance for O.C.'s grandpa (Ray Walston). The movie is essentially just a selection of bits, and some of them -- like Dennis Hopper's re-creation of his part in "Apocalypse Now," complete with a helicopter raid on the Schwabs' estate -- are awful. Still, the thing is fascinating. And there are sequences -- like a marvelously staged impromptu concert by King Sunny Ade and his African Beats -- that are nearly impossible to account for. They're wonderful and they come clean out of nowhere. And though the film feels as if it was thrown together on the spot, even on video it looks like nothing you've ever seen. The cast too is wildly variable -- Jane Curtin has about the worst of it -- but where else would you find Dennis Hopper, Martin Mull, Louis Nye and Tina Louise together on the same screen? -- Hal Hinson

THE FOURTH PROTOCOLR, 1987, 90 minutes, Lorimar Home Video, $89.95.

Michael Caine stars in this enjoyable spy thriller, which was adapted by Frederick Forsyth from his own bestselling novel. Caine is able as British agent John Preston, a tenacious spycatcher on the trail of a ruthless Russian operative assigned to nuke an American air base in England. But Pierce Brosnan is the real surprise as the villainous Maj. Petrofsky, a bad Bond with stomach muscles and a sports car and the morals of a killer shark. The plot has more characters than an epic pyramid-building scene, but director John Mackenzie makes it easy to follow even for those who have trouble with Charlie Chan mysteries. That may be a bit too simple, however, for espionage aficionados who crave le Carre'-like complexity. -- Rita Kempley