Ok, I've NEARLY got the game working!
Atari tech support(formerly Infogrames) has been talking me through various "fixes": ditched the joystick, updating drivers, updating DirectX, disabling TSR's, lowering graphics acceleration, blah blah blah.
Nothing worked. Not their fault, they've been very helpful & I've learned a lot!
I still can't get subtitles, nor really use any of the menus, except the "Start New Game" on the main menu, but I discovered that I can save & load from WITHIN the game. I never had a problem saving, it was the loading from the main load menu that wouldn't work. So I just Start New Game every time & my old saves are there for loading from within the game!
Yippee!!!! Now if I can just get the playing screen back to full sized. It's only about 3 x 5 notecard sized at the moment.
Just wanted to post incase anyone else had this odd problem.