Silver Streak

1976

Action / Comedy

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Gene Wilder as George
Richard Pryor as Grover
Jill Clayburgh as Hilly
Patrick McGoohan as Devereau
720p 1080p
816.01 MB
1280*694
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 3 / 4
1.65 GB
1920*1040
English
PG
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 0 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dennisayers 10 / 10

Wilder, Pryor and a runaway train


AFI listed this as one of the top 100 comedies, and I think they got it right. This was the first and best pairing of Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. Unlike their later movies together, this one isn't simply a buddy flick. Its also a romantic comedy thriller and nails every genre it aims for. It was written by Colin Higgins, the guy who wrote Harold & Maude. He is a genius at witty dialog which is most apparent in the first act, where Wilder meets Jill Clayburgh on a train, the two get drunk and seduce one another. Despite the fact that no nudity is involved, the sophisticated verbal exchanges between Wilder and Clayburgh and Henry Mancini's lovely theme combine to make for a really gorgeous love scene. Who would have thought Gene Wilder could be sexy?

A very similar film (and almost as good) is "Foul Play," written and also directed by Colin Higgins in 1978. If you liked this one, you should see that as well.

Reviewed by manuel-pestalozzi 7 / 10

Masculinity in 1976

I saw this film in the cinema as a teenager when it came out. It was sold, I think, as a Hitchcock parody and I thought parodies were great. Gene Wilder was the star, that was one more reason for me to see it, as I had greatly enjoyed his performance in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Stuff like that attracted me much more than movies with Robert Redford or Charles Bronson who then were the big male heroes of the screen.

Now, a good 30 years later, I watched Silver Streak a second time. It is an unusual mixture of comedy, action thriller and disaster movie. Characters like the ones played by Wilder, Clayburgh or Pryor seem to have become extinct – in the movies, I mean. They just seem to be so ... ordinary and normal and also kind hearted. Everything about Silver Streak is so unpretentious, seeing it today that really was a kind of a revelation to me.

A lot of the movie deals with masculinity and the assertion of it. It all happens in a very relaxed manner. Nothing and nobody is taken too seriously, conquests are made without effort, failure is accepted with grace. In a strange way, this movie really represents a better, unattainable world. I doubt if someone like Gene Wilder wold make it as a movie star today – the public, it seems, needs the grimaces of Jim Carrey to be amused. Pity.

Come to think of it, in France they had a movie comedian who looked very similar to Wilder. His name was Pierre Richard and his fame reached its zenith at about the same time as Wilder's before fizzling out somewhere in the eighties, when the Stallones and Schwarzeneggers took over.

Silver Streak is an entertaining and – in a positive way - forgettable movie. It has a pleasant musical score by Henry Mancini, this great eclecticist of the 20th century. The older I'm getting the more I enjoy his music and respect his enormous body of work.

Reviewed by britishdominion 8 / 10

A Hitchcockian Thriller Played For Laughs

"Silver Streak" was released the very same year the Master of Suspense, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, released his black-comedy swan song, "Family Plot". Though Hitch was in the very twilight of his long, illustrious career, his playful style was alive and well, and well appropriated, in Hollywood. The Master didn't make this movie - Canadian Arthur ("Love Story") Hiller did - but the unmistakable fingerprints and shop-hewn template of Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" (amongst other classics) are in great display thanks to writer Colin ("Foul Play") Higgins in the cheery, breezy action comedy, "Silver Streak".

"Silver Streak" is the first of four Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor match-ups and certainly in retrospect, one of the best. Wilder is an ordinary Joe taking the titular Amtrak train across country. In the midst of his journey, he befriends and beds fellow passenger Jill ("An Unmarried Woman") Clayburgh, ends up witnessing a murder then is wrongly accused of the crime, and is thrown off the train many, many times in his pursuit to clear his name, save the girl from a mysterious villain and get to the other side of the country.

This is a very gentle but funny comedy that plays with the conventions of one of Hitch's favorite themes, the mistaken identity of everyday man in extraordinary circumstances. Wilder is wonderful, fitfully funny as usual and shines as both a romantic lead (!) and does his patented "crazy" guy when things start falling apart. Just watching Wilder's eyes as he exasperatedly tries to explain out the fantastic plot he's wrapped up in to unbelieving characters along the way is one of the film's funniest, simplest rewards.

The film's masterstroke, however, is the addition of Richard Pryor as a part-time thief. Pryor was in the midst of a very hot career in 1976, and although this film seems to restrain some of the imagination and language of his stage presence and TV specials, (this is a PG-rated movie, after all), he still creates an indelible extended 'cameo' that fuses film with a hip, perfectly cool counterbalance to Wilder's mania and confusion. When Pryor is on screen he not only steals the film, but also elevates this old-fashioned adventure-comedy concept to something otherwise original... and you can't take your eyes off the guy.

Filmed all across his native Canada (thanks IMDb for confirming this!), director Hiller pulls this fun little audience-pleasing gem along the rails to a bright and exciting climax. The supporting cast is loaded with wonderful character actors including Patrick MacGoohan, Ray (My Favorite Martian) Walston, Ned Beatty and Scatman Crothers amongst others. A very luxurious and memorable score by Henry Mancini is the capper to this sparkling comedy, perfect as a primer for, and a loving compendium of, many of the Hitchcock classics that wait for you to discover them on DVD, VHS or on the tube.

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