Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Silver Streak (1976)

Director: Arthur Hiller

Writer: Colin Higgins

Composer: Henry Mancini

Starring: Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Ray Walston, Stefan Gierasch, Len Birman, Valerie Curtin, Lucille Benson, Scatman Crothers, Richard Kiel, Fred Willard

More info: IMDb

Tagline: By plane, by train, by the edge of your seat, it's the most hilarious suspense ride of your life!

Plot: On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

I've known of this movie ever since it's theatrical release (granted, I was really young) and I finally watched it.  It's good.  Wilder makes a great lead in what's less comedy and more crime and thriller.  The dinner conversation between George (Wilder) and Hilly (Clayburgh) is wonderfully playful and sweet.  It's even better that the courtship takes its time and Hiller allows these two characters to relax and breathe.  The cast is wonderful.  There are all kinds of great character actors tossed into this picture.  It's playful but not all that funny until an hour in when Richard Pryor shows up.  The chemistry between Wilder and Pryor is magical.  These two guys together are great.  Just before they meet George (Wilder) has a run in with Sheriff Chauncey (Clifton James).  You'll remember James as the oafish Southern sheriff in LIVE AND LET DIE (1973) and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974).  Unfortunately he's playing essentially the same character and it gets old and fast.  Then Pryor shows up and the funny really starts.  There's lots of action which culminates in a big gunfight escape by the bad guys. Henry Mancini's main theme is fun.  Overall I enjoyed it and I'm really surprised that it's taken nearly 40 years to see it.  The 20th Century Fox DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print but the only extras are anamorphic widescreen trailers for 7 flicks. 

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