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Silver Streak (1976)

Cast: Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, more...
Director: Arthur Hiller
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Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Action, Comedies
Running Time: 113 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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While taking a train trip from L.A. to Chicago, mild-mannered George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) makes the acquaintance of Hilly Burns (Jill Clayburgh). As they indulge in a brief bit of spooning, Hilly tells George that her boss is on the verge of exposing a group of vicious art forgers. Later that evening, George sees the body of Hilly's boss being thrown off of the train. Detective Sweet (Ned Beatty) agrees to investigate, but he too is bumped off. The instigator of these outrages is master forger Roger Devereau (Patrick McGoohan), who, with his crony Mr. Whiney (Ray Walston) is planning a particularly diabolical crime. Worse still, they take Hilly prisoner so she can't tip off the cops. When George is also targeted for elimination, he manages in slapstick fashion to elude the killers. Falling off the train, he ends up being arrested on some trumped-up charge or other by a local sheriff. He makes his escape in the company of petty thief Grover Muldoon (Richard Pryor) -- and that's only the beginning. A box-office smash, Silver Streak paved the way for the equally successful 1980 Wilder-Pryor vehicle Stir Crazy. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

So 1970's -- in a good way! by LissnerE December 30, 2004 - 12:42 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I saw this film as a child when it first came out. What a different experience watching it as an adult! The action scenes are just as memorable, but there's also a ton of innuendo that would have gone right over an eight-year-old's head. Why aren't there dialogue writers like that anymore? They managed to create an atmosphere of swingin' hedonism while showing hardly a bit of skin.

Watch this movie when you're in a light-hearted mood. It's very cheesy, and very 1970's, but surprisingly warm-hearted. I took the racial stereotypes/exaggerations as parody (a la "Airplane!") and found them quite clever. (I think the filmmakers' hearts are in the right place.) If you're in the mood to do so too, you'll find this movie an enjoyable romp. Watch it with your favorite baby-boomer!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.54)
46 Votes
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