Action / Comedy / Crime / Romance / Thriller
Action / Comedy / Crime / Romance / Thriller
A somewhat daffy book editor on a rail trip from Los Angeles to Chicago thinks that he sees a murdered man thrown from the train. When he can find no one who will believe him, he starts doing some investigating of his own. But all that accomplishes is to get the killer after him.
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August 13, 2013 at 01:20 AM
America's Favorite Train Murder Mystery Movies
Casual train ride to Chic-hole (Chicago) with abitta elegance soon to be mixed in w/adventure on a by-wing "sheep buzzin" plane w/Luvely Rita Milking Maid LOLs - Cast list NEEDS full names - like Caldwell w/George - Burns w/Hilly + Bob w/sweet ++ very nice nature scenery all the way thru
A hilarious murder mystery
Arthur Hiller's "Silver Streak" is rightfully one of the most popular movies that he has ever directed thanks to his expertise with the making of this movie mixing the genres of romance, comedy, and crime very effectively. The movie's main character is named George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) who is going on a train ride from Los Angeles to Chicago to attend his sister's wedding, who also happens to publish books for a living. While on the train he meets a supposed vitamin salesman named "Bob Sweet" (Ned Beatty) who is really a Federal undercover agent named Stevens, as well as a young woman named Hilly Burns (Jill Clayburgh) who is going to Chicago for a new job, end up falling in love with one another. While Caldwell and Burns are in her room Caldwell sees a dead body hanging off of the train and then falls off and he believes that it is the Professor who Hilly is going to work for that was killed, but the one problem with his story is that no one believes him. The next morning he tells Sweet about the murder and conduct a brief investigation of their own after getting thrown off the train by a minion named Reese (Richard Kiel) and then one of his superiors named Mr. Whitney (Ray Walston) who then orders Reese to kill Caldwell fearing that he may have incriminating evidence against them and their whole operation, but then Reese carries out the order and doesn't hit the intended target, instead by killing Stevens. After the murder the two men find out that Caldwell isn't dead and Reese tries to go after and kill him once and for all but then gets shot with a spear-gun to the chest on the top of the train and Caldwell falls off again. After that happens he goes to a local Sheriff's department to report the casualties and an all points bulletin is set for him all across the country. Caldwell then steals the Sheriff's car and then meets a thief named Grover (Richard Pryor) who tries to help him get back on the train and succeeds. Then we formally meet a man named Roger Deverau (Patrick McGoohan) who is the architect of this whole murder plot who then admits to the whole thing and tries to evade police by using the train to get away from them, and the rest I will not spoil. The writing and comedic timing for this movie is very well thought out, Hiller's direction has the proper balance of three different genres, the chemistry between Wilder and Clayburgh is very good and convincing, as well as the relationship that both the Wilder and Pryor characters is the most hilarious aspect of the movie, and the chase scenes involving the train are very well staged which is no wonder why this movie got an Oscar nomination for its sound effects. The one I wished that would have happened is that Colin Higgins who wrote the screenplay for the movie would have allowed me to get to know the characters a little more although I related to them a lot in their respective situations. It isn't a great movie but it is a very funny movie that is totally worth remembering.
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A great ride that very rarely derails
Of the Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor collaborations (quality-wise their collaborations were variable, when they worked the films were great, when not so much it was disappointing), 'Silver Streak' is one of the best.
Maybe 'Silver Streak' goes on a little too long and while intriguing and fun still the first half drags a little and lacks the zip of the second half once Richard Pryor shows up an hour into the film. Otherwise, 'Silver Streak' has very little to complain about. It's a good-looking film, very nicely photographed with sumptuous locations that suit the film brilliantly.
Henry Mancini's score is his typically distinctive quirkiness, jauntiness and lavish orchestration. The script is clever and often very funny, Pryor especially really makes the most of his material which is a lot of fun.
Really enjoyed the story in 'Silver Streak'. It particularly gets going once Pryor appears, but the mix of Hitchcockian thriller that reminds one of 'The 39 Steps' and 'The Lady Vanishes' and often hilarious screwball antics. The direction is strong, lets the comedy flow and gives the thriller aspects a lot of atmosphere.
Gene Wilder is understated but shows his comic genius adeptly. Pryor brings so much fun and energy here, while Patrick McGoohan is a suitably sinister villain. Jill Clayburgh is at her loveliest and is charming. Imposing Richard Kiel and Ned Beatty also shine.
In conclusion, an immensely enjoyable great ride that doesn't derail. 9/10 Bethany Cox