by David C. Terr
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Title: Silver Streak
Director: Arthur Hiller
Starring: Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty
Release Date: Dec. 8, 1976
Running Time: 114 min
Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Romance, Thriller
Silver Streak is a thrilling and comic adventure set aboard a train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago. Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor are hilarious in this film. There is also good chemistry between Wilder and Jill Clayburgh. I love this film for its adventure, humor, romance, and suspense.
Book editor George Caldwell (Wilder) decides to take a two-day trip from Los Angeles to Chicago aboard a train called The Silver Streak just to pass the time. Shortly after boarding, he meets Hilly Burns (Clayburgh) at a bar and the two hit it off very quickly. While making love with her in her compartment that night, George sees what looks very much like a dead man falling from the window. Hilly tries to convince him that he was imagining this, but the next morning, he sees the picture of the man he'd seen killed in Hilly's book, whom it turns out is her boss and an art professor.
George quickly gets caught up in a ring of crime revolving around a madman named Roger Devereau who'd had the professor killed in order to cover up proof that a Rembrandt painting he'd recently purchased is a forgery. While investigating the crime, George gets targeted for murder, thrown off the train three times, and involved with car thief Grover Muldoon (Pryor).
The movie ends with a spectacular train crash into the Chicago train station.
There are some very funny scenes in this movie. Here are a few:
- George tries milking the cow of an old woman, but ends up nervously playing with the cow's nipples.
- George flies aboard an old biplane piloted by the old woman, who uses it to scare away a field of sheep.
- Perhaps the funniest scene in the movie occurs when George disguises himself as a black man in order to get past the cops. He adorns shoe polish and dark shades, places a radio up to his ear and tries to sound hip.