HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Silver Streak Pain On The Train
Year: 1976
Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: 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, Delos V. Smith Jr, Nick Stewart
Genre: Comedy, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Publisher George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) boards the Silver Streak cross-country train in Los Angeles looking forward to a boring journey so he can catch up on some work while waiting his arrival in Chicago for his sister's wedding. There's a slight mishap when he opens the connecting door of his compartment and sees a woman, Hilly (Jill Clayburgh), in her underwear, but a faulty latch notwithstanding, it looks as if things will be pretty quiet for George. That evening, he meets a vitamin salesman in the bar calling himself Bob Sweet (Ned Beatty) who informs him that the Silver Streak is a great place to pick up women, and to prove it he goes over to Hilly and tries his luck with her only to have her drink poured down his trousers. George will be more fortunate - at least until he catches sight of a body hanging outside a compartment window...

Silver Streak was made when the Alfred Hitchcock homages of the nineteen sixties and seventies were in full swing, and was favourably thought of by audiences, if less so by critics due to its derivative nature. Scripted by Colin Higgins, it pits old fashioned thrills of the innocent man caught up in deadly plotting kind against the new strain of comedy (well, new for the seventies, anyway) that made it seem up to the minute. Perhaps that is why the film doesn't come over as quite as fresh now that we've had a plethora of such comedy thrillers, but it still amuses fairly consistently.

It also starts out making moves to be a classy romantic comedy rather than the coarser suspense movie it turns into, although George gets pretty far with Hilly that fateful night. She is the secretary of an arts professor who is about to publish a new, long researched, book on Rembrandt, and he, according to the picture George sees on the back of the book she carries in her luggage, is the man George witnesses being thrown dead off the train. Hilly persuades him he's seeing things due to too much champagne, but the next morning he won't be deterred and makes his way along to the professor's compartment which, predictably, lands him in hot water.

A running joke has George frequently thrown off the train and endeavouring to re-board it, and so it is that he is ejected by none other than towering henchman Richard Kiel, complete with metal dental work - someone on the next James Bond project must have enjoyed this film. Our hapless hero realises that Hilly is in danger, and wanders the desert tracks for a while until he finds a farm which houses an earthy farmer (Lucille Benson) who invites him to milk a cow then flies him to the station where he gets back on the train. George is steadily drawn into the scheming against his meek nature and the story has him act on a par with one of the villains with great reluctance, even mistaken for one of the real killers, but necessarily to keep things speeding along.

Unusually, the film introduces one of its stars as the film is around halfway over, but he certainly gives the affair a kick. He's Richard Pryor playing opportunistic thief Grover, and with his appearance the laughs really flow; this was the first teaming of Wilder and Pryor, and probably the best. After being thrown off again and stealing a police car, George is shocked to find Grover in the back of it, but his wily cunning is a great help. So we are offered scenes such as Grover assisting George in avoiding the police by putting him in the world's worst disguise, a very seventies moment of humour, but one which is still funny thanks to the playing. Patrick McGoohan is a hissable villain, and has a whole array of baddies to back him up, and the twists prove that the art world was far more exciting than you ever imagined. It all climaxes with a spectacular act of destruction, and in spite of showing its age more than its influences nowadays, Silver Streak benefits most from the chemistry between its thoroughly likeable trio of stars. Music by Henry Mancini.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6146 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: