97- Silver Streak [5.0]

While taking a train trip from L.A. to Chicago, mild-mannered George Caldwell makes the acquaintance of Hilly Burns. 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.

At times, Silver Streak is a Hitchcockian murder mystery. Then it delves into romance, buddy comedy and James Bond-esque action film segments. (I can practically see a movie executive pitching the film, saying “it’s got everything!”.) The one consistent thing throughout is the joy of watching Gene Wilder slide from one genre to the next rather effortlessly. Before watching his teamups with Richard Pryor, I didn’t know that the mild mannered actor had a little bit of crazy in his repertoire (though his performance in Willy Wonka certainly leans in that direction). I would’ve enjoyed Silver Streak if it was more consistent in tone throughout, but the Wilder/Pryor classic scene in a bathroom made it worth watching on its own.

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