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Silver City

3.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Grammatically challenged, user friendly gubernatorial candidate Dicky Pilager has just launched a rosy campaign for the citizens of the New West. But things take an unexpected turn when the taping ofan environmental political ad ends up with Pilager reeling in a corpse. Enter his ferocious campaign manager, Chuck Raven who hires idealistic journalist turned rumpled private detective Danny O'Brien to investigate potential links between the corpse and the Pilager family's enemies. In the tradition of the great films noir, Danny's investigation pulls him deeper and deeper into a complex web of influence and corruption, involving high stakes lobbyists, media conglomerates, environmental, plunderers, and undocumented migrant workers.

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John Sayles tackles one of his most provocative projects in Silver City, a broadside on politics and campaigning. It's one of Sayles's multi-character tapestries, set during a tarnished governor's race in Colorado. Chris Cooper has kicky fun as a feather-brained candidate, whose nonsensical speeches deliberately evoke the 43rd U.S. president. He doesn't get nearly enough screen time, because the film follows a burned-out private detective (the awkward Danny Huston) as he tugs at conspiracies. Sayles's understanding of the connected relationships in the political world is keen, and his malignant ending scores points--though the issues are more convincing than the characters. A subplot romance between Huston and journalist Maria Bello is tired, and there's a rushed quality that undercuts the political barbs. The crowded cast helps it perk along. This is a companion piece to Sayles's City of Hope and Sunshine State, and proves his teeth are only getting sharper. --Robert Horton

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Thora Birch, Maria Bello
  • Directors: John Sayles
  • Producers: Maggie Renzi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2005
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006GVJEO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,390 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Silver City" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film grew on me.

I first saw it after it was advertised in "The Nation." It had just enough laughs--and mystery--to keep me interested.

Others have gone over the plot. Chris Cooper plays quite a good dimwit--actually no less articulate than the dimwit who now occupies the formidable house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

I disagree with those critics who say Richard Dreyfus's character, the dimwit's campaign manager, is not slimy enough. I thought he did a good job as a Rove-like snake, of no integrity whatsoever. In fact, in the "making of" bonus feature, Dreyfus says what I've been saying since I was a teenager (and I'm almost Dreyfus's age!): People essentially don't care [about much of what's going on] until they're affected by it. And then it's too late. Thanks for confirming my assertion of the last nearly 40 years, Richard!

Frankly, at first I thought Michael Murphy was too young to play Dicky Pilager's dad, but, when I saw it a few more times, he did all right.

I had a slight problem with the sherrif, Skaggs I think the character was called. He was apparently the one responsible for the lead character, Danny O'Brien, played by Danny Huston, getting fired in the first place. But by the end, the guy bordered on being Danny's political advisor. There was nothing Danny could do, so, the sherrif advised him, he'll have to reconcile himself to what's happened.

But I can live with that as the consequence of a lower-budget story.

Overall, I'm glad I have it. Sayles says in one of the special features that we are a story-telling species. That's obvious, from oral tradition of religious scripture to tales told by vikings which became epics. Those stories are important. I'll use this story it at the "salons" some friends plan to have. It's a great caricature of what we face with the neocons running the show so far. And until we realize that, things'll keep getting worse.
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Format: DVD
Silver City is a good movie, but a little slow. I wish it could have had more of Chris Cooper (who seems to act very much like Bush) and Richard Dryfuss (who seems awfully Cheney like). The movie wasn't as funny as the previews made it look and actually turns up to be a pretty good murder mystery full of oddball characters. It kind of reminded me of Primary Colors, with John Travolta, which was a mimic of Clinton and his skeletons in the closest. The movie never seems to step up and be true political satire or a full fledge murder mystery. It is somewhere in between, which actually reflects politics in today's world. Overall, it is an interesting movie and worth watching. It is very very slow at times, and I didn't really care for Danny Huston's character.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I bought Silver City I was expecting a humorous little film with little depth, that would entertain me for a couple of hours. What John Sayles delivers however is more like a dark socio-political answer to Polanski's Chinatown without the bandaided nose (thank goodness!) Chris Cooper's gubernatorial candidate (with the emphasis on the goober(/guber)) bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain one-time Texas governor with his tongue-tied "mis-abuse" of the English language). His reeling in of a dead body with his fishing gear while filming an environmentally flavored political advertisement turns out to be a kind of Macguffin, a relatively unimportant but intriguing plot element, that leads us into the world of political manipulation for the benefit of corporate greed.

I read a review which criticizes this film for choosing a (single) corporate villain, but to me this approach seems more realistic than tarring an entire group with the same brush. One's political viewpoint will most likely affect whether one enjoys the film or not, but I recommend it for the performances alone. It is nice to see actors like James Gammon, Tim Roth, Maria Bello, Miguel Ferrer, Billy Zane and Mary Kay Place pop up here and there.

Silver City did not leave me chuckling about the silliness of politicians, but in fine John Sayles tradition delivered a nice ensemble performance that asked some serious questions. It is a film well worth seeing.

Silver City
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Format: DVD
In John Sayles' latest, Chris Cooper plays Dicky Pilager, running for governor of Colorado and with more than a passing resemblance to George W. Bush. When Dicky finds a corpse while filming a campaign ad, his campaign manager (Richard Dreyfuss) hires investigator Danny O'Brien (Danny Huston) to find out if the corpse was planted. Danny, of course, gets into trouble as he uncovers family secrets and business deals.

This is a terrific cast but the pacing is very slow and the mystery is only mildly interesting. Iwould have liked to have seen Chris Cooper more.

Extras include a trailer, a 36-minute making-of featurette and a commentary track. Subtitles available in English.
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By Cosmoetica on September 18, 2008
Format: DVD
Lost in the glare of Michael Moore's 2004 pseudo-documentary Fahrenheit 911 was independent filmmaker John Sayles' far more incisive filmic take on politics called Silver City. While Moore's film was a frontal assault on the George W. Bush administration, Sayles' film was less a jab at Right Wing politics, although it clearly was, and more an assault on the sliminess of politics in general. I was surprised at how good the film was, considering all the negative reviews it got from critics. Is it a great film, in league with Sayles' best? No. But it's light years beyond typical Hollywood fare- especially bigger budgeted films like the Clinton era's Wag The Dog.
The film it most resembles is Roman Polanski's Chinatown, although set in contemporary Colorado, and this film having a lighter feel- in terms of the cinematography and humor.... t's a shame that this film was swamped by so many other screechy films, such as Fahrenheit 911 and Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ, for it deserved it, despite its bad ending. The best thing about Sayles is that he is unpredictable- save that he writes and directs stellar adult dramas, and given his last several films, that aspect of his work seems to be in no danger of diminishing.
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