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Gene Wilder is a book editor travelling by train from Los Angeles to Chicago. Jill Clayburgh is a professor's assistant. During a romantic interval in Jill's compartment Gene see's a man killed. Of course the man is the professor. Let the fun begin.
Gene Wilder is a perfect straight man for this movie. He is clearly intelligent, but unused to crime and guns. His bravado is likely that of a typical suburbanite, and while we laugh at his actions, we also identify with his character.
Other stars make this movie an absolute joy to watch over and over. Richard Kiel of James Bond "Jaws" fame makes another silent appearance. Ray Walston is a sleazy hood. Clifton James, another James Bond movie character, also makes an appearance about the same time as Richard Pryor. Ned Beatty plays a government agent and Scatman Crothers plays a conductor. An all-star cast of characters actors in somewhat stereotypical roles, but they are so instantly recognizable that their appearance is enjoyable.
The train is a center piece of the movie, and the most important action scenes take place on or around the train. Train buffs who also enjoy comedies will find this movie to be fascinating. The end of the movie is particularly spectacular and intense as we wonder whether Jill, Richard, Gene and Scatman are going to survive to the end.
This movie was nearly an instant classic when it was released. Light comedy and very good entertainment, this movie is worth having on DVD.
The story is about a man who decides to combine a business trip with a little bit of relaxation, by taking the train from Los Angeles to Chicago. Along the way, he is involved with a beautiful woman, murder, a loveable thief and slate of "bad guys" well worthy of black hats.
The film is a charming diversion from the world; one that can be enjoyed by most of the family. It is a must have, either as a family film (for kids over 13) or a "date" movie. If you like to laugh, then add Silver Streak to your collection.
Gene Wilder displays more energy in this one than Richard Pryor. He is still quite young here and runs all over the place, being thrown off the train and all. But when Pryor shows up, the overall tempo of the movie picks up somehow, and we move from the middle to the conclusion so quickly that one can hardly stop to catch his breath.
The train wreck conclusion was nicely done. Somebody mentioned that this was the forerunner of Speed, and I think that is right one the mark. Nice comedy/suspense that made me feel a litte better after I watched it. I have not taken a train since I don't know when. In Southern California, the car is king. This movie made me almost nostalgic about the place I grew up--in a universe far away--where people used trains all the time, and I was among them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived quickly and safely packed . .good comedy and a dramatic closing sequence !Published 9 days ago by marshakar
Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, and Richard Pryor are a joy to watch in this film. The plot is very good and there are lots of funny scenes, which were not overdone. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Israel Drazin
LOVE this movie so much that I finally fulfilled a dream and took the Amtrak cross country...much less drama and excitement but I couldn't help smiling as the miles rolled by,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Saw it when it first came out in the 70's......Still as funny as it can be !Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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