Silver Streak

“If there’s ever anything that you need, don’t call me.”

For Colin Higgins’ second film, he wanted to write something that had a Hitchcockian flair, and he was partial to the thrillers on trains. What we got – and what Arthur Hiller deftly directed – was Silver Streak. What we also got was the legendary comedy pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, two comedians who would end up making three more films together after this. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Colin Higgins series with Hiller’s 1976 train thriller Silver Streak.

We talk about Pryor and Wilder and if blackface comedy is still something we’re allowed to laugh at, especially when the actors are so clearly pointing out that it’s not okay. We chat about the thrills balanced with the comedy in this film and how well it works. We look at Wilder and Pryor, but also Jill Clayburgh, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty, Clifton James, Scatman Crothers, Ray Walston, Valerie Curtin, and Richard Kiel, to see what they’re all bringing to the table. We touch on Henry Mancini’s score and the vibes it brings. And we look at the many tropes throughout this film, wondering if they work well here because at the time, they likely weren’t as commonly used as they came to be.

It’s a fun film and we have a great time talking about it on this week’s show, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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