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The Silent Partner
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Silent Partner More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Sleeper crime thriller -- an 8.

8/10
Author: (timtindy) from United States
13 June 2000

I first saw this movie about 15 years ago and watched it again the other night. What I once considered a very good film I now consider a borderline great film due to how movies in general keep regressing. It was so nice to see a movie with adult protagonists and a well-written, clever script that doesn't resort to explosions and mindless action stunts to cater to the MTV crowd.

I won't give anything away at all -- if you like clever, twisty thrillers like The Usual Suspects, then check this one out. The acting is excellent and the script is too. Note that Curtis Hanson (Bedroom Window, LA Confidential) wrote this one 22 years ago!

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Like a Game of Chess

8/10
Author: BaronBl00d (baronbl00d@aol.com) from NC
10 April 2007

Director Daryl Duke makes a very taut thriller here about a figurative chess game between Elliot Gould, a bank teller who stole in excess of $48,000, and Christopher Plummer the real thief who gets outwitted. Gould and Plummer have some remarkable scenes between them - most of them on phones - one upstairs and the other in a phone booth. The tension created has roller-coaster effects through much of the film to see what the next move is for each character. I was riveted through much of it. Added in for some extra measure are various love liaisons for Gould and lots of depth given to the main characters. Gould does a very good job carrying off a very difficult role as a man who is quiet, overlooked, and introspective. Plummer is his equal as a maniacal killer/thief who knows how to play cat and mouse. The film has several memorable scenes: the ending in the mall was just fantastic as were all the scenes shot in Gould's apartment. Susannah York gives an integral performance as a co-worker at the bank. The director gives this rather pedestrian material lots of life, though the film obviously is a product of the 70s with way too much nudity for a film like this. Just about every woman in the movies goes bare-chested at some point(not that I am complaining mind you). If you are looking for a real edge of your seater then the Canadian production The Silent Partner might just be what you need to see.

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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Bullseye!

8/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
1 April 2007

Technically mediocre, but an adrenaline-fueled crime-thriller adapted from Anders Bodelsen's book "Think of a Number". Bank employee Elliott Gould dupes bank robber Christopher Plummer out of a small fortune, leading to a head-spinning game of cat-and-mouse. Gould and Plummer both do career-peak work, with Plummer never more riveting (violence turns him on, making him a dangerous, bloodthirsty cat). The film's R-rated mayhem may be over-the-top, but the movie is never off-putting and director Daryl Duke, working from Curtis Hanson's screenplay, nearly keeps it on track the entire way. Duke mounts the proceedings with flair, accentuating the coal-black humor inherent in the tension for a terrifically lively effect. Engrossing picture was unjustly swept under the carpet in 1978, but has more excitement than most big-budget films in this genre. Watch out! ***1/2 from ****

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Find this movie!

10/10
Author: jrs-8 from Chicago
12 January 2005

"The Silent Partner" is one of the best films you have probably never heard of. It had a very brief theatrical run in 1979 and I was lucky enough to see it during the one week it was in my town. I, along with the few brave others in attendance, were blown away. This is the only time I have ever seen just a handful of people in a movie and at the end we all applauded. It's that good.

Elliot Gould plays a bank teller in a mall during Christmas time. Christopher Plummer plays the mall Santa who is planning to rob the bank. Gould finds this out (How? I will leave you to discover that for yourself) and soon Plummer knows that Gould knows thus Gould becomes Plummer's silent partner and a game of cat and mouse ensues. But there is much, much more to this intense thriller and it is better for me to leave it unsaid.

Susannah York has a nice supporting role as Gould's would be girlfriend and she looks just great.

I only have one complaint and that is there are two scenes involving Plummer that are shockingly violent. We know Plummer is a bad guy after the first act of violence. Did we really need to see the second (which is far more graphic and brutal)? I found this film on video about 15 years ago and watched it again and loved it just as much. I haven't seen it since. If you are a fan of thrillers then this is one of the best and I urge you to search far and wide to find it. You won't be disappointed.

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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding thriller, one of the best Canadian films ever

Author: cfisanick from Western Pennsylvania
11 November 2001

Anders Bodelson's Danish novel "Think of a Number" has been transplanted to Toronto, intelligently updated by screenwriter Curtis Hanson, and directed by Daryl Duke in brilliant fashion. What makes this film so special, I think, is that you wind up rooting for Elliot Gould, a bank teller turned thief, to best Christopher Plummer, a sadistic bank robbery, even though Gould's character is basically amoral. This is that rare thriller that works on every level. The plotting feels free of contrivance, Gould and Plummer have never been better, chilly Toronto looks spectacular, and there's a wonderfully evocative, jazzy soundtrack by pianist Oscar Peterson.

Coming as it did out of Canada in 1978, this film, despite its high quality, was almost immediately forgotten, but it is surely deserving of rediscovery. Check it out. It's one of the very best thrillers you'll ever see.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Clever story with a great bad guy!

9/10
Author: jbitt (jbittel@sloma.state.oh.us) from Columbus, Ohio
19 May 2000

If you like your bad guys evil and believable, see Christopher Plummer do his thing in this entertaining film. The plot is very well conceived and the setting in Toronto is perfect. A word of warning to the sensitive -- watch out for a very attractive woman's encounter with a fish tank.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

An incredible, crackling yarn - yet no DVD?!

8/10
Author: j-pudwill from Southern California
28 December 2004

A razor-sharp suspense drama with plenty of nifty, nasty surprises.

Gould gives one of his top performances, and Christopher Plummer is a revelation: you'll never look on him as the stalwart Herr Von Trapp again as he turns in one of the most cold-blooded sociopathic performances ever committed to celluloid. (Yeah - right up there with Robert Mitchum's Max Cady in Cape Fear.)

And yes – this does have some moments of honest-to-God, shockingly intense violence (it sure ain't no chick-flick ;-)

But for my money – IF SOME CHOWDERHEADS WOULD RELEASE IT ON DVD, ANYWAY – this is one of best suspense dramas in the past 30 years, much in the league of films like Point Blank and Charley Varrick.

Don't miss this one.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

creepy, intelligent thriller

Author: (sswenson@nortelnetworks.com) from Ontario, Canada
31 August 2000

A mild bank teller is pursued by a psychotic criminal after a bungled bank robbery. Thriller with less violence and more suspense. Fine understated acting, tense atmosphere and believable story. (Rating: A)

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Heard someone on the radio mention this film. Well worth watching.

8/10
Author: Dr.Evil from North East, MD
29 December 2002

I heard someone on a radio talk show about movies mention this film in regards to Christmas-themed movies. While not about the holiday season, it is instead an intelligent and tautly directed story of a bank teller attempting to outsmart a bank robber. Christopher Plummer is great as the robber. It's worth watching just for this alone. I've never cared much for Elliott Gould, but this role was just right for him. - Find this film if you can, and give it a go! Well worth the effort. - I found a copy on ebay, and will probably just keep it now. It's only available on VHS. Go get 'em!

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Everything Works-- Very Tense, Very Cool

9/10
Author: ghall3-3 from Austin, TX
24 March 2010

I saw this movie when it was in the theater originally. I remembered liking it a great deal and had looked for it for a long time. Although I remembered it as being excellent, I was 17 when I saw it originally, and probably drunk. I wasn't sure I would like it nearly as well when I was 47 and sober.

I was very pleasantly surprised. Eliot Gould doesn't work for me all that often. Seems like he is unbelievable/miscast in most roles. This role is perfect for him and he does a great job. The only thing wrong with Christopher Plumber (Plummer?? I can't spell) is that he hasn't really gotten that many good roles. He has a great role in "The Silent Partner" and he swings hard and connects fully. He is completely believable and his eerie character is highly memorable.

I can't think of many movies that I consider true "sleepers"-- movies that are vastly better than you would think given the lack of public attention or critical acclaim. "The Silent Partner" is on that short list. In a way it kind of reminds me of two other movies on my very short "sleeper" list-- "Blood Simple" and "Miller's Crossing." Tough to call any Coen Bros. movie a sleeper, but those got way, way less acclaim than they deserved. The Silent Partner has a similar kind of eerie intrigue to those movies. It is more similar to Blood Simple than Miller's Crossing. The plot and characters in Miller's Crossing were pushed to the point of hyperbole--and that line was kept the whole movie, but never crossed to the point of eroding the suspense. But, The Silent Partner displays many of the same virtues Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing have. It cracks into my top 50 movies. If you watch it on DVD, treat it like you are at the theater-- dark room, no interruptions, etc. It would be a waste not to.

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