6.9/10
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Silver Streak (1976)

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On a long-distance train trip, a man finds romance but also finds himself in danger of being killed, or at least pushed off the train.

Director:

Arthur Hiller

Writer:

Colin Higgins
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Wilder ... George
Jill Clayburgh ... Hilly
Richard Pryor ... Grover
Patrick McGoohan ... Devereau
Ned Beatty ... Sweet
Clifton James ... Sheriff Chauncey
Ray Walston ... Mr. Whiney
Stefan Gierasch ... Professor Schreiner & Johnson
Len Birman ... Chief
Valerie Curtin ... Plain Jane
Lucille Benson ... Rita Babtree
Scatman Crothers ... Ralston
Richard Kiel ... Reace
Fred Willard ... Jerry Jarvis
Delos V. Smith Jr. Delos V. Smith Jr. ... Burt (as Delos V. Smith)
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Storyline

A somewhat daffy book editor on a rail trip from Los Angeles to Chicago thinks that he sees a murdered man thrown from the train. When he can find no one who will believe him, he starts doing some investigating of his own. But all that accomplishes is to get the killer after him. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing can stop the Silver Streak See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El expreso de Chicago See more »

Filming Locations:

Okotoks, Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$51,079,064, 31 December 1977
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When George first enters Sheriff Chauncey's office, the Sheriff is watching a gangster movie on television. The movie was The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), another film by 20th Century Fox. See more »

Goofs

The porter claims the locomotives are not accessible from inside the train. FP7 diesels (and similar streamlined units) were equipped with access hatches in the front and rear. It is unlikely that a railroad employee who regularly works on passenger trains would not have known this. See more »

Quotes

[George drinks over his loss of Hilly, and tells Bob]
George Caldwell: Did you know... that the Brainard Tunnel is the highest point on this line?
Bob Sweet: Yeah, yeah. I knew that.
George Caldwell: Did you know that when we reach it I intend to be higher?
See more »

Alternate Versions

When Silver Streak was first shown on TV, it had scenes that were not in the home video version, such as:
  • There's an extra scene of George and Rita talking. She inquires as to if he was riding hobo on the train.
  • A longer scene of Rita and George taking off in the airplane.
  • At the beginning when George arrives at the train station, the taxi driver comments that since George is going from Los Angeles to Chicago and a train that he must be a sucker for boredom.
  • A scene where the Silver Streak is pulling into the Kansas City station, which takes place right before Grover and George rush in.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masculinity in 1976
24 May 2006 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

I saw this film in the cinema as a teenager when it came out. It was sold, I think, as a Hitchcock parody and I thought parodies were great. Gene Wilder was the star, that was one more reason for me to see it, as I had greatly enjoyed his performance in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Stuff like that attracted me much more than movies with Robert Redford or Charles Bronson who then were the big male heroes of the screen.

Now, a good 30 years later, I watched Silver Streak a second time. It is an unusual mixture of comedy, action thriller and disaster movie. Characters like the ones played by Wilder, Clayburgh or Pryor seem to have become extinct – in the movies, I mean. They just seem to be so ... ordinary and normal and also kind hearted. Everything about Silver Streak is so unpretentious, seeing it today that really was a kind of a revelation to me.

A lot of the movie deals with masculinity and the assertion of it. It all happens in a very relaxed manner. Nothing and nobody is taken too seriously, conquests are made without effort, failure is accepted with grace. In a strange way, this movie really represents a better, unattainable world. I doubt if someone like Gene Wilder wold make it as a movie star today – the public, it seems, needs the grimaces of Jim Carrey to be amused. Pity.

Come to think of it, in France they had a movie comedian who looked very similar to Wilder. His name was Pierre Richard and his fame reached its zenith at about the same time as Wilder's before fizzling out somewhere in the eighties, when the Stallones and Schwarzeneggers took over.

Silver Streak is an entertaining and – in a positive way - forgettable movie. It has a pleasant musical score by Henry Mancini, this great eclecticist of the 20th century. The older I'm getting the more I enjoy his music and respect his enormous body of work.


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