Silver Streak

by Cap'n Carrot on August 13, 2013

in Film

Taking Alfred Hitchcock‘s concept of a man in far over his head in North by Northwest to absurd levels, director Arthur Hiller’s Silver Streak provided not only an enjoyable comedic thriller but also the first opportunity to pair Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor on-screen together. And, once again proving my Train Theory (that all things being equal, movies with trains are better than similiar movies without), this is still their best collaboration.

When George Caldwell (Wilder) boards the Silver Streak, a train from Los Angeles to Chicago, on his way to his sister’s wedding, looking for no more than two days of relaxation and boredom he has no idea the journey he is actually embarking on. On the train he meets the lovely Hilly Burns (Jill Clayburgh) and during a romantic night in his cabin a rather drunk and distracted George sees the body of Hilly’s boss Professor Gierasch (Stefan Gierasch) fall from the roof of the train.

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After being blown away by the opening train sequence from Toy Story 3 recently Sean O’Connell started to think back over the best trains in films. Over at Scene-Stealers today you can his list of Top 10 Best Trains in Movie History.

Personally I love trains in movies. I even made a little theory on the subject. It runs something like this: All things being equal, movies with trains are usually better than movies without trains. If you take two similar films (two Bond films, two Hitchcock films, etc.) the one with a train will be (there are exceptions) at least slightly superior to the one without a train.

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