When I first saw the 1976 comedy-thriller Silver Streak during its original theatrical run, I was a fresh-faced lass of 13. Although I’d gotten a few Alfred Hitchcock movies under my belt by then, at that point I’d still seen more Hitchcock pastiches (Stanley Donen’s Charade and Arabesque were among my favorites) than original Hitchcock films. I was eager to see more of The Master’s work, but at that point in time, few if any of us Average Joes and Josies owned VHS players, and DVDs weren’t even a twinkle in technology’s eye yet. Therefore, if I wanted to watch honest-to-God classic Hitchcock movies, I had to wait for them to turn up on TV, often in the wee hours of the night (see http://doriantb.blogspot.com/2010/10/midnight-movies-at-tv-oasis-bleary-eyed.html), or if I was really lucky, at one of the many revival theaters operating in my hometown of
|Looks like George doesn't support his local sheriff!|
|"Is that a gun in your hand, or are you just startled to see me?"|
Wilder is his usual neurotically endearing self as George, a gentle book publisher and divorcé. “I just want to be bored,” George says, prepared to bury himself in his work during his leisurely cross-country train trip from
|Don't you hate it when corpses interrupt your sexy-time?|
|Being a master of disguise is harder than it looks!|
I came across this anecdote from the IMDb that I thought you'd enjoy as much as I did: "When meeting Gene Wilder after having seen SILVER STREAK, Cary Grant asked him if the script had been in any way inspired by NORTH BY NORTHWEST. As Wilder admitted it was correct, Grant then added, "I knew it! Have you noticed that each time you take ordinary people, like you and me, then take them in a situation way above their heads, it makes a great thriller?" Considering that Cary Grant grew up in poverty as Archibald Leach and never forgot his humble beginnings, I find it both charming and unsurprising that he considered himself -- and Gene Wilder, for that matter -- to be "ordinary people." :-)ReplyDelete
Sitting here trying to imagine Cary Grant remarking "Why I'm just an ordinary person" in that patented voice of his.ReplyDelete
(Yes . . . why I embrace Leslie Caron just the same as any ordinary man would.)
Interesting that you should cite SILVER STREAK as your entrance into appreciating the films of Hitchcock. I don't think I could go back and point to the exact moment the lightning struck me. It was just that I would see stills of scenes (such as the Mt. Rushmore scene in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, or the Statue Of Liberty scene in SABOTEUR), and I knew I wanted to experience the movies those scenes were a part of.
Michael, I couldn't have said it better myself! Seeing stills and scenes from Hitchcock's greatest films definitely had me thinking, "Wow! Gotta see this movie at my first opportunity!" As I've said in previous blog posts, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN was essentially my gateway drug, Hitchcock-wise. Seeing well-done Hitchcock pastiches like SILVER STREAK and Stanley Donen's stylish comedy-thrillers whet my appetite for more, kind of like Daffy Duck's line from SHOW BIZ BUGS: "If they like that mess, they're starvin' for some real hoofin'!" :-)ReplyDelete
I love your Daffy Duck line, but then, I'm mad about Daffy. (Who else but you would quote Daffy Duck?) HA! Love it.ReplyDelete
Well, I was less enthused than you about SILVER STREAK, as you know from my recent post. But on the whole, I remain thankful for the Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder pairing. Classic.
As always, enjoyed reading your point of view, Dorian.:)
Yvette, I'm delighted we were able to share each other's blog posts about SILVER STREAK, even if I liked the flick a little more than you did! But as you've undoubtedly realized by now, I'm ridiculously easy to please! :-)ReplyDelete
I'm tickled that you enjoyed my Daffy Duck quote, too; he cracks me up, though I admit I prefer the wacky, zany Daffy to the greedy, craven little coward Daffy. But either way, he cracks me up!
Always fun to read your point of view, too, dear friend! Have a fab weekend!
I remember this was a fun movie but somehow I wouldn't have thought of it in the Hitchcock genre. I do love train flicks though--Darjeeling Limited, Transiberian, Unstoppable, Midnight Run,The Black Cat and Murder on the Orient Express just to name a few. I think White Christmas even has some fun scenes on a train. I love trains. Pryor was a genius and I've always loved Wilder. My favorite Hitchcock movies were Rear Window and The Birds, but anyway, thanks for the update on this classic.ReplyDelete
Eve, you're a gal after our own collective heart! True, many folks just think of SILVER STREAK as simply a comedy-thriller, but I can spot an Alfred Hitchcock motif a mile away. Screenwriter Colin Higgins (who also wrote the offbeat 1971 comedy HAROLD AND MAUDE, among others) clearly had a great affection for such playful Hitchcockian thrillers as THE LADY VANISHES, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, REAR WINDOW, and THE BIRDS. We've seen TRANSIBERIAN, too; that's another great train-centric film more people should discover. :-) Thanks for joining in the SILVER STREAK conversation, Eve; we're always happy to have you drop by TotED and hang out with us!Delete