Shelf of Shame: Comedy Edition – Silver Streak (1976)


Fun action/comedy blending exciting set pieces. Mostly a showcase for Gene Wilder, especially during the first hour when it goes for more of a Hitchcockian vibe. Richard Pryor only comes more than an hour into it, when it drifts almost entirely into pure action territory. Hops from light romance to mistaken identity thriller to disaster movie blockbuster in two hours. Highlight is Wilder and Jill Clayburgh’s chemistry during the opening act. I do wish we got more time with Wilder and Pryor on screen together, but maybe I’ll get that in “Stir Crazy” and/or “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” (both on Netflix Instant). Directed by Arthur Hiller.

Grade: B-

Does it belong on YOUR Shelf of Shame? No. You’ll have a good time, but I wouldn’t call this an essential comedy by any stretch. My goal was to finally fit in one Wilder/Pryor flick, so mission accomplished, but I could have gone with any of them to get it done.

Up next: Meatballs (1979)

  • SOME LIKE IT HOT (greatest comedy ever? need to see more Billy Wilder)
  • MEATBALLS (set Bill Murray’s film career in motion, created a legend)
  • A SHOT IN THE DARK (many including my dad call the best Pink Panther)
  • SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (need to see more Preston Sturges)
  • MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (seen the other Python, gotta complete it)
  • EDDIE MURPHY RAW (is this the best standup movie ever?)
  • MIDNIGHT RUN (always stared at me in video stores)
  • THE APARTMENT (again with the Wilder, plus a best picture winner I haven’t seen)
  • WITHNAIL & I (gotta represent the cult classics, one I just keep hearing about)
  • SILVER STREAK (always wanted to see a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder flick)