What Do They Want You For? Murder: Silver Streak (1976)


What do they want you for?

Murder.

Drop me off anywhere along here okay? I don’t mess with the Big M.

So I don’t know about you all but one of my favorite actors is Gene Wilder:

It is a spoof of the thriller, disaster, and mystery films. In fact it reminds me of the Alfred Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes, but definitely more ’70s flavor.

George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) is a quiet book editor that is traveling from Los Angeles, CA to Chicago for his sister’s wedding. He is hoping for a quiet time alone on the train, but life is not planning that.

He meets Hilly Burns (Jill Clayburgh), secretary for Professor Schreiner, who has a new book coming out on Rembrandt. She comes on to him and the two get close in a few short minutes. 

But then things start going a little strange. He sees a dead body hanging outside his window.

I know, right?

George wants to investigate it, but Hilly says he is drunk and should just come to bed with her. Of course George ignores the body and goes with Hilly.

The next day, George looks at the book Hilly gave him about Rembrandt and sees a picture of the author-who turns out to be the dead body he saw last night.

George gets thrown off the train by the minions that took Professor Schreiner out and finds himself meeting up with a fun farmlady who helps him make it back to the train. 

Finally

Afterwards, George confides in a vitamin salesman, Bob Sweets, who spoke to him earlier, and it is revealed that the guy is actually an FBI agent, named Steven, who is investigating an important art ring. While they go to make an arrest-Steven gets shot. Now George finds himself branded a murderer in the press, on the run as a fugitive, thrown off the train, and it looks like Hilly has moved on to the super rich Roger Devereau.

But George won’t give up. He needs to get the truth, get is girl, and get back on that train. He ends up teaming up with thief Grover T. Muldoon (Richard Pryor). The rest of the film is full of hijinks, hilarity, and thrills.

Now there is one thing that people won’t like. There is a scene in which Grover tries to help George hide from he police by painting him black and teaching him “to be black” with George failing of course. It is funny, but there is quite a few out there who might find it offensive.

If you like thrills, mystery, parodies, etc-you should check this out on Netflix.

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to It Feels So Good to See the Bad Guys Scared for a Change: Hangman’s Curse (2003)

For more Gene Wilder, go to A Trip to the Mall Turns into the Twilight Zone

For more train centered films, go to Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

For more horror-comedies, go to Is She Mrs. X?: So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

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