[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/silverstreak.jpg]]

->''"Getting on the Silver Streak is easy. ''Staying'' on is the problem."''

A 1976 comedy/action/mystery film directed by Arthur Hiller, written by Colin Higgins, and starring Creator/GeneWilder, Jill Clayburgh, and Creator/RichardPryor.

George Caldwell (Wilder) is a book editor traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago via a passenger train nicknamed the "Silver Streak". On board, he meets a vitamin salesman named Bob Sweet (Ned Beatty) and a secretary named Hilly Burns (Clayburgh), whom he quickly romances.

While trying to get intimate with Hilly, George sees the body of Hilly's employer, Professor Schreiner, falling off the roof. When George attempts to investigate, he too is thrown off the train. He eventually makes his way back on the train, and tells Bob Sweet what happened. Sweet reveals that he's actually an FBI agent who's been tailing international art dealer, Roger Devereau ([[Series/DangerMan Patrick]] [[Series/ThePrisoner McGoohan]]), and believes that he's the one responsible for Schreiner's death. Schreiner's new book on Rembrandt would have exposed several of Devereau's prized pieces as frauds. However, Devereau's henchmen [[spoiler: kill Sweet]], and attempt to kill George who escapes the train, hoping to inform the authorities. Unfortunately, Devereau has already framed George for Sweet's death. He is able to evade the police with the aid of a thief named Grover T. Muldoon (Pryor), and must find a way back aboard the Silver Streak and rescue Hilly.

This was the first of four films that Wilder and Pryor appeared in together.
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!!Tropes seen in ''Silver Streak'':

* BerserkButton: Grover's reaction to Devereau dropping the N-Bomb on him... priceless!
* BloodFromTheMouth: [[spoiler: Bob Sweet]] after being shot dies this way while talking to George.
* BookEnds: Provided by the train porter, Ralston:
-->"Goodbye, L.A., goodbye!"
-->"Hello, Chicago, hello!"
* ChessMaster: Devereau certainly fancies himself as one, although his supposed mastery is mostly one IndyPloy after another. Bob Sweet (a.k.a. [[spoiler: Agent Stevens]]) is also a ChessMaster, of the CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass variety.
* ClearMyName: As if George didn't have enough to worry about, he's framed for Sweet's murder.
* CoolCar: The Jaguar XK-E that Grover steals from the used car lot, and the Fiat he liberates after the Union Station crash at the end.
-->'''George:''' Are you crazy? I thought we were gonna take the Chevy in the back?
-->'''Grover:''' Chevy? That's a jerk-off, man! This here is ''pure pussy''!
-->'''George:''' "Pure pussy"? Tell that to the judge!
* CoolOldLady: Lucille Benson (who specialized in that kind of role) as the crop-duster pilot who gives George a lift after he's ejected from the train the first time.
* DeadfootLeadfoot: [[spoiler:Devereau is killed after taking over the train, but unfortunately there's still a heavy toolbox sitting on the dead-man's pedal. Modern locomotives use an intermittent alerter system to avoid this potential for abuse.]]
* FictionalCounterpart: [=AMRoad=], for Amtrak. The "Silver Streak" itself is presumably based on Amtrak's "Southwest Chief" train (though the train scenes were actually filmed using the thinly disguised Canadian Pacific Railway "Canadian").
* GiantMook: Reace, played by Richard Kiel.
* Music/HenryMancini: Provided the music score.
* HiddenDepths: Bob Sweet, who at first seems to be a womanizing buffoon, is actually [[spoiler: an undercover government agent chasing the BigBad. In fact, given his first conversation with George, he may even be the ChessMaster.]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Grover, a car thief that George encounters and helps free from arrest about halfway through the film, goes out of his way to help George rescue Hilly instead of simply thinking about his own freedom.
* LowClearance: George is knocked off the top of the train by a signal light.
* MagicBrakes: Surprisingly accurate: [[spoiler: uncoupling the cars causes the air lines to break, thus setting off the emergency brakes.]]
* PoliceAreUseless: George's efforts to explain Devereau's plot to TheSheriff prove ineffective.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Devereau drops the N-bomb on Grover.
** Doubles as a PrecisionFStrike.
* RuleOfThree: George is thrown off the train three times. [[RunningGag Each time]] he expresses his frustration with a loud "SONOFABITCH!!!"
* RunawayTrain: Devereau has his men disable the brakes, as they prepare their escape.
* SaltAndPepper: George and Grover.
* ShoeShineMister: The police are looking for George, so Grover buys some shoe polish from a shoeshiner at a stand at the train station to use to [[BlackLikeMe disguise him as a black man]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Creator/NorthByNorthwest'', which this film's director (Arthur Hiller) and screenwriter (Colin Higgins) admired.
* ThisIsReality: George is surprised as to how quickly a gun runs out of bullets.
** Grover also asks George "What do think this is, a Western?"
* ThrillerOnTheExpress: The plot doesn't get confined to the train all the time but most is there and the events on the train generate the reasons for George not having anywhere else to go.
* [[CaliforniaDoubling Toronto Doubling]]: Many of the railroad station scenes (supposedly Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Chicago) were actually filmed in various parts of Union Station in Toronto. Also, Alberta stands in for the Midwest in several places.
* TraintopBattle: George has one of these against Reace about halfway through the film. (Footage from the scene, with Wilder - or rather his stunt double - dangling from an overhead railroad signal, was later incorporated into the opening credits of ''{{Series/The Fall Guy}}''.)
* TheWindyCity
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