Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

'Silver Streak' Coming To Blu-Ray 8/3 (But Would It Play Today?)

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act June 27, 2013 at 12:13PM

In 1976, one of the biggest comedy hits of the year was Silver Streak, with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, but whether the film would be as big a hit today is another question altogether.
8
Silver Streak 2

In 1976, one of the biggest comedy hits of the year was Silver Streak, with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, but whether the film would be as big a hit today is another question altogether.

Pryor stole Streak right from under Wilder, and it was the film that propelled Pryor from being a popular movie co-star to a bona fide A-list movie star.

In the film, which was a spoof of Hitchcock films, Wilder plays a mild mannered ordinary guy on a train trip who witnesses a murder and finds himself being chased by bad guys who want him dead, and the police, who want him for murder, on and off the train.

Of course, no one believes him, except for a woman and romantic interest whom he meets (Jill Clayburgh), and a thief played by Pryor, who helps him reveal the big conspiracy behind it all - the bad guys and the police.

As films go, it’s pretty routine with other comedy thrillers of the period, such as Foul Play, but one of the scenes in the movie that set it apart, aside from the scene where Pryor turns the tables on the bad guys, and the big spectacular action climax, was the moment where Pryor helps Wilder avoid the police by disguising him in blackface to sneak past the cops.

It was the scene that people talked about at the time as the comedy highlight of the film. And maybe it was funny then, but looking at it now, it’s rather grisly and painfully awkward to watch. I suspect the scene wouldn’t play so well if it was in a movie today.

Times have changed, and so have attitudes. People are now too critical (definitely a good thing) and aware. Look at Paula Deen still scrambling to save her empire while losing business and endorsement deals every day.

Now you could make the argument that the entire sequence in Streak was conceived to actually mock and invert the whole concert of blackface, turning it on its head, and white people’s perception of black people and our behavior. But you could also say that it does so in a rather clumsy way.

And of course, having Pryor in the scene playing the character who comes up with the idea, and who tries to teach Wilder how to “be black,” makes it O.K. to laugh. If Pryor has no problem with the scene, why should we?

Or are we being too sensitive? A joke is joke, so why are we being so sensitive. “Why do we have to be so serious all the time?” I can already hear people saying. Why not I say?

All this leads to the fact that the film is coming out on Blu-ray on Aug 6 through Anchor Bay/Starz Home Video. 

But are you dying to see it again?

Here’s the trailer:

This article is related to: Richard Pryor, Flashback


Shadow & ActNewsletter