Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' Open Casting Call - 2 Male Leads in New Feature Film From the Producers of 'Pariah' & 'Yelling to the Sky' "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) "Stakes Is High" in First Trailer for Season 2 of STARZ Hit Drama Series 'Power' (Returns This Summer) An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Watch Teaser for 'Being Mary Jane' Season 2 + Details on Story, Guest Stars Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' 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