A derivative farce from one of the masters of derivation, Colin Higgins, who has made a career of studying Hitchcock, transforming some of the plots to comedies, and riding the crest of the wave to success. This picture earned well over $30 million due, in great part, to Pryor's brief but hysterical appearance. He and Wilder would team up again for STIR CRAZY. Wilder is a meek book executive who wants to take a leisurely train ride from Los Angeles to Chicago aboard the Silver Streak train. Instead, his trip turns out to be a nightmare. He meets and romances Clayburgh, an art professor's assistant who is traveling in an adjoining compartment. The pair get mixed up with a gang of art forgers and Wilder witnesses a murder; soon, the crooks are gunning for him. About halfway into the story Wilder is joined by Pryor, and the movie takes a sudden turn to comic excellence. Clayburgh, who was coming off the disastrous GABLE AND LOMBARD and had since licked her critical wounds, delivers a believable performance, but she is no Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. Mancini's score is a bit too elegant and sophisticated for the goings-on. SILVER STREAK is a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s but with none of the verve or the motivation needed to get an audience to swallow the shenanigans. What Higgins apparently did was to study STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, then THE LADY VANISHES, and figure a way to combine the two with a bit of laughter.