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The Silent Partner (1978) filmnoiroftheweek.com Is The Silent Partner the best Canadian crime film? That's a bit of a joke because I can't think of any other Canadian crime film. I first discovered the movie about 5 years ago. I'm a movie nerd, and this movie is so small and forgotten even the most die hard crime film fans have probably never heard of it. The film never got the correct distribution in theaters in the US, and wasn't rediscovered on VHS or TV the years following it's release. That's a shame. The movie bookends nicely with Elliot Gould's other neo-noir starrer from 5 years earlier The Long Goodbye. Like Gould's interpretation of Philip Marlowe as a sleepwalking gumshoe trying to understand 70s Los Angeles, Gould cleverly makes his character in The Silent Partner something more than meets the eye. Kim Morgan interviewed Gould recently as part of the screening of the film Christmas Eve at the New Beverly Cinema in LA. Gould says his character Miles is "a very interesting metaphor in getting someone to come out and get involved in life." Gould plays a humble bank teller. He spends all his time alone with his fish, books and chess board in a cozy apartment that just begs to hang around in all day. He's shaken back to life when he find out a bank robbery is being planned at work. Instead if reporting it, he figures out a way to rip off the robber and bank. He wakes from his day to day life to find that he'll take a chance at a criminal act. The thing is, he discovers quickly that he's very good at being a manipulative criminal. The most memorable scene in the film is the bank robbery by Santa Claus. Harry the fake Claus is played by Christopher Plummer. It's a jaw-dropping performance. When he's not in disguise he's a overly-tanned slight man who wears eyeliner and long, manicured nails. A wholly original character. The best comparisons to other movie villains would be DeNiro's Mephistopheles in Angel Heart merged with Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. When Harry beats a woman nearly to death at his gym (to create an alibi) the gym guy says, "Harry, you really went too far this time." Ouch. He's smart and deadly right from the start. Harry realizes after the robbery that he was short changed a pile of Canadian cash. He quickly puts two-and-two together and hunts bank teller Miles down. And every time Harry thinks he can intimidate and pressure Miles into giving him the money, Miles finds a way to double cross him. It's not "cat and mouse" it's "cat and cat." Gould goes the extra mile here. If another actor was cast in the lead, every tip off and double cross would have been hinted at. Gould plays it straight. He takes sharp left turns at full speed without warning. And it drives the professional criminal Harry crazy. It's fun to watch and reminded me a bit of Richard Stark's Parker. You're only shown Miles' plan when it happens. The rest of the cast is strong, but the film is really about Miles and Harry. Susannah York (Superman's mom the same year) and model/actress Céline Lomez are the females in the film. York is frustrated after being dismissed by Gould shortly after a romantic hookup. But like most reveals you have no idea why until the finale. Equally stunning Lomez is under Plummer's Svengali spell until her ultraviolet end involving death by aquarium and a burial that would be approved by Hitchcock or Patricia Highsmith. John Candy appear in the film well before he's a star. Even when he's doing his background miming, you can't help but look at him. A true movie star. A few touches are amusing watching today. When the bank robbery first happens, Miles becomes a bit of an unexpected media celebrity. A 70s version of a internet sensation. The mall Miles' bank is located is painted classic drab 70s brown and tan. The mall fast food place is so Canadian they sell healthy juice instead of junk. York's huge apartment is one of those "only in movies" places that no assistant bank manager could ever afford. Finally, I should mention a few nods to classic noir. When York meet Gould for a ride to the company Christmas Party, she enters the scene atop a tall staircase just like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. And Christopher Plummer wears a ankle bracelet not unlike one worn by Stanwyck in the same film! Directed expertly by Daryl Duke and a perfectly constructed screenplay penned by Curtis Hanson (who would reach even greater heights with his Christmas neo-noir LA Confidential!). Music by the "Maharaja of the keyboard" Oscar Peterson (his only film soundtrack.) If you're in LA, the film is playing at the New Beverly Theater Christmas Eve. Streamers can actually find the film in great shape on Amazon, Itunes or Google's movie streaming services for only a few bucks (US). Written by Steve-O
A traumatised veteran, unafraid of violence, tracks down missing girls for a living. When a job spins out of control, his nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening.
In the midst of the Great Depression, manipulative emcee Rocky enlists contestants for a dance marathon offering a $1,500 cash prize. Among them are a failed actress, a middle-aged sailor, a delusional blonde and a pregnant girl.
Dramatic retelling of the fateful last voyage of the Nantucket whaleship Essex. When the Essex is attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in November 1820, her crew take to three fragile whalers. Alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the men must decide whether to head for the nearest islands - a thousand miles downwind to the west - or set out on an epic journey of almost three thousand miles to reach the South American mainland. Fear of cannibals forces them to choose South America. Almost three months later, the first whaler is rescued by another whaleship. Only three men are still alive. A week later the captain's whaler is also rescued, with just two men aboard. The third whaler is never found. This is a story of human endurance and what men in extremis will do to survive.
Remake of the 1955 film.
A gang of bank robbers plan a big robbery, but they all plot to betray each other after the heist for different reasons.
A doctor hires an escort to seduce her husband, whom she suspects of cheating, though unforeseen events put the family in danger.
A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.
On Christmas Eve, Mauro, a reporter, has 24 hours to find a headline.
In a small Arctic town struggling with the highest suicide rate in North America, a group of Inuit students' lives are transformed when they are introduced to the sport of lacrosse.
Santa Clause is making his rounds on Christmas EVE but Santa's intentions are pretty selfish, and nothing goes as anticipated.
Harvested 2 (2022), The Legend of Harold Rice is the holiday horror sequel to Harvested (2021). The story of a group of social media influencers who travel to Hayfork, CA on Thanksgiving Day to get footage of the Harvest Monster aka Harold Rice. While chasing fame, fortune and likes, they soon come face to face with the urban legend who owns the night. Although the plot is predicated on influencer culture and social media relevancy, Harvested 2 has elements from horror films of the 60's, 70's, and 80's as well as 90's slasher vibes. Cortney Elise, will be making her streaming debut along-side Ruby Lee Dove, Hana Wu, Meg Cherilus, Amber Perez, Jenna Nimri and Gregor Haley. Written and Directed by the 23X international award winning filmmaker Alex West, Harvested 2 will be released to streaming on Thursday November 24, 2022 where it will be FREE to the public. Because it is a Culture Forward TV original film, it will only be available on Culture Forward TV on Roku!