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CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER & ELLIOTT GOULD IN 'THE SILENT PARTNER'

Title: THE SILENT PARTNER Year: 1978 Rating: ****

An almost perfect vehicle for Christopher Plummer, who, playing either nice guys or menacing villains, was always intensely scowling and extremely intimidating... Especially in the Canadian bank-heist thriller THE SILENT PARTNER (made in Canada showing Canadian cash); yet he's a little too silent and needed to be in the picture more, all but vanishing halfway through until a somewhat rushed third act...

But there are topnotch suspenseful moments along the way, which has a creative premise where Elliott Gould's lonesome, tropical-fish collecting bank teller, after finding a discarded robbery note, figures from a particular written-letter "G" that the bank in Ontario's fancy Eaton Center Mall will be robbed by Plummer, the mall's bell-ringing Santa... 

And when the heist goes down, Gould's sharp and sneaky, morally-ambiguous Cullen winds up robbing the robber: keeping a large sum reported to the media for himself while giving a small amount to Plummer... then locking it into his own secret safe deposit box, which has a nifty little subplot all its own... 

Christopher Plummer & Elliott Gould in The Silent Partner

But the initial scenes equally involving both Gould and Plummer... a cat-and-mouse game where the latter becomes a psychopathic woman-beating lunatic... are the most intriguing... 

Which then drags into a lull after Plummer's jailed, replaced by a glamorous Céline Lomez... younger and prettier than bank employee Susannah York... who quickly seduces Gould,  now an instant celebrity from the post-robbery news footage, and that's one of the biggest problems...

As this Hitchcockian thriller's dashing Cary Grant, he's simply not leading mannish enough for these dames to be so crazy about (then again, blonde bombshell Gail Dahms-Bonine quickly marries John Candy). However, Gould does convey his glib LONG GOODBYE persona during the more fun, resilient parts, but overall it's Plummer's ride, or could've been had Curtis Hanson's script wielded more urgency into the initial hole Gould dug himself into, and that he gets out of too easy, blunting the psychotic threat that needed to be more looming and formidable for him, and the audience.     

Kino Lorber cover of THE SILENT PARTNER
Elliott Gould in THE SILENT PARTNER with Céline Lomez
Actor and producer Stephen Young in THE SILENT PARTNER
Nancy Simmonds in THE SILENT PARTNER
Actor and producer Stephen Young in THE SILENT PARTNER

Elliott Gould in THE SILENT PARTNER
Gail Dahms-Bonine in THE SILENT PARTNER with Susannah York
THE SILENT PARTNER with Susannah York
Michele Rosen in THE SILENT PARTNER
Gail Dahms-Bonine in THE SILENT PARTNER with John Candy
Nancy Simmonds in THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
Elliott Gould in THE SILENT PARTNER with Nuala Fitzgerald
THE SILENT PARTNER with Charlotte Blunt & Sean Sullivan
Elliott Gould in THE SILENT PARTNER with Charlotte Blunt
THE SILENT PARTNER with Susannah York
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
Gail Dahms-Bonine in THE SILENT PARTNER with Susannah York
THE SILENT PARTNER with Céline Lomez
THE SILENT PARTNER with  Céline Lomez and Christopher Plummer
THE SILENT PARTNER with Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
John Candy and Gail Dahms in THE SILENT PARTNER
Charlotte Blunt and Michael Kirby in THE SILENT PARTNER
Susannah York in THE SILENT PARTNER
Charlotte Blunt and Elliott Gould in THE SILENT PARTNER
John Candy in THE SILENT PARTNER
Christopher Plummer in THE SILENT PARTNER
John Candy and Gail Dahms in THE SILENT PARTNER
Christopher Plummer in THE SILENT PARTNER
Christopher Plummer in THE SILENT PARTNER
Céline Lomez in THE SILENT PARTNER
Céline Lomez in THE SILENT PARTNER
Christopher Plummer in THE SILENT PARTNER

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