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CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER & ELLIOTT GOULD IN 'THE SILENT PARTNER'

Christopher Plummer in The Silent Partner Year: 1978

An almost perfect vehicle for the recently-departed legendary actor Christopher Plummer, who was always intense and scowling and very intimidating... Especially in the Canadian bank-heist thriller (made in Canada showing Canadian cash) THE SILENT PARTNER; yet he's a little too silent and needed to be in the picture a lot 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 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 side-plot all its own... 

Christopher Plummer & Elliott Gould RATING: ***1/2

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

Which then drags into a tremendous lull after Plummer's tricked into prison, replaced by a glamorous woman (younger and prettier than bank employee/ingenue Susannah York), seducing Gould, who'd become a kind of instant celebrity from the live news footage, and that's one of the biggest problems...

As this Hitchcockian thriller's dashing Cary Grant, he's 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.     

Elliott Gould in THE SILENT PARTNER
Gail Dahms-Bonine in THE SILENT PARTNER with Susannah York
THE SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer
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

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