106 minutes – Crime Drama
Release date: 1978
U.S. Release date: March 30, 1979
DVD Release date: April 3, 2007
Canadian distributor: Pan-Canadian Film Distributors
The Silent Partner is one of the few critical and commercial successes made during the tax-shelter era of Canadian film production. The script by Curtis Hanson (who later won Hollywood fame and a stack of Academy Awards for L.A. Confidential in 1998) is an unnerving blend of comedy and sudden violence. A robber (Christopher Plummer) holds up a bank, but later discovers that the teller (Elliott Gould) managed to put aside $50,000 that the police assume was stolen. Plummer’s attempts to recover the cash from Gould provide the suspense, while Gould’s attempts to bed a fellow employee (Susannah York) provide the subplot. The script is uneven at times, and Gould’s character annoyingly fatuous, but Plummer gives one of his best performances as the psychopathic thief, and the brutal murder of his girlfriend (Celine Lomez) remains one of the most violently graphic scenes in a Canadian film. Directed by Daryl Duke, it won Canadian Film Awards for Feature Film, Director, Editing, Musical Score, Sound Editing and Overall Sound. In his March 30, 1979 review in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert awarded The Silent Partner three-and-a-half of a possible four stars, calling it “a thriller that is not only intelligently and well acted and very scary, but also has the most audaciously clockwork plot I’ve seen in a long time.”
The poster and still of Christopher Plummer were scanned from originals in the Northernstars Collection.