​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE SILENT PARTNER (1978)

#60 on the countdown is an outstanding (and long-forgotten) thriller called The Silent Partner (1978). This was one of the first Canadian tax shelter movies, where the goal was not necessarily to make money. That was frowned upon. Which might have kept anyone from meddling with this excellent film. Elliot Gould is a teller at a bank in a Toronto shopping mall around the holidays. He finds a scribbled note that could only be seen if you flipped up the blank first sheet and looked at the carbon paper form underneath. He also sees that the "G" in the note is unusual - and matches a handdrawn sigh by a nearby Santa collecting for charity outside (Christopher Plummer, never more menacing and scary). Deducing that Santa is casing the bank, he brings in a metal lunchbox and stashes it under his counter. When the inevitable robbery takes place, he puts most of the money in his lunchbox, gives Plummer only a couple thousand (who flees with it) and is interviewed on TV as saying the bank was taken for over $50,000! An angry Plummer figures out what's going on, finds out where Gould lives, and demands his money. And that's where the cat-and-mouse game begins. Gould's teller is a pretty sharp customer, and both take turns outsmarting each other until The Silent Partner makes it to his lively finale. Gould is really good here, focused, aware of the stakes and sharp while Plummer, with his effeminate makeup and nails and his anger issues, makes for a smart, frightening, unpredictable nemesis. Susannah York as the bank employee in charge of the safe deposit boxes (and whom Gould sometimes pursues romantically) has never been lovelier as she is constantly perplexed by Gould's crazy (to her behavior). Director Daryl Duke hits on all cylinders here. Not terribly dated, definitely worth your while.

TLA one-word review: unexpected

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?