Imagine you’re a bank teller and discover someone is planning to hold-up your branch. Would you tell the police? Would you call in sick? Or would you do as Elliott Gould’s character in The Silent Partner does and steal the money yourself? The gunman escapes with a pittance, you report the full amount as stolen and pocket the difference. A great plan, but what if the gunman knows you’ve done it and wants the money?
That’s the setup and the film doesn’t squander it. The plot layers double-cross atop double-cross—some predictable, others not—but never feels forced or outlandish. It respects our intelligence.
The cast shines too. Christopher Plummer chills as the psychotic, mascara-clad thief. Gould’s towering stature and confident swagger make him less-than-perfect for his part (Dustin Hoffman would have been ideal) but his innate charisma compensates.
My lone complaint lies with the dialogue, which doesn’t crackle like it should for a film this twisty. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I’d love to see a remake scripted by David Mamet.