Nov 13, 2010

The Silent Partner + Black Christmas Dec 15th at the Mayfair

Dec. 15th: Xmas Chills Double Bill, Mayfair Theatre $10

The Silent Partner, 1979, Directed by Daryl Duke, 106mins, 1.85, mono, rated R, 35mm original print

Christopher Plummer gets to play big, bad, and bold as the villain of The Silent Partner, a thriller set in late 1970's Toronto.  Using the Eaton Centre as a prime location, The Silent Partner also stars Elliot Gould as a bank clerk out to thwart Plummer's plans. Great fun, and more than a little shocking at times for its ferocious depiction of ruthless criminality. This film was written by Curtis Hanson, who later went on to direct L.A. Confidential, The River Wild,Wonder Boys and 8 Mile. A highlight of the Tax Shelter Years, this film was one of the more polished films of the era. Also starring Susannah Yorke. Watch for an appearance by John Candy.

Black Christmas, 1974, Directed by Bob Clark, 98mins, 1.85, Mono, rated R, 35mm original print

Director Bob Clark owns the distinction of having produced one of the most beloved Christmas movies of the past 40 years (1983's A Christmas Story) and also the scariest in 1974's Black Christmas. Both were filmed mostly in Canada. Clark is often credited as the inventor of the slasher genre that went on to great commercial success in the 1980's (HalloweenFriday the 13th etc), but that credit does him a bit of a disservice, conjuring up images of generic slice-em dice-em exploitation films with little artistic merit.  If Black Christmas belongs to the slasher genre, it is surely one of the best, and one that uses old-fashioned suspense to scare its audience and rather than excessive gore.  With an star-studded cast including Keir Dullea (star of Stanley Kubrick's 2001), Margot Kidder (Superman), Andrea Martin (SCTV), John Saxon (Enter the Dragon), and Argentinian beauty Olivia Hussey (Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet). 

For a more detailed preview of the double bill by John Yemen go here