The Unenthusiastic Critic concludes her 2020 marathon of "Christmas-adjacent" movies, with an unjustly forgotten suspense thriller from the 1970s: Daryl Duke's The Silent Partner (1978), starring Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer.

First, this week, we're having a brief discussion about Our Year in Review, as we discover which movies The Unenthusiastic Critic is glad she watched in 2020, which ones she is angry she watched, and which ones she doesn't even remember watching.

Then, we're sitting down for Nakea's first viewing of a sleeper classic. Overlooked and under-distributed on its release in 1978, The Silent Partner is a tense cat-and-mouse game that turns out to be a cat-and-cat game, as Elliott Gould's seemingly meek bank teller turns out to be more than a match for Christopher Plummer's homicidal bank robber.

Will Michael be able to convince Nakea that this overlooked Hitchcockian gem—with an early screenplay by Oscar-winner Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential)—deserves to be a cult canon Christmas favorite?


0:00: Prologue: from The Silent Partner
0:33: Preliminary Discussion: Our Year in Review
12:26: Interlude: from The Silent Partner
12:46: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
20:49: Original Trailer
22:35: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
54:36: Outro and Next Week's Movie
56:03: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: The Silent Partner (dir. Daryl Duke, Carolco, 1978)
—Links and Resources: Elliott Gould interviewed by Kim Morgan, Sunset Gun; Review by Roger Ebert,; Review by Gary Arnold, Washington Post; The Silent Partner on the Criterion Channel; Twitter account Is There a Fish Tank in That Film?
—Find additional episodes, leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at
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—Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0

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2 thoughts on “THE SILENT PARTNER (1978)”

  1. I agree with the Unenthusiastic Critic about movies such as "Dressed to Kill" that cross the line into promoting harmful prejudice.

    "The Silent Partner" owes a debt to the 1971 safe deposit box heist film "$", where Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn ignore the Unenthusiastic Critic's warning not to steal from people scarier than them. Though Christopher Plummer in "The Silent Partner" easily beats the earlier film's villains in the scary department.

    Speaking of heist movies with amoral characters and fish tanks, did John Cleese see "The Silent Partner" before he wrote "A Fish Called Wanda"?

    I didn't notice the one arm either, but was the person attached to it a mailman or just a paperboy?

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