Silver Streak 
(1976) (Comedy/adventure)
© 1999 by Raymond Weschler
Major Characters George Caldwell.........................Gene Wilder A publisher who decides to take the "Silver Streak," a train from Los Angeles to Chicago, in order to attend his sister's wedding. He is not taking the train because he is afraid of flying, but because he wants to have a nice relaxing weekend. In fact, he just "wants to be bored." Hilly Burns.............................Jill Clayburgh A charming secretary who is taking the Silver Streak with her boss, Professor Schreiner, in order to attend an art conference in Chicago. Professor Schreiner.....................Stefan Gierasch A Professor of art who is going to lecture in Chicago on the authenticity of certain paintings by Rembrandt. Mr. Devereau..............................Patrick McGoohan A completely unscrupulous (evil) art collector who will do anything, including commit mass murder, to enhance his reputation and wealth. Mr. Whiney..................................Ray Walston An assistant to Mr. Devereau. Reace...............................................Richard Kiel Another assistant to Mr. Devereau, who has very bad teeth. Sweet...............................................Ned Beatty A federal police agent traveling on the train, pretending to be a vitamin salesman in order to follow Devereau. Rita Babtree....................................Lucielle Benson An old woman who lives in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, who agrees to help George get back on the train. Grover Muldoon........................Richard Pryor A charming and fun professional thief who also agrees to help George get back on the train and save Hilly from Mr. Devereau. Plot Summary George is a nice guy from Los Angeles taking the train in order to go to his sister's wedding in Chicago. He just wants to relax. Unfortunately, he chooses the wrong train. He quickly becomes romantically involved with Hilly, a sweet secretary to Professor Schriener, an old German art historian who is about to expose something quite dramatic at an upcoming art conference. The professor is going to show that certain Rembrandt paintings which are owned by Mr. Devereau, a noted art collector, are actually fakes! Mr. Devereau, a truly evil person, is determined to not allow the professor to embarrass him by exposing this information. Unfortunately for George, he quickly becomes involved in Devereau's plans to stop the professor, after he sees what he thinks is the professor's murdered body. For George, things are not always what they seem, but in his attempt to find out the truth, he soon finds that it's a challenge just to stay on the train. With the help of lots of interesting people that he meets on the way, George is able to save Hilly from great harm,and eventually find the truth as to the mystery of Professor Schriener and the stolen Rembrandts. This movie is a good comedy, with huge amounts of colloquial vocabulary, some of which is already a bit old-fashioned. It is also a good look at a struggling form of mass transportation in the United States: The long-distance passenger train. Words and Expression that You may not Know George leaves for Chicago, and quickly meets an interesting group of fellow travelers. Where to? A colloquial short cut for "Where are you going to?," or, "Where do you want to go?" Let's get this show on the road! A popular cliché: "Lets get going..." Partition. Something that divides or separates, such as a wall. This latch seems to be stuck. A lock or fastener for a door. All aboard! What is typically said before a train leaves the station. So long, L.A.! The way everyone refers to "Los Angeles" (America's greatest city, and my home town). Lovely, very nice! A more British adjective for pretty or in this case, good. Nevada, The Colorado Rockies, Kansas City, Kansas, The Mississippi River. Places that the train will pass on the way from L.A. to Chicago. (A state, a mountain range, a city and a river; Look at your map!) What racket are you in? :: I'm in vitamins. A very slang way to say job, or perhaps business. ("A racket" often connotes something illegal or unethical). Vitamin E is great for the old pecker. A ridiculous way to refer to penis (birds "peck" at their food). That keeps the pencil sharpened. Another ridiculous thing to say, this time implying that vitamin E keeps men hard during sex. Have you checked out the action? In this case, a colloquial reference to the women on the train. Chickies...hug and munch all the way to Chicago. Never talk like Mr. Sweet!: "Chickies" is his totally silly way to say "chicks," which itself is a very slangy way to say girls or women. "To munch" means to eat with pleasure, though here it probably has a sexual connotation. It's a cathouse on wheels! A "cathouse" is a whorehouse ( of prostitution). All that motion makes a girl horny. A key word! If a person is horny, they have a strong desire for sex. A shipboard romance. Exactly what it says, though usually referring to romantic encounters on ships, not trains! Can I buy you a drink? The quintessential "opening line" that men use to meet women at bars. Do you go all the Chicago? A very clever play on words: "To go all the way" is high school English meaning to have sexual intercourse. Are you hot? :: Lady, I'm always hot? Here, meaning sexually excited (Rarely used outside a bedroom). Maybe I can cool you down. A good phrasal verb and funny response to a person using "hot" as a sexual adjective. George meets Hilly, and a romance soon starts. The latch is a little rusty, but nothing serious If metal is "rusty," it is covered with a brown-red corrosion. I'll get the porter to look at it. An employee of the railroad who carries luggage. You folks...getting cocktails? "Folks" is an old-fashioned word for people (or possibly parents). "Cocktails" are drinks that combine liquor and fruit juice. A martini on the rocks with a twist. A "martini" is a cocktail made of vodka or gin. If a drink is served "on the rocks," it is served with ice. A "twist" is little lemon or lime. Apple pie a la mode. If dessert is served "a la mode," it is served with ice cream. I don't do shorthand and I can't type. This is a system of written symbols that secretaries use to very quickly write down what is spoken. I give great phone. A great play on words: The expression "to give head" is a very common way to say to give oral sex (Nobody would really say "to give great phone" unless they're joking around). I just want to be bored. A key line in the movie: George's reason to be on the train. He's going to kick off his publishing tour. A good little phrasal verb for meaning to start, often referring to a major artistic tour or project. He's been a recluse for years. A great word for someone who withdraws from the social world in order to be alone. Milk, molasses. Natural syrup made from sugar. He's a health nut. A colloquial way to describe a person who takes their health very seriously. I publish "how-to-do-it books." A dated expression for what we now call "how-to" books, which are those that explain how to do everything from gardening to traveling. Sex manuals? A type of textbook or "how to" book, on sexual topics. I give great French. Another funny play on words from "I give great head." In this case, George’s way of saying he speaks French well. We'll go on to our compartment. Here, used to mean the sleeping rooms in the train. That was your introduction to high society? A somewhat dated term for those people who are rich and famous. He taught me everything from the pill to Picasso. "The pill" almost always refers to birth control pills. We could break down the whole partition. "To break down" something physical means to remove it by force, or to eliminate it. Rapist! Por favor! :: Pardonnez-moi! A funny scene: "Por favor" is "please" in Spanish. "Pardonnez-moi" is "pardon me" French. I can't get over the size of the room without the partition. If you "can't get over" something, you still have trouble believing it. It's perfect for juggling. The act of keeping two or more objects in the air at the same time by tossing them back and forth. The balls bounce off the walls. Note that "bounce" almost always takes "off" after it. You put that very nicely. Another way to say "you said that very well." Two trains that pass in the night. A common and somewhat romantic cliché about trains….and people. The porter will have them shined in the morning. Shoes are "shined" to make them look new. Is that the master's work? Often refers to a great artist. In this case, Rembrandt. He gave me this copy for safe keeping. A common expression meaning "to hold and keep safe." Slide over. "Move over" (Said to someone sitting on a bench or a chair). Anything you might want to pass on about gardening? A nice phrasal verb meaning to tell and explain. Helpful hints for the beginner. A "hint" is a small suggestion, or a bit of helpful information. Always be nasty to nasturgions. "To be nasty' to someone is to treat them poorly or roughly, though "nasty" can have a sexual connotation in the right context. "Nasturgions" are a type of flower or plant. The rougher the better. "Rough" is generally a negative word, though again, it could have positive connotations in the right sexual context. The secret of treating azaleas and begonias. Two types of flowers (these words are rarely said by anyone outside of professional gardeners!). I'm all ears. One way to say "I'm listening carefully" I'd like to delve deeper. "To delve into" means to search or explore it seriously. Be my guest. A very common way to say "please go ahead," after someone tells you they would like to do something. It soon becomes clear that this trip will not be so relaxing: George sees the body of the murdered professor, and chooses to investigate. A dead man fell off the roof! I should report it! The verb to use when you want to tell the authorities what happened. I should tell the conductor. The person responsible for driving a train. I feel dizzy. This is what you feel when you're head is spinning and you think that you might fall down. I'm going to give up the bottle. One way to say stop drinking alcohol. Your mind plays funny tricks. A common way to say "you can't always believe what you think you saw." George, you devil! In this case, an affectionate way to say "you amazing person." You're sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong. "You're trying to investigate things that are not your concern or business." You and that broad are going to get in trouble. A somewhat crude and dated word for a woman. You're the one in trouble, mister. Adding "mister" to the end of a sentence is a common way to express anger during an argument. Listen, you big lummox, let me go! A great insult word that means a big, stupid and clumsy person. (Unfortunately, its not used very often, but I recommend it whenever it is appropriate, since it's clever, but not crude). OK buster, you're in trouble. Another word, like pal, that is used during arguments to express anger. OK, enough is enough. One way of saying "it's time to stop and talk this over." Son-of-a-bitch! A very common and crude insult meaning a mean or unpleasant person, but it is also an interesting way to simply express extreme anger and frustration (This latter meaning is more effectively employed in this film than any other I've ever seen). George discovers the interesting state of New Mexico...and how to milk a cow. Yay! (Rhymes with "hay") The sound you make to cheer, or yell approval. You're in one heap of trouble, Peppy "A lot of trouble" (A "heap" is a pile). God damn it, they smoke a little weed, and next thing you know... The beginning of this sentence is a common and crude way to express anger. "Weed" is colloquial for marijuana. You were thrown off? Is that a fact? A standard question used to express disbelief or surprise. That suits me just fine. You can ride into town with me. Another way to say "that will work out well for me" The sheriff is a good friend of mine. A "sheriff" is the head police officer in a county. Take this bucket and milk her. "To milk" a cow is exactly the verb you should use! Cut the gas! A never-used version of "cut the crap," which is a widely used way to tell someone to stop saying nonsense and lies. Take a tit in each hand and let nature take its course. A "tit" is a crude slang word for a female breast," but when referring to cows and not humans, it is the technical and correct word to use. "To let nature take its course" is a poetic way to say that one should just accept whatever happens naturally. These cows are so full its like its like having a trip valve on Niagara falls. "A trip valve" is a device that quickly allows the flow of any liquid or gas, and Niagara Falls is a very large and famous water fall between New York State and Canada. Come on, give me a break! An excellent colloquial expression meaning many things, but in this context, a way to tell someone to stop saying nonsense. I know I'm a slow starter, but where's Niagara? A common term referring to athletics, academics.....and sex. I'll get the wheel blocks. Large objects designed to prevent tires from rolling forward. Aien't no fun soaring with a turkey. "To soar" means to fly high in the air, usually with little effort (In this case, a 'turkey" refers to a person who is a coward). Windmill. A machine that creates energy from wind pushing on rotating blades. Stavely. Albuquerque. A small town and big city in the state of New Mexico. I suppose so. A fairly common way to say "I think I agree." This is fabulous. :: Aien't it the truth! A poetic way to say "I very much agree." Despite the construction, it's not a question! They talk of the joy of sex, but it doesn't last like the fun of flying. A sweet thing to say for a pilot ("The Joy of Sex" is a famous sex manual that has sold millions of copies since the 1970s). I think were going to make it. In this case, to arrive on time. You never buzzed sheep? "To buzz" is to make a vibrating sound like a bee, but it can also mean to almost hit something by flying close to it. Come on, Let's buzz them again. One of the most versatile phrasal verbs there is: Here, meaning "Let's go." Thank you, dear. A word of affection when said in the right context. George returns to the Silver Streak, meets Devereau, and then meets Professor Schreiner, who seems quite alive and well. I lost track of time. A good expression, and a good excuse for being late. Getting a little ass? :: No, I was squeezing tits! "Getting a little ass?" is a very crude way to ask a man if he has had sex with any women lately. As mentioned earlier, "tits" is a crude term for breast, but a proper word when discussing female cows. You little devil. You horny bastard! When said with affection, both are silly ways for one guy to congratulate another for having had sex with a woman. He's a hot little number. Here, meaning "He's an important person." He's a big cheese on the art institute. A colloquial expression for a very important person. Are you going to take him on? "To take on" someone is to challenge, or fight them. Two dumb thugs were looking for his things. A useful word for bully (One who is always threatening or physically assaulting others). They're going to go after you. "To go after" someone means to try and harm or kill them. You got it all mixed up. "To mix up" something is to confuse it, or perhaps not understand. I told them to spare no expense and try and save you. A somewhat fancy way to say "do whatever it takes." Oh, Reace. He's the one without very attractive dental work. A technical way to refer to fillings, braces and other types of things that a dentist would do that shows in your mouth. It was something of an upset. Note the use of "upset" as a noun, which is pretty rare except in Sports, when its used when a weaker team defeats a better one. He's absentminded. A very good adjective for people who always are forgetting things, including where they put their keys & glasses. This is the man Rease inadvertently threw off the train. A good word for accidentally (and thus misused by Devereau). I'm to blame for this morning's fracas. A "fracas" is a loud fight or quarrel. Rease, that moron! It was all his fault! A great insult meaning jerk, idiot or perhaps dumbshit. Hilly, help him with that mess. "Mess" is an important word for disorder that can refer to food or papers or a situation in general. Hopefully, the rest of the trip will be less exhilarating. Another way to say exciting or stimulating. I was putting my nose into stuff that was none of my business. If something is "none of your business," it does not concern you and you should not be looking into it! George and Sweet have a talk, and soon the real identities of the Professor and Sweet himself are made quite clear. What are you up to, lover boy? Another term that you might say to a man you think just had sex with a woman he doesn't know very well. When we reach that tunnel, I intend to be higher. Here, meaning "high on drugs," or perhaps very drunk. That's the fellow. Professor Schreiner. A somewhat old fashioned way to say guy. More common in England. I found this little weasel of a guy. A small brown mammal, but the description as a whole implies someone who is sneaky, dangerous and manipulative. He's a huge mountain with a gold mine stuck in his gums. A very colorful way to describe Rease, the huge bully with bad teeth. The man I saw was a hallucination. This means a delusion or false perception of reality, often resulting from the use of drugs. The guy you saw is a fake. A "fake" is an imposter or imitation, as opposed to the real thing. The word can be applied to objects (such as paintings), or even people. I'm a federal agent. A term used to describe a person with police powers working for the national government (such as an FBI agent). I'm tailing Devereau. A good verb meaning to follow and spy on. Yeah, come up and keep a look-out. Grammatically, an interesting noun meaning "a careful eye to make sure there is no danger." It was hooked on a protruding bolt. "To be hooked" on something is to be physically caught on it. If something is "protruding," it is sticking out, or thrust forward, and a "bolt" is a metal bar or fastener, often small and designed to fit through a device called a nut (i.e...."nuts and bolts" is a common term used by people who construct things like buildings). I bet Devereau had the body picked up and placed in cold storage. Note that "bet" is very commonly used to mean believe (and not just to gamble). Something that is placed "in cold storage" is literally put in a freezer, or perhaps just eliminated. He was going to be embarrassed by the findings in the professor's book. An official noun for discoveries made by a serious investigation. The Rembrandts bought and authenticated by Devereau would be proved as forgeries. "To authenticate" a work of art is to prove that it’s valid or genuine. A "forgery" is a counterfeit or fake reproduction (often referring to money or paintings). He wanted to kill the professor...and then substitute some phony look-a-like who would botch the lecture and discredit the book! "A phony look-a-like" is literally a fake version that looks like the original (in this case, referring to the professor, but it could also refer to objects such as paintings). "To botch" something is to do something badly because of clumsiness or incompetence. They're going to turn the professor's room upside down. "To turn a room upside down" is a way to imply that the room being searched is left a complete mess. Holy Toldeo! A very out of date and silly way to express surprise. Toldeo is a city in the state of Ohio. The genuine article penned by the old boy himself. "To pen" something can mean to sign it, and here, "the old boy himself" refers to Rembrandt. This is the tip of the iceberg. A useful cliché which means that there is much more to know about something than has already been learned. The plane crash in Cologne Germany was to cover up his involvement in the Metropolitan Gallery scandal. "To cover up" something is a critical phrasal verb meaning to hide it from public view. A "gallery" usually refers to an art gallery. We couldn't pin it on him. In this context, "to pin something on somebody" is to gather enough evidence to prove that they are guilty of a particular crime. These letters...blow his operation in art sky high. "To blow something sky high" is to totally destroy, or perhaps smash into pieces. They have her in the corner, and your neck is on the line, too. If somebody's "neck is on the line," they are in serious danger of something very bad happening to them. Gunsmoke at the OK Corral! Reference to the 1960s TV show "Gunsmoke," and the fact that gunfights took place at "the OK Corral" (A corral is a fenced area where cattle lived, often associated with "the old west"). Sweet is shot, the porter blames George, and suddenly alone, George must find a way to warn the police and save Hilly. Holy moley, You shot him! A very dated and stupid way to express surprise. Jeez, will you look at that!? An old but still widely used word to express mild surprise. Note that the sentence which follows is in question form, but it is actually a set expression to show surprise or anger. He's something, aien't he? Aien't should be "isn't," but the sentence itself, expressing amazement or similar emotion, is very common. Jumping jimminey, we've never had a murder here! Another extremely ridiculous way to express surprise A federal undercover agent. One who operates secretly, without a uniform. A fed? No shit? A "fed" is short for federal agent. "No shit?" is a very cool, common and somewhat crude way to express doubt or skepticism (or in another context, sarcasm, when you are told something that was already obvious to you). I shot Rease, with a spear gun. The type of long gun used to shoot sharks (A spear is a shaft with a sharp pointed end). Call your superiors and tell them I have the Rembrandt letters! An official way to refer to one's boss and/or their bosses. Listen fellow, you sure you aien't making this up as you go along? In this case, "to make something up as one goes along" is to create a lie or story as the person is in the process of telling it. He came in here spewing about the Silver Streak. "To spew" is to talk endlessly, often without making much sense (Literally, to eject forcefully, as in what a volcano does to lava). I knew he was a loony, right off. A "loony" is a funny slang word for a crazy person. If you know something "right off," you know it immediately. I guess I was a little rattled. An interesting little adjective meaning shaken up, or scared. I figure they'll be in Kansas in an hour. A common and colloquial way to say think. You ignorant son of a bitch, dumb bastard! Note the use of "You" preceding insults that are nouns is used to intensify and show anger. Both "son of a bitch" and "bastard" are crude terms for an unpleasant or nasty person. Jesus Christ, you top them all. "Jesus Christ" is a common way to start a sentence when expressing anger or other strong emotion. "You top them all" is a way to say "You are the stupidest [or ugliest, or most whatever] person I know." You're playing cops and robbers like TV! Little children will "play cops and robbers" with toy guns ("Cops" is a very common colloquial word for police). Aien't no way you're going to get away with this. "To get away with something" is the best way to say do something wrong without being punished for it. *Remember to avoid "aien't"and double negatives: Here, you would say "There isn't any way..." That was the county sheriff. You haven't got a chance. The implication is "haven't got a escape." That's my deputy. In a police context, a "deputy" is an assistant police officer under the authority of the sheriff. Keep your hands up! Note that in rapid speech, this becomes "Keep'em up!" One more word out of you and I'll smash your mouth. Grammatically, the way a parent would tell a child to "shut up." He's headed down 350 to the state line. Note that people refer to highways by number (i.e....highway #350). Dumb stupid bastard! Another funny but very crude and severe insult. George meets Grover, a lovable petty criminal, who agrees to take him back to the train. I'm a thief, man! Very colloquial way to end a sentence, expressing everything from friendship to anger and fear. I'm not going to freak you out no more "To freak out" someone is to scare them (or more specifically, "scare the shit out of them"). Note: Much of Grover's language, detailed in the next few pages, is "Black English," which varies from "Standard English" in the use of such things as double negatives, dropped auxiliary verbs and so on. Obviously, no dialect is any "better" than another, but for foreigners, its advisable to use the grammar of Standard English. What they want you for? "What do they want to arrest you for? What did you do?" I don't mess with the big M. "To mess with something" is a colloquial way to say get involved with. For Grover, "the big M" stands for murder. Make a right and take a sharp left. When giving instructions, this is the adjective to use when describing a turn that is less than 45 degrees. Put them in a car and bounce them to death. "To bounce" is what a ball does when it hits the ground. Sorry, my ass! A crude and colloquial way to express cynicism or disbelief. You dangerous! You don't do this for no living! Classic Black English: "You are dangerous and obviously don't do this for a living." Let's find out the game plan for tonight. A common expression meaning the general plan or strategy. Let's put a stakeout at the junction of Toddman's road and 116. "A stakeout" is the organized observation of an area, usually by the police. A "junction" is where two roads come together (In this case, Toddman's Road and Highway 116). We the man! A funny line. In very colloquial English, "the man" is the police, or possibly "the ruling powers." Here, Grover expresses his views in Black English, with the dropping of "to be." We're moving in for the roadblock. Double block on all ports. A "roadblock" is a physical blocking of a road, often with lots of police cars. A "port" is a harbor. Fasten yourself in. I got the nerve and the touch. "I have the courage and the ability to do it" Demolition Derby. A type of very violent sporting event where cars race while trying to destroy each other. We got them boxed in, boys. If a person is "boxed in," they are surrounded, with no way to escape. What the hell happened to you? A common colloquial way to add emotion or anger to a WH question. We just whooped your ass! "To whoop someone’s ass" is a crude and colloquial way to say beat up or defeat them. No matter. We'll take care of Mr. Caldwell when the time comes. "It's not important." A Chevy! That's a jerk off! "A Chevy" is a model of American car. "To jerk off" is a great colloquial phrasal verb meaning to masturbate, but when used as a noun by Grover, it means an inadequate, weak and boring car. This is pure pussy. It will get us to Kansas City on time. "Pussy" is extremely crude for female genital organs, but in this context, Grover uses it to mean a great and sexy car. Hold it right there, nigger. An extremely racist word for a black person. Does it come with white walls? A type of tire sold with expensive cars. A pussy?! Hah!! A funny way to express cynicism, or in this case, defiance. I thought you were an amateur. You're a real pro! "An "amateur" is a beginner, while a "pro" is short for professional (an experienced person). No one will mess with you. "To mess" with somebody is to bother them or to give them troubles or problems. You're a bad old dude. Very slangy for a "real cool guy." George discovers he is "wanted for murder," and Grover gets an idea for how to keep George away from the police. Get the ticket and it's "Good-bye George." Grover's way of saying "If you try to get the ticket, you will definitely be arrested" Why don't you just shuttle over there? "To shuttle" is to move back and forth. A diversion? Yeah, blow your brains out. A "diversion" is something that attracts attention from something else. If you "blow your [own] brains out," you shoot yourself in the head. That's a bad hat you got on. In Black English, "bad" can often mean good or "cool." I can't pass for black! If you "pass for black," you make others think that you are black. Afraid it won't come off? "To come off" is to be removed. (Here, the shoe polish might not come off George's face) Al Jolson made a million looking like that. A famous white actor and singer of the '20s known for imitating blacks. You're bad. That's good! As mentioned before, in Black English, "bad" can be "good." How come you whities got such a tight ass? "Whities" is a crude Black English way to refer to white people. If you say someone has a "tight ass," it usually means that they are too physically rigid in the way they walk, and that they would have a hard time dancing to good music. Listen to the music and follow the beat. In musical context, a rhythmic unit of time (as in "The Beatles"). Work on it. God help us. A gentle way to say "we need lots of help if we are going to succeed." Come on man, get some jive going. A very slangy and black way to say "learn to keep beat with the music." Hey man, you dig, feeling fine, get down! In this context, various very slangy ways to say "be cool, enjoy life, appreciate the music." For god's sake, learn to keep time A common way to start a sentence when you want to express anger or other strong emotion. Shit, that's my man! Another very slangy or possibly Black English way to say "You're doing very well and I love you for it." We'll make it past the cops. I just hope we don't see no Muslims. "We'll be able to go past the police without them noticing." A "Muslim" is a follower of the Islamic religion. Stay out of trouble. This is a useful set expression, and what parents say to their kids. I guess I blew it. "To blow it" is a common way to say fail, do poorly, or screw up. Unless I cooperated, they'd kill me too, so I went along with them. "To go along" with somebody is to agree to do what they want you to do, even if you don’t really want to. I hope I didn't slug you too hard. "To slug" is a violent verb meaning to strike or hit with great force. On the train again, George and Grover go after Devereau and his men. Toast and marmalade for our guests. A type of fruit jam that's quite popular with the British. A remarkable find. Another way to say "an amazing discovery." I've had a soft spot for things of beauty that are genuine. "To have a soft spot (in your heart)" is to truly love or appreciate something in an emotional way. Something that is "genuine" is authentic or real, as opposed to phony or fake. They don't pose a threat. The standard verb in this expression, here meaning that they're not dangerous. I had to set up a scenario in order to discredit him. "To set up" something is to produce or create it. A "scenario" is an outline of a plot or story. "To discredit" someone is to disgrace or damage their reputation. All that remains is to clear up a couple parts. "To clear up" something is to make it clearly understood, or in this context, take care of it so it won't have problems. The new scenario is that you had to shoot him since he tried to blackmail you. "To blackmail" someone is a powerful verb meaning to threaten to hurt them, unless they agree to certain demands. The professor's trusting secretary will quarrel with his part-time lover. "To quarell" is a somewhat dated word meaning to fight or argue. Without the letters, we will have the driveling of a revisionist crank. "Drivel" is an excellent word meaning nonsensical talk. A "revisionist" is a person who wants to rewrite history, and a "crank" is a fool or crazy person. The Silver Streak does have its drawbacks, but it has great cuisine. "Drawbacks" are disadvantages. "Cuisine" is a fashionable word for "cooking." We aims to please. He aien't bullshitting about the cuisine! "We aims to please" is an exaggerated parody of Black English. "To bullshit" is a crude verb meaning to say nonsense or lies. You aien't saying shit, now! In this context, Grover's way of saying "Now that I have the gun, you don't want to say anything, do you?" I admit that I'm at a loss for words. "To be at a loss for words" is an eloquent way to say that you really don't know what to say. The smart man hedges his bets. "To hedge a bet" means to take certain actions in order to offset possible losses (An example: Investing money in one company, but also a little in a competitor in case it does better.) What do you think this is? A Western? Reference to movies that take place in the American West of the 19th century (A very popular film genre until the 1950s). I'm trying to save our asses! "To save a person's ass" is a crude way of saying to save them from great harm. Hold it right there! What a person with a gun might say to another person (another way to say "freeze"). Rockdale. Name of the Chicago suburb where Devereau wants to stop the train. George and Grover escape again, and this time end up with federal agents who already know what is happening on the train. We planted that news story for your own protection! "To plant a story" is to deliberately put a misleading story in the media in order to manipulate or send a hidden message to someone. While you were gallivanting around the country wasting time... "To gallivant" is a fun verb meaning to go looking for pleasure. Choppers. A short word for helicopters. I don't want any slip-ups. A "slip up" is a screw-up, or any kind of action that is poorly done. This has been a nerve shattering experience. If something is "nerve shattering," it is extremely scary or upsetting. Take it easy killer. Stay loose. A colloquial but almost never used way to say "be well." I left my Jag in Kansas City. Short for "Jaguar," an expensive British sports car. Damnedest thing I've ever heard. "One of the strangest things that I've ever heard." They want everyone evacuated. "To evacuate" people is to remove them from an area in order to protect them from a potential danger. Maybe its a bomb scare. A common noun since the 1970s: A possible threat of a bombing. Cover us from the windows. In this case, "protect us" (by using your guns). You forgot your wallet. Some thief you are! A grammatically interesting way to express sarcasm ("You're not a very good thief!"). George and Grover return to help the police save Hilly, but they soon find themselves on a very fast train without a conductor. Keep your foot on the pedal. What your foot presses on when you drive a car. Tell them that they've got a runaway train. A train in motion without a conductor, that can't be stopped. Every break has been cut. :: Damn hippies! "Hippies" were long haired teenagers in the 1960s who were famous for using drugs and listening to rock music. Standard procedure would be to derail the train. "To derail" a train is to force it off the railroad tracks. 200 tons of locomotion is going to be smashing into Marshall Fields. A famous sports field in Chicago. You must clear the building. "You must get everyone to leave the building." Holy shit! We did it A somewhat dated but still very colorful way to express strong emotion, from happiness to anger and frustration. It looks like its grinning... "To grin" is to make a smile that often suggests a guilt conscience. the cat who swallowed the canary. A type of bird that used to be popular as a pet.
__________________ Silver Streak Some Possible Questions for ESL Class Discussion
1. What was Devereau trying to do? 2. George took the train because he wanted to be bored; How would you describe his trip? 3. What were the funniest things about this movie? 4. Have you ever taken a long trip by train? What happened?