Title:  Silver City

Release Date:  2004

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: 129 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Distributor and Production Company:  New Market

Director; Writer: John Sayles


Cast:   Chris Cooper, Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Huston, Kris Kristofferson, Michael Murphy, Mary Kay Place, Maria Bello

Technical: HDCAM

Relevance to HPPUB site:



John Sayles is known for making film-strip-like movies with large casts, with a story centered around one location, for the purpose of topical satire. I got to hear John Sayles speak at the Landmark Lagoon Theater in Minneapolis in July 2002 at a premier of Sunshine State (Florida). Here the state is Colorado, but this movie is not Everwood or The Mountain. It is an andante-paced satire of the extreme Right Wing, maybe call them “neo conservatives”—of the big business interests and real estate developers that hire a dumb goon Richard “DickiePilager to be their pawn in the governor’s mansion to run afoul of all regulation (especially environmental) and proffer “family values” and the “nuclear family” (“no handouts for homosexuals”). Dickie Pilager’s brain (that is, “Bish’s Brain) of the Karl Rove type is Chcuk Raven (Richard Dreyfuss). Most of the story concerns a reporter-investigator Danny O’Obrien (Danny Huston), who tries to track down the environmental pilferage of the old mines at Silver City, where a resort will be built – all that starts when Pilager grabs a corpse in the lake with a fishhook – a typical Sayles weird event to start a story. Before the end, Huston will hear those “dreaded words” (“you’re fired”), and Pilager will have his God-Bless-America before a startling final image of the Lake. Go fishing.


There are really funny dumb speeches by Pilager, like when he is “caught out in the open” by reporters and can’t say what is not infrastructure. The fact that our own President George W. Bush can get almost as tongue-tied is not funny.


I would invite John Sayles, if he finds this review, to consider making a film called “Crescent City,” about all the bungling before Hurricane Katrina that allowed the New Orleans levees to fail during what we now know as a Category 3 storm, and to document the horrible failures in relief in the days immediately following the catastrophe. He would do this well. 



Related reviews: Bush’s Brain    Sunshine State  Limbo


Return to hppub movies

Return to home page


Email me at Jboushka@aol.com