I saw Enemies and it didn’t make a particularly favorable impression on me; if I can be totally honest, I’d be hard-pressed to think of any film in which I enjoyed Silver’s emoting because I never really warmed up to him. I mean, I’m sure he was a decent guy—I think all the negative buzz about his conversion to neo-conservatism after the events of 9/11 was unwarranted; Silver observed that his refusal to toe the official “Hollywood line” cost him a lot of work and since I’m still nursing a grudge about all the people who were deprived of a livelihood during the years of McCarthyism and the Red Scare I’d be a flaming hypocrite if I didn’t defend his right to his being gainfully employed…regardless of whether I agreed with his politics or not. (Kind of ironic in the light of his playing a Communist screenwriter who flees the country before he can be forced to “name names” in a film of his that—now that I think about it—I do admire, Fellow Traveller .)
My “dislike” of Silver stems from a character he played on the sitcom Rhoda; he was a frequent boyfriend of
You’re probably not going to believe this, but my favorite film featuring Ron Silver is a gloriously goofy Chuck Norris vehicle entitled Silent Rage (1982), in which the Chuckster plays a small town sheriff who must battle a seriously deranged bad guy who’s become an unstoppable killing machine, thanks to a trio of equally sanity-challenged medicos (led by Steven Keats) who experiment with some sort of immortality drug on the maniac for shits and giggles. (Silver does participate in this what-the-hell-were-you-thinking experiment, but later he and his wife [Toni Kalem] do try to stop Nutcase Boy, so he gets points for that.)
And you thought I was going to name Reversal of Fortune (1990). (Hey—Norris’ deputy in Rage is played by Stephen “Flounder” Furst. I’ll watch him rather than a comatose Glenn Close any day of the week.)
If this all sounds a little flippant, I really do apologize—it’s no secret that I frequently question the presence of an afterlife…but if there is one, I hope Ron Silver has gone to his rich reward. He will be missed.