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The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three

( 6 )

Overview

On a quiet midday in New York, along the Lexington Avenue subway line, the train designated "Pelham One Two Three" -- so named for its station of origin and time of departure -- makes its way down the East Side of Manhattan. One by one, three men board the train, and at 28th Street, a fourth man approaches the motorman James Broderick and points a pistol at him, ordering him to unlock the door to his cab and admit the man waiting there; meanwhile, another man points a gun at the conductor and threatens to kill ...
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Overview

On a quiet midday in New York, along the Lexington Avenue subway line, the train designated "Pelham One Two Three" -- so named for its station of origin and time of departure -- makes its way down the East Side of Manhattan. One by one, three men board the train, and at 28th Street, a fourth man approaches the motorman James Broderick and points a pistol at him, ordering him to unlock the door to his cab and admit the man waiting there; meanwhile, another man points a gun at the conductor and threatens to kill him unless he holds the doors open and then closes them when the man talking to the motorman is aboard. Once on board, "Mr. Blue" Robert Shaw and "Mr. Green" Martin Balsam halt the train between stations, while "Mr. Brown" Earl Hindeman and "Mr. Gray" Hector Elizondo seal off the lead car. With Mr. Green at the controls, the front car is separated and isolated in the tunnel with 17 passengers aboard, and then Mr. Blue presents their demands over the radio: one million dollars in cash, within one hour, or they will start shooting one passenger each minute. On the other end, Transit Police Lieutenant Zachary Garber Walter Matthau must overcome his initial disbelief to deal with this threat, amid the confusion of a subway system that's chaotic even when it's running normally. With the mayor reluctantly aboard to pay the ransom, Garber must keep the hijackers from carrying out their threat while the money is transported, and keep the hotheads around him and on the police force under control -- and figure out how they intend to get away with a million dollars from inside a subway tunnel with police on all sides.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Joseph Sargent's film version of the book by John Godey is an electrifying thriller sparked by great performances, unrelenting action, and the fantastic use of location shooting. Walter Matthau stars as a wrinkly transit cop negotiating a potentially deadly situation: four criminals have hijacked a New York City subway train full of hostages -- whom they plan to kill one by one if they don't receive one million dollars in one hour. Peter Stone's gritty script nominated for the Writer's Guild Award ratchets up the tension splendidly, revealing perfectly timed details that keep viewers firmly on their toes. The dialogue has all the saltiness and cynical humor that mark true New York City speech, and the cast doesn't miss a beat with it. Matthau is quite simply a show stealer, whether he's leading a tour group of Asian cops whom he thinks don't speak English or coolly taking control of the crisis that brings the Big Apple to a standstill. Other notables include Robert Shaw, who leaves a distinct mark as the cold-blooded lead villain, Martin Balsam as Shaw's sickly cohort, and Woody Allen regular Tony Roberts as the mayor's wry assistant. Technically, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is first-rate, with particular credit going to the film's editing and lighting. David Shire's memorable music score recalls a style used in that other '70s crime classic, Dirty Harry. The villains' use of phony color names Mr. Green, Mr. Blue, etc. was later used by Quentin Tarantino in his film Reservoir Dogs. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was remade for TV in 1998, and again in 2009 for the big screen.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/1996
  • UPC: 027616581433
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Walter Matthau Lieutenant Garber
Robert Shaw Blue
Martin Balsam Green
Hector Elizondo Grey
Earl Hindman Brown
Thomas LaFleur Older Son
Maria Landa Spanish Woman
William Snickowski Hippie/Plainclothes Policeman
James Broderick Denny Doyle
Dick O'Neill Correll
Kenneth McMillan Borough Commander
Carolyn Nelson Coed #1
Lucy Saroyan Coed #2
Walter Jones Mr. Mattson
Robert Weil Marino
Christopher Murney Dispatcher
Tim Myers Plumber
Thomas Barbour T.A. Chairman
Simon Deckard Ptl. Miskowsky
Sal Viscuso Ptl. O'Keefe
Burtt Harris Ptl. Ricci
Gene Gross Muscat
Conrad Yama Mr. Tomashita
Toru Nagai Mr. Yashimura
Bill Cobbs Man on Platform
Joe Seneca Police Sergeant
Carmine Foresta Train Expediter
Carey Loftin Stunt Driver
Paul Nuckles Stunt Driver
Harry Madsen Stunt Driver
Rick Seaman Stunt Driver
Lee Wallace The Mayor
Tom Pedi Caz Dolowicz
Beatrice Winde Mrs. Jenkins
Jerry Stiller Lt. Rico Patrone
Nathan George Patrolman James
Rudy Bond Police Commissioner
Doris Roberts Mayor's Wife
Cynthia Belgrave The Maid
Anna Berger The Mother
Gary Bolling The Homosexual
Carol Cole The Secretary
Alex Colon The Delivery Boy
Joe Fields The Salesman
Mari Gorman The Hooker
Michael Gorrin The Old Man
Louise Larabee The Alcoholic
George Lee Miles The Pimp
Jerry Holland Budy Carmondy
Ruth Attaway Mayor's Nurse
Tony Roberts Warren LaSalle
Julius Harris Inspector Daniels
Technical Credits
Joseph Sargent Director
Alixe Gordin Casting
Jerry Greenberg Editor
Anna Hill Johnstone Costumes/Costume Designer
Gabriel Katzka Producer
Stephen F. Kesten Associate Producer
Robert Q. Lovett Editor
Dick Mingalone Camera Operator
Herb Mulligan Set Decoration/Design
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Owen Roizman Cinematographer
Gene Rudolf Art Director
Edgar J. Scherick Producer
Peter R. Scoppa Asst. Director
David Shire Score Composer
Peter Stone Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Taking of Pelhan One Two Three

    Unsure about the movie, have never seen it. Purchased it for a gift for someone else, they wanted to see the older version before the new version.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    TERRIFIC FILM -- NEEDS CAPTIONS OR SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH

    My husband and & I saw this movie when it was first released. In our old age, we'd like to have a DVD of this old favorite of ours. HOW-SOME-EVER, we wonder why the currently released DVD does not employ CLOSED CAPTIONS or SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH!!! There are subtitles in French and Spanish for a film that is designated Region #1 ONLY - meaning it can't be shown in Europe -- so why the subtitles in Spanish & French in a region that cannot telecast it? Doesn't make sense. Why doesn't someone wake up and small the coffee and insert some English Subtitles or English Captions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Train Thriller that Roars into Action

    Despite its being dated, espeically with regard to such political incorrectness as making yellow-man fun of a Japanese business delegation, this thriller is an extraordinary example of how storytelling can overcome its own defects. From a beginning that feels harsh and over-the-top, and a set of New York characters you'd RUN to avoid, the momentum builds to a frantic 3-way intercut chase that will leave you glued to the screen and breathless--a masterpiece of directing that clearly influenced Tarantino in more than just the "Mrs" "White" and "Green."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews