The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974, Director: John Sargent)

Growing up in Nevada I gravitated to a certain kind of gritty, cynical drama: "The French Connection," "The Seven-Ups," "Report to the Commissioner," "Dog Day Afternoon" and in a connect that maybe only makes sense to me, "The Producers." I watched these movies chopped up for content a the make room for commercial breaks every ten minutes at odd hours on my tiny black and white, where no amount of adjusting the rabbit ears would ever do much to eliminate the ghosting of the images. In fact, I was surprised and somewhat dismayed to learn as an adult that "The Producers" was actually shot in color.

Along with these was another never-miss, the gripping and funny "Taking of Pelham One Two Three," which is running now on because of the current remake, which I haven't, and will never bother, to see, unless by accident. Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw as the antagonists, along with great actors like Hector Elizando, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, and (taking a break for sidekicking for Woody Allen) Tony Roberts. It's a straightforward story: four men with four machine guns take a subway car hostage demanding $1 Million, in non-consecutive unmarked bills. One hour deadline. No explosions, no secret agenda, no digital effects. Plenty of humor and suspense all from the interactions of the characters: a bunch of jaded, tough, caustic New Yorkers as you'd ever hope to see butt heads. All that and an unforgettable final shot. Recommended.


One thought on “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974, Director: John Sargent)

  1. Vicky L says:

    I love THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE! Soundtrack is amazing too! Why would they remake this amazing film that is so much a product of a certain place and time?

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