7.7/10
20,385
180 user 78 critic

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it's paid, how could they get away?

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lee Wallace ...
Al - the Mayor of New York City
Tom Pedi ...
Beatrice Winde ...
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Nathan George ...
Police Ptl. James
Rudy Bond ...
Phil - Police Commissioner
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Harry - Borough Commander (as Kenneth Mc Millan)
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Jessie - The Mayor's Wife
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Storyline

Four seemingly-unrelated men board subway train Pelham 1:23 at successive stations. Mr. Blue, Mr. Green, Mr. Grey and Mr. Brown are heavily armed and overpower the motorman and novice conductor to take control of the train. Between stations they separate the front car from the remainder of the train, setting passengers in the back cars and the motorman free. The four demand $1 million ransom within exactly one hour for the remaining eighteen hostages, including the conductor. If their demands are not met in time or their directions are not followed precisely, they will begin to shoot hostages dead, one every minute the money is late. Wisecracking Lt. Zach Garber of the transit police ends up being the primary communicator between the hijackers and the authorities, which includes transit operations, his own police force, the NYPD, and the unpopular and currently flu ridden mayor who will make the ultimate decision of whether to pay the ransom. Unknown to Garber, what may be working on ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No other hijack was ever like his See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 November 1974 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Pelham  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Matthau wears a multi-colored shirt and a yellow tie in this movie. In the film's second remake, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009), Denzel Washington wears a similar color-schemed wardrobe. See more »

Goofs

Just before the gang leaves the train, Mr. Blue talks into the microphone of the radio but does not press the talk button. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. Mattson: Okay, kid, out loud now so's I can hear what you're sayin'.
Bud Carmody: I'm checkin' the passengers gettin' on and off...
Mr. Mattson: Uh-huh.
Bud Carmody: Front and back. Shuttin' the doors. Rear section first and the first section. And the doors are closed. Now I'm checking my indicator lights to make sure all the doors are locked. I remove my switch key and back out the window for a distance of three car lengths to make sure no one's being dragged. 51st Street next stop; next stop, 51st Street. How'd I do?
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Crazy Credits

Although many of the scenes in this film were taken on transit property, the New York City Transit Authority is not responsible for plot, story and characters portrayed. The Authority did not render technical advice and assistance. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.25 (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Filled with exciting moments and heart-pounding suspense.
27 October 2002 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Sharp and fast-paced thriller that follows an easy-going N.Y.C. transit cop (Walter Matthau) who's forced to out-match the wits of four well-armed gunmen and their resilient leader (Robert Shaw) who are holding eighteen passengers on a subway train and demand one million dollars within the hour.

Made in the era of smart, stylish, and ingenius thrillers ('70s), this film didn't fail to loose my attention at all. In addition to Matthau and Shaw, the supporting cast (Hector Elizondo, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, Tony Roberts, and so forth) is are just as excellent as the two unflappable leads. This well-polished crime movie is filled with exciting moments and heart-pounding suspense. Plus, there are some quirky one-liners thrown into the story as well.


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