Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
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
The meaning of "Pelham One Two Three" refers to the New York subway timetable terminus and time of departure schedule radio call sign. As explained in the movie, "Pelham" is the name of the station of origin where the subway train departs whereas "One Two Three" refers to the time of departure i.e. 1.23 pm. See more »
The sub-machine guns used by the gang are the Smith and Wesson M-76 9mm. There are a couple of scenes where Mr. Grey pulls the bolt back and releases it, letting fall into the chambered position. First the M-76 would have locked the bolt back in an open bolt configuration, making the gun ready to fire. Secondly, had any ammunition been in the magazine, pulling the bolt back and letting move forward onto the chamber, it then would have fired as all open bolt guns would have. See more »
Okay, kid, out loud now so's I can hear what you're sayin'.
I'm checkin' the passengers gettin' on and off...
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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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 »
This was meant to be Carry On At Your Convenience...
... Thank Goodness it wasn't!
I switched on me TV last night after an evening out and the opening credits of Pelham was just finishing. Not knowing the name of this film (the Carry On listing was clearly not being shown, perhaps the Producer-dude had a revelation of taste!) I began to watch it half-heartedly, whilst prostrate on the sofa.
By the end of the movie, and that glorious last look from Matthau, I was sitting blot-upright with the biggest grin I've had on my face at 2am for a long time!
What a flick! What a film! How good was this simple, little, under-rated, under-stated movie? Very.
See this film, forgive it for being written in the 70-ties, in fact revel in that non-PC fact (the Chinese/Lady jokes are, retrospectively, quite amusing, in a non-Carry On way).
They just don't make 'um like this anymore. Simple, sweet, suspense.
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