IMDb > The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Godey (novel)
Peter Stone (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Taking of Pelham One Two Three on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 November 1974 (West Germany) See more »
Before this train reaches the next station it will become the scene of the most spectacular hijack ever attempted See more »
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? Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations See more »
(91 articles)
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User Reviews:
Another example of why the 70's was the finest decade for films. See more (180 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Walter Matthau ... Police Lt. Zachary Garber

Robert Shaw ... Bernard Ryder aka Blue

Martin Balsam ... Harold Longman aka Green

Hector Elizondo ... Giuseppe Benvenuto aka Grey

Earl Hindman ... George Steever aka Brown

James Broderick ... Denny Doyle - Train Conductor

Dick O'Neill ... Frank Correll
Lee Wallace ... Al - the Mayor of New York City
Tom Pedi ... Caz Dolowicz
Beatrice Winde ... Mrs. Jenkins

Jerry Stiller ... Police Lt. Rico Patrone
Nathan George ... Police Ptl. James
Rudy Bond ... Phil - Police Commissioner

Kenneth McMillan ... Harry - Borough Commander (as Kenneth Mc Millan)

Doris Roberts ... Jessie - The Mayor's Wife

Julius Harris ... Inspector Daniels
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
Thomas La Fleur ... The Older Son
María Landa ... The Spanish Woman (as Maria Landa)
Louise Larabee ... The Alcoholic
George Lee Miles ... The Pimp
Carolyn Nelson ... Coed #1
Eric O'Hanian ... The Younger Son
Lucy Saroyan ... Coed #2
William Snickowski ... The Hippie
Barry Snyder ... The W.A.S.P.
Walter Jones ... Mr. Mattson
Jerry Holland ... Bud Carmody
Robert Weil ... Marino
Penny Krompier ... T.A. Secretary

Christopher Murney ... Dispatcher
Timothy Meyers ... Plumber (as Tim Myers)
Ruth Attaway ... Mayor's Nurse
Thomas Barbour ... T.A. Chairman
Marvin Silbersher ... Comptroller

Neil Brooks Cunningham ... Police Ptl. Miskowsky (as Simon Deckard)

Sal Viscuso ... Police Ptl. O'Keefe
Tony Fasce ... Police Ptl. Wentworth
Burtt Harris ... Police Ptl. Ricci
Gene Gross ... Muscat
Walter Lott ... Executive on train
Conrad Yama ... Mr. Tomashita
Sho Onodera ... Mr. Matsumoto
Toru Nagai ... Mr. Yashimura
Tura Nakamura ... Mr. Nakabashi
Rowena Rollins ... Angry Woman
Joseph Attles ... Angry Man
Willis Pinkett ... Towerman
Michelle Matthow ... T.A. Receptionist
Isabella Hoopes ... Woman on Platform

Bill Cobbs ... Man on Platform
Jim Pelham ... Subway Guard

Joe Seneca ... Police Sergeant
Gino Gennaro ... Police Lieutenant
Carmine Foresta ... Train Expediter

Tony Roberts ... Warren LaSalle
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Hy Anzell ... Toll Booth Officer (uncredited)
Ines Hellendall ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Jean-Paul Hellendall ... Subway Passenger (uncredited)
Carey Loftin ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)

James Mapes ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Paul Nuckles ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)

Jay Rasumny ... Squad Car Driver (uncredited)
Charles Silvern ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Dolph Sweet ... Police Capt. Costello (voice) (uncredited)
Frank Ventgen ... Police Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph Sargent 
Writing credits
John Godey (novel)

Peter Stone (screenplay)

Produced by
Gabriel Katzka .... producer
Stephen F. Kesten .... associate producer
Edgar J. Scherick .... producer
Original Music by
David Shire 
Cinematography by
Owen Roizman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Gerald B. Greenberg  (as Gerald Greenberg)
Robert Q. Lovett 
Casting by
Alixe Gordin 
Art Direction by
Gene Rudolf 
Set Decoration by
Herbert F. Mulligan  (as Herb Mulligan)
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
Makeup Department
Irving Buchman .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Haley .... second assistant director (as Mike Haley)
Burtt Harris .... second unit director
Sal Scoppa Jr. .... second assistant director (as Sal Scoppa)
Peter R. Scoppa .... assistant director (as Peter Scoppa)
Art Department
Joseph M. Caracciolo .... property master (as Joe Caracciola)
John Gilliar .... set dresser (as Bud Gilliar)
Harry Lynott .... head carpenter
Bruno Robotti .... scenic artist
Walter Way .... construction grip
Sound Department
Stan Bochner .... assistant sound editor (as Stanley Bochner)
Jack Fitzstephens .... sound editor
Al Gramaglia .... sound re-recordist
Marc Laub .... sound editor (as Mark M. Laub)
David Moshlak .... sound recordist
Christopher Newman .... sound mixer (as Chris Newman)
Sanford Rackow .... sound editor
David Ray .... assistant sound editor
Pat Suraci .... boom operator
Stephen Fitzstephens .... foley artist (uncredited)
Maurice Schell .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Bill Barber .... stunt driver
Joie Chitwood Jr. .... stunt coordinator
Joie Chitwood Jr. .... stunt driver
Tim Chitwood .... stunt driver
Daniel Dod .... stunt driver (as Danny Dod)
Tim Heck .... stunt driver
Carey Loftin .... motorcycle stunts
Carey Loftin .... stunt driver
Harry Madsen .... stunt driver
Paul Nuckles .... stunt driver
Rick Seaman .... stunt driver
Camera and Electrical Department
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
Gary Muller .... assistant camera
Tom Priestley Jr. .... assistant camera
Jack Priestley .... camera operator: second unit
Ed Quinn .... grip
Dusty Wallace .... gaffer
Robert Ward .... grip (as Bob Ward)
Josh Weiner .... still photographer
Vinnie Gerardo .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Vic Ramos .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
George Newman .... wardrobe master
Editorial Department
Jay Dranch .... apprentice editor
Cynthia Scheider .... assistant editor
Maurice Schell .... assistant editor
Michael Kirchberger .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Erma E. Levin .... music editor (as Erma Levin)
Bob Bornstein .... music copyist (uncredited)
Larry Bunker .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Alf Clausen .... music copyist (uncredited)
Milt Holland .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Artie Kane .... musician: keyboards (uncredited)
Milton Kestenbaum .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Shelly Manne .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Emil Richards .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
David Shire .... conductor (uncredited)
David Shire .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... music engineer (uncredited)
Dan Wallin .... music mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Patrick Burns .... production aide
Mark Canton .... production aide
Barbara De Fina .... production office coordinator (as Barbara DaFina)
Raymond Hartwick .... teamster captain (as Ray Hartwick)
Richard Hinds .... production aide
Nancy Hopton .... script supervisor (as Nancy Tonery)
Robert F. Kocourek .... location auditor
Gaetano Lisi .... production aide
Harvey Portee .... production aide
Sheldon Roskin .... unit publicist
Jonathan Sarno .... production aide
Connie Schoenberg .... production office coordinator
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"El tomar de Pelham uno dos tres" - USA (Spanish title) (dubbed version)
"Pelham 1-2-3" - Europe (English title) (video box title)
"Panic on the Subway Express" - Egypt (English title) (poster title)
See more »
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Canada:14+ | Canada:18A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Norway:15 (re-rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video) | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

The ending is different in the novel to this and the 2009 remake; in this film, the last remaining robber says something incriminating to Walter Matthau, and in the remake, Garber kills Ryder and the cops kill the last two robbers.See more »
Continuity: After cutting away the rest of the train, Mr. Green, Mr. Brown and Bud Carmody walk up and climb into the head car. In the next shot, Mr. Green enters the motorman's cab while in the background, Carmody and Mr. Brown can be seen climbing into the car again.See more »
[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?
See more »
Movie Connections:


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
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45 out of 51 people found the following review useful.
Another example of why the 70's was the finest decade for films., 28 September 2006
Author: ntvnyr30 from Staten Island, NY

It is my belief that the finest era for films was the 1970's. Consider all the classics that were produced in that era (Godfather I and II, Patton, The Sting, Jaws, Mean Streets, The Exorcist, The French Connection, Star Wars etc). My belief was recently validated by Jodie Foster, who essentially said the same thing. One of the reasons why the films were great was that the directors were ostensibly in control of the films, rather than by a committee of the usual Hollywood "insiders" who think they know what people want to see, but rarely make the correct decisions.

I know that this film was re-made( for TV)--God knows why--but I'm sure if they attempted another film version Matt Damon would be playing the grizzled transit police cop (Matthau's role) and Jude Law would be playing the Robert Shaw role. That's another reason why the original and other films of the 70's were so great: the casting was more believable. Today Hollywood is so incredibly youth-obsessed that actors are completely miscast.

I am not stating that this is another 70's classic, but even this film is far superior to many of today's films. And yet, I'll bet you couldn't find "Pelham" in your local video store.

I love several things about this film. The first thing to hit you is that wonderful, funky score that in some parts sounds like controlled chaos. I love the script, which is not completely dark despite the underlying theme, as there are some very funny moments throughout the film: for instance, the chagrined look on Matthau's face when he discovers the Japanese visitors can speak English.

There are many examples of mistaken identity in this film: the supervisor who is gunned down is called "goombah", but he isn't Italian; Matthau thinks the black police captain is white over the radio; Matthau mistakes the long-haired undercover cop (who was shot on the train tracks) for a female. I also love the character who plays the mayor, who unbelievably bears a striking resemblance to Mayor Koch, who was elected 3 years later!!!! All in all a great action film, and one that will hold up for years.

Addendum: Well, they're doing it--they're re-making this film because Hollywood is almost completely bereft of new ideas (see "Josie and the Pussycats" "Bewitched" the upcoming "I Dream of Jeannie"). I half-expect they will remake "The Paper Chase" next with P.Diddy as Professor Kingsfield.

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