Four hijackers led by Vincent D'onofrio seize a subway train in the middle of a tunnel and hold 14 hostages for a $5 million ransom. Edward James Olmos and Lorraine Bracco are the officers assigned to work out the release of the passengers. However, even the murder of some passengers are met with an apparent calm by everyone involved. The murder of a subway supervisor prompts everyone to shake their heads and go on about their business. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
With respect to the description in the novel of how the controller is rigged for the getaway, this version is more faithful than the original film. See more »
The line diagrams in the Command Center bear no relation either to the real-life configuration of tracks or to that in the movie; they appear to show the train on the middle one of three tracks, and this with no connection to the other tracks. The detail diagram displayed at one point on a video monitor is different again and also shows three tracks. See more »
Popular opinion seems to favor the original 1974 version, but I came at it from a different angle. I'd never seen the original. I just happened to catch the TV version one evening -- curiously enough, while in Costa Rica (and with Spanish subtitles). The story unfolded well enough that it kept me hanging all the way and I was aggravated that due to business I *had* to leave just as the train was making its final run.
I sought out the film immediately upon return to the U.S. and was astonished to see the Matthau/Shaw et al. cast. Though some cite Matthau's occasional humor as a plus, for me it detracted from the grimness; it throws the story off balance (except for providing a context for the final freeze-frame). The TV version is darker, more menacing, more suitable to how I experienced the story. And, frankly, the dated soundtrack just irks me; Copeland's fits better. Opinions, opinions.
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