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The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) Poster

Trivia

The mayor (James Gandolfini)'s watch is a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reserve de Marche.
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Jump to: Spoilers (2)
John Travolta chose not to promote the film with the rest of the cast, because he was still reeling from the loss of his son, Jett.
The Roosevelt Tunnel built under the Waldorf Astoria to which Ryder uses as part of his escape from the subway is actually based on the secret track 61 which is built under the Waldorf Astoria and was commissioned to help President Franklin Roosevelt keep his use of a wheelchair secret.
The R-142 and R-142A subway cars portrayed in this film are permanently linked into 5-car sets and cannot operate as single units. R-62A 2079, a single car capable of operating alone, was cosmetically modified to resemble a modern car for this film and restored to its original appearance after filming was completed.
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The movie pays homage to Walter Matthau, who played Lt. Zachary Garber in the 1974 movie by naming 'Denzel Washington's character Walter Garber. Also, while Lt. Zachary Garber wore a plaid shirt and yellow tie, Walter Garber wears a yellow shirt and similar pattern plaid tie.
John Travolta's character (Ryder) wears a Breitling watch. Travolta is a spokesperson for Breitling.
Garber talks about choosing between purchasing trains from a Japanese company and a Canadian company. Although not mentioned by name, this refers to Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bombardier Transportation, who have both manufactured subway trains for New York.
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Ryder says to Garber, "You live, you die, you either go with the current or you fight it, but you all end up in the same place", to which Garber asks, "Where's that, Jersey". Ryder then says, "Yeah, you watch it, I was born there man." John Travolta, who plays Ryder, was born in Englewood, New Jersey.
The production team worked closely with the MTA and was given access to the MTA control room for research.
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The title derives from the train's radio call sign. When a New York City subway train leaves to make a run, it's given a call sign based on the time it left and where, in this case Pelham Bay Park Station at 1:23pm.
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The New York Transit Authority for years after the novel and the original film barred its planners from scheduling a train leaving Pelham at 1:23 in the morning or afternoon. Although the policy was rescinded, as a superstition the dispatchers still avoid scheduling a train at that time.
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One of the bad guys was a teamster on the set with an actual criminal past who Tony Scott hired because he felt he played a bad guy convincingly enough.
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The novel explores more of what the media and the public thinks of the hijacking.
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Shipped to theaters under the code name "Watch Your Step".
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In the novel, some of the cops think about pocketing some of the money for themselves.
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The ending in the novel is different to this film and the original; in the original 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 remaining robbers.
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We see some of the hostages in the aftermath in the novel. An in-joke in the novel is that someone wants to write up what happened as a novel.
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First blood is a railroad term describing the first time an engineer killed someone on the tracks.
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While negotiating with Garber on the phone, Ryder says the hostages aren't getting pizza. In the movie Inside Man, Denzels Washington's character is a hostage negotiator who sends in pizza for the hostages being held in the bank.
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In the movie, from the audience's viewpoint, Ryder (John Travolta) is seen wearing an earring on his right ear while Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) has one on his left. Also notice that both of them has only a single earring.
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The IND Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Brooklyn was used in the scene where Garber enters the tunnel to deliver the ransom money.
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Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.
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The original film is considered a classic, while the remake is considered better then expected but nothing more than that.
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In the novel, the Mayor has flu but in the remake he says he always gets flu when visiting schools so wants a flu shot on standby. But the Mayor is ill with something that could be life-threatening. His wife is in the novel but they've separated in the remake because of his infidelity.
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In the novel, a sniper kills a hijacker on purpose, but in the remake it happens by accident.
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Ryder's men hijack the train at 2:00pm, but in the novel it's at 1:23pm, like the number of the train.
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In the novel, Ryder doesn't mind talking to others, but in the remake he talks only to Garber. He also converses more with the hostages in the book.
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In the novel we learn more of the hijackers motivations and converse more with the hostages.
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In the novel, Ryder's mother died of cancer and his father was bludgeoned by an ashtray. He entered military service like Vietnam and perhaps this was the case in the original film but doubtful the remake.
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In the novel, Ryder's men come from criminal backgrounds that were recommended to him.
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In the novel, the first time we meet the Mayor is at his mansion, having a tryst with a monk, and not on another train like the remake. In the remake, his marriage is in trouble but not for the same reason. The Mayor (Sam in the novel) even considers letting the hijackers keep the train because New York doesn't have a million dollars, which was a lot of money in 1973 when the book was written.
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A scene in the novel omitted from the remake was a 14-year old girl was raped.
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In the novel, Ryder allows for the money to be delivered to the station by 3:13pm, but not the remake.
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In the novel, the Mayor considers going to the train, but not in the remake.
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In the novel, the money comes just on the deadline, but in the remake, they go over the deadline and Ryder kills a hostage.
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We see the money being withdrawn and the people doing it in the novel but not in the remake.
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In the film, Ryder wants Garber to deliver the money, but in the novel he wants cops to drop it off in ten minutes or he kills a hostage. There is no road accident that makes them miss the deadline or lying to Ryder that they've got the money.
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Lasalle's first name in the novel is Murray and we see him trying to get the money.
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Ryder is calmer in the novel and the original film but angrier in the remake.
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The motorman dies differently in the novel; he gets gunned down when a sniper kills one of the hijackers, and not by Ryder. It also angers the public and the cops trying to control them.
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In the novel, the ransom demand is $1,000,000 and so it was in the original film, but the remake has upgraded it to $10,000,000; Ryder says a million dollar ransom is a corny asking price.
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In the novel it takes longer to get to the hijacking than it does in the film.
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Ryder in the book is a methodical criminal mastermind, like Robert Shaw in the original film, but not like John Travolta who has a hair trigger temper.
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Ryder's men wear disguises in the novel and in the original film but not the remake.
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The hijackers use tommy-guns in the novel but not the remake, perhaps because they're only effective at close range.
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In the novel, the hostages tell Ryder why they need to be released and he says why they can't, but not the remake. An off-duty cop is on the train too but not the remake, where he takes matters into his own hands at the climax. He shoots Ryder in the tunnel, but Ryder dies by electrocution in the original film, but is killed by Garber outside in the remake.
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In the novel, Ryder gets the idea for the hijacking after reading in the paper about two men who stuck up a change booth at a subway station in the Bronx.
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The novel goes into more detail about the hostages than the remake, and one is even attacked by a hijacker for being racist.
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In the novel, Garber is the operations lieutenant and the man in charge and more impatient than Denzel Washington. In the film, he's just a train dispatcher.
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The equivalent of Garber in the novel is someone called Prescott and he's not as level-headed as Garber in the remake. He's an operations lieutenant and a minor character and views the escape from the train at transit police headquarters.
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In the novel, one of the hostages asks the hijackers to let him off at their stop while making an escape. There is also a disobedient boy wanting to be let off that has to be chastised by his mother.
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Garber doesn't drive the train in the novel but one of the hijackers does. There are also cops following behind the train.
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In the novel, Ryder gets off the train to plant two grenades on the track to release the levers on the track.
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In the novel, the three remaining robbers leave the train without someone like Garber to guide them.
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In the novel, Ryder shoots one of the robbers and another winds up paralyzed.
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An element of racism was in the novel because of the time it was written, but not the remake where Garber has been recast with a Black actor.
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In the novel, the NYPD assume Ryder and his men are small-timers for wanting a million dollar ransom instead of a ten million dollar ransom, which is what they want in the remake.
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The runaway train climax foreshadows the plot of Tony Scott's final film, Unstoppable (2010).
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In the novel, Longman likes to walk off nervous energy.
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Ryder embezzles $307,000,000 at the climax, a vast sum compared to the million dollar ransom of the novel and the original film.
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The novel was a best seller in 1973 until first being turned into a hit film with Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw in 1974.
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The chapters in the novel are told from the characters perspective.
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In both this and the original film, the hijackers have different names than in the novel, with the exception of Ryder.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In this movie the motorman hijacker (played by Luis Guzmán) is the first of the villains to die, while in the original movie this character (played by Martin Balsam) is the only one to survive.
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Body count: 7 (3 hostages and 4 bad guys).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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