7.7/10
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193 user 100 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:

Joseph Sargent

Writers:

John Godey (novel), Peter Stone (screenplay)

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

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Lee Wallace ... Al - the Mayor of New York City
Tom Pedi ... Caz Dolowicz
Beatrice Winde 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
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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:

We are going to kill one passenger a minute until New York City pays us 1 million dollars. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 November 1974 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

El tomar de Pelham uno dos tres See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,700,000, 31 December 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer David Shire was asked to extend the end credits piece of score to allow for extra time/credits added in. His then wife, Talia Shire, suggested that he write in an adaption of the theme that reflected a more romantic view of New York city, to contrast the gritty sounds used for the film's main score. David Shire adopted this approach in the extended passage. See more »

Goofs

The action takes place on the local downtown Lexington Avenue Line, which terminates at the abandoned City Hall loop station, just past Brooklyn Bridge station. While the fact that the train in the film runs to the inner loop at South Ferry (where some express trains terminate) may appear to be a goof, the hijackers request that the switches be set in order to put them in the South Ferry loop - and there is indeed a switch onto the downtown express tracks, right before the Brooklyn Bridge station. At the time the film was made, the Lexington 5 and 6 lines went to South Ferry station. That section of track is still there but no longer in use. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Green: What's your name, motorman?
Denny Doyle: Uh, Denny Doyle.
Mr. Green: Ever get written up?
Denny Doyle: Uh, yes, sir. Once.
Mr. Green: What for?
Denny Doyle: Running a red signal. How about you?
Mr. Green: Twice. Once on the Canarsie...
Mr. Blue: That's right, Mr. Green. Tell Mr. Doyle all about yourself, will you?
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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 The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great NYC flick
28 February 2002 | by stevenfallonnycSee all my reviews

I am biased a little with this film to begin with, as I live in NYC and am a big subway fan. So a gritty 70's flick that takes place in a NYC subway sounds good to me! But the truth is, this film is a great film full of extremely talented actors with a dynamite story. Shaw and Matthau are the obvious stars with everyone else putting in a good co-starring role.

The story takes place on the "6" train no less, which happens to be my fave subway line! It was a great surprise when I found the DVD for only ten bucks, I would have paid a normal price. And the quality of the DVD transfer is VERY nice. The film, though a bit brutal sometimes, even has some decent humor, even the ending is kinda funny, but perfect. I recently watched this on TV, just to compare the two versions and see where all the cuts and edits were. You can't go wrong with this film.


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