7.7/10
26,215
207 user 113 critic

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer
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)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Lt. Garber
Robert Shaw ... Blue
Martin Balsam ... Green
Hector Elizondo ... Grey
Earl Hindman ... Brown
James Broderick ... Denny Doyle
Dick O'Neill ... Correll
Lee Wallace ... The Mayor
Tom Pedi ... Caz Dolowicz
Beatrice Winde Beatrice Winde ... Mrs. Jenkins
Jerry Stiller ... Lt. Rico Patrone
Nathan George ... Ptl. James
Rudy Bond ... Police Commissioner
Kenneth McMillan ... Borough Commander (as Kenneth Mc Millan)
Doris Roberts ... 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:

1:23pm. Grand Central Station, New York. A packed commuter train is hijacked. A ransom is set - at one million dollars. The subway is a closed system. For the four hijackers, surely there is no way out. But they have a deadly plan... See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The reason for the large gap between the subway cars and the platform is that a large portion of the underground scenes was filmed on the unused Court St. stub of the IND subway, which uses wider cars than the IRT cars used in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Green first catches the 6 Train at 59th street, the train has storm door with no roll down windows, while in later scenes, the storm doors do have roll down windows. See more »

Quotes

Denny Doyle: You're still in switching. Why don't you peg it up to series? You're green all the way.
Mr. Green: Nah, we're in no mach schnell.
[Mr. Green sneezes]
Denny Doyle: Cold sounds pretty bad.
Mr. Green: I don't know. I woke up in the middle of the night.
[a bright flash comes from the track, followed by a bang]
Mr. Green: Sheesh.
Mr. Blue: What happened?
Mr. Green: Must have bucked.
Mr. Blue: You told me you could drive this thing.
[...]
See more »

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 Dream On: The Taking of Pablum 1-2-3: Part II (1994) See more »

User Reviews

 
This was meant to be Carry On At Your Convenience...
20 October 2003 | by M_BrownSee all my reviews

... 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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