7.7/10
23,534
192 user 99 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)

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

Pelham One Two Three Was the Name of a New York Subway Train...And the Start of a Million Dollar Countdown in Suspense! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 November 1974 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Pelham See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The ransom demand is for $1,000,000, like in the novel, but in the 2009 remake, the ransom has been upgraded to $10,000,000, because a million was considered a corny asking price. See more »

Goofs

Departing the 42nd Str. (Express) Station for the 33rd Str. (Local) Sta. those downtown tracks - and only those, receive a switchpoint whereby the 42nd Str."shuttle" joins the Lexinton Avenue line... Those points are shown BUT in the opposite/wrong direction. (Either the scene is using a different set of points somewhere else in the System OR that scene was somehow edited-in to the film BACKWARDS.) See more »

Quotes

Mr. Blue: Be quiet! Now be quiet! nothing will happen as long as you obey my orders.
Pimp: Shit man that's what they said in Vietnam, and I still got my ass shot full of lead.
Mr. Gray: Shut your mouth nigger! and keep it shut!
Mr. Blue: Mr. Gray!
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 The Usual Suspects (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Filled with exciting moments and heart-pounding suspense.
27 October 2002 | by mhasheiderSee all my reviews

Sharp and fast-paced thriller that follows an easy-going N.Y.C. transit cop (Walter Matthau) who's forced to out-match the wits of four well-armed gunmen and their resilient leader (Robert Shaw) who are holding eighteen passengers on a subway train and demand one million dollars within the hour.

Made in the era of smart, stylish, and ingenius thrillers ('70s), this film didn't fail to loose my attention at all. In addition to Matthau and Shaw, the supporting cast (Hector Elizondo, Martin Balsam, Jerry Stiller, Tony Roberts, and so forth) is are just as excellent as the two unflappable leads. This well-polished crime movie is filled with exciting moments and heart-pounding suspense. Plus, there are some quirky one-liners thrown into the story as well.


80 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 192 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed