The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ()

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Four armed men hijack a New York City subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. The city's police are faced with a conundrum: Even if it's paid, how could they get away?

  • Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Lt. Garber
Denny Doyle
The Mayor
Caz Dolowicz
Beatrice Winde ...
Mrs. Jenkins
Lt. Rico Patrone
Ptl. James
Police Commissioner
Borough Commander (as Kenneth Mc Millan)
Mayor's Wife
Inspector Daniels
Cynthia Belgrave ...
The Maid
The Mother
Gary Bolling ...
The Homosexual
Carol Cole ...
The Secretary
The Delivery Boy
Joe Fields ...
The Salesman
The Hooker
The Old Man
Thomas La Fleur ...
The Older Son
María Landa ...
The Spanish Woman (as Maria Landa)
The Alcoholic
The Pimp
Carolyn Nelson ...
Coed #1
Eric O'Hanian ...
The Younger Son
Coed #2
William Snickowski ...
The Hippie
Barry Snyder ...
The W.A.S.P.
Walter Jones ...
Mr. Mattson
Jerry Holland ...
Bud Carmody
Penny Krompier ...
T.A. Secretary
Timothy Meyers ...
Plumber (as Tim Myers)
Mayor's Nurse
Thomas Barbour ...
T.A. Chairman
Marvin Silbersher ...
Neil Brooks Cunningham ...
Ptl. Miskowsky (as Simon Deckard)
Ptl. O'Keefe
Tony Fasce ...
Ptl. Wentworth
Burtt Harris ...
Ptl. Ricci
Gene Gross ...
Walter Lott ...
Executive on Train
Conrad Yama ...
Mr. Tomashita
Sho Onodera ...
Mr. Matsumoto
Toru Nagai ...
Mr. Yashimura
Tura Nakamura ...
Mr. Nakabashi
Rowena Rollins ...
Angry Woman
Joseph Attles ...
Angry Man
Willis Pinkett ...
Michelle Matthow ...
T.A. Receptionist
Isabella Hoopes ...
Woman on Platform
Man on Platform
Subway Guard
Police Sergeant
Gino Gennaro ...
Police Lieutenant
Carmine Foresta ...
Train Expediter
Warren LaSalle
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Toll Booth Officer (uncredited)
Ines Hellendall ...
Train Passenger (uncredited)
Jean-Paul Hellendall ...
Subway Passenger (uncredited)
Student on Subway Platform (uncredited)
Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Police Officer (uncredited)
Paul Nuckles ...
Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Jay Rasumny ...
Squad Car Driver (uncredited)
Charles Silvern ...
Minor Role (uncredited)
Dominique St. Pierre ...
Minor Role (uncredited)
Police Capt. Costello (uncredited) (voice)
Frank Ventgen ...
Police Officer (uncredited)

Directed by

Joseph Sargent

Written by

John Godey ... (novel)
Peter Stone ... (screenplay)

Produced by

Gabriel Katzka ... producer
Stephen F. Kesten ... associate producer
Edgar J. Scherick ... producer

Music by

David Shire

Cinematography by

Owen Roizman ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Gerald B. Greenberg ... (as Gerald Greenberg)
Robert Q. Lovett

Editorial Department

Jay Dranch ... apprentice editor
Cynthia Scheider ... assistant editor
Maurice Schell ... assistant editor
Michael Kirchberger ... apprentice editor (uncredited)

Casting By

Alixe Gordin

Art Direction by

Gene Rudolf

Set Decoration by

Herbert F. Mulligan ... (as Herb Mulligan)

Costume Design by

Anna Hill Johnstone

Makeup Department

Irving Buchman ... makeup artist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Michael Haley ... second assistant director (as Mike Haley)
Burtt Harris ... second unit director
Sal Scoppa Jr. ... second assistant director (as Sal Scoppa)
Peter R. Scoppa ... assistant director (as Peter Scoppa)

Art Department

Joseph M. Caracciolo ... property master (as Joe Caracciola)
John Gilliar ... set dresser (as Bud Gilliar)
Harry Lynott ... head carpenter
Bruno Robotti ... scenic artist
Walter Way ... construction grip
Mort Künstler ... poster artist (uncredited)

Sound Department

Stan Bochner ... assistant sound editor (as Stanley Bochner)
Jack Fitzstephens ... sound editor
Al Gramaglia ... sound re-recordist
Marc Laub ... sound editor (as Mark M. Laub)
David Moshlak ... sound recordist
Christopher Newman ... sound mixer (as Chris Newman)
Sanford Rackow ... sound editor
David Ray ... assistant sound editor
Pat Suraci ... boom operator
Stephen Fitzstephens ... foley artist (uncredited)
Maurice Schell ... sound effects editor (uncredited)


Bill Barber ... stunt driver
Joie Chitwood Jr. ... stunt coordinator / stunt driver
Tim Chitwood ... stunt driver
Daniel Dod ... stunt driver (as Danny Dod)
Kathryn Hayzer ... precision driver
Tim Heck ... stunt driver
Carey Loftin ... motorcycle stunts / stunt driver
Harry Madsen ... stunt driver
Paul Nuckles ... stunt driver
Rick Seaman ... stunt driver

Camera and Electrical Department

Dick Mingalone ... camera operator
Gary Muller ... assistant camera
Tom Priestley Jr. ... assistant camera
Jack Priestley ... camera operator: second unit
Ed Quinn ... grip
Dusty Wallace ... gaffer
Robert Ward ... grip (as Bob Ward)
Josh Weiner ... still photographer
Vinnie Gerardo ... assistant camera (uncredited)

Casting Department

Vic Ramos ... extras casting

Costume and Wardrobe Department

George Newman ... wardrobe master

Location Management

Robert F. Kocourek ... location auditor

Music Department

Erma E. Levin ... music editor (as Erma Levin)
Tony Terran ... musician: trumpet player
Bob Bornstein ... music copyist (uncredited)
Larry Bunker ... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Alf Clausen ... music copyist (uncredited)
Vince De Rosa ... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Milt Holland ... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Tommy Johnson ... musician: tuba (uncredited)
Artie Kane ... musician: keyboards (uncredited)
Milton Kestenbaum ... musician: bass (uncredited)
Shelly Manne ... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Malcolm McNab ... musician: trumpet soloist (uncredited)
Richard Nash ... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Emil Richards ... musician: percussion (uncredited)
David Shire ... conductor (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
Dan Wallin ... music engineer (uncredited) / music mixer (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Nancy Hopton ... script supervisor (as Nancy Tonery)

Additional Crew

Patrick Burns ... production aide
Mark Canton ... production aide
Barbara De Fina ... production office coordinator (as Barbara DaFina)
Raymond Hartwick ... teamster captain (as Ray Hartwick)
Richard Hinds ... production aide
Gaetano Lisi ... production aide
Harvey Portee ... production aide
Sheldon Roskin ... unit publicist
Jonathan Sarno ... production aide
Connie Schoenberg ... production office coordinator
Crew verified as complete

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Plot Summary

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 their side is the disparate nature of the four hijackers, including methodical and unbending Blue, trigger happy Grey, and also under the weather Green, who may pass out before the caper has concluded. What Garber does know is that there is a plain clothes NYPD officer among the eighteen hostages. What Garber has to try and figure out is how the four hijackers can possibly get away, as they are in a tunnel and have to remain with the train since it has a dead-man mechanism which requires a motorman at the controls at all times. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines Before this train reaches the next station it will become the scene of the most spectacular hijack ever attempted See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Pelham (United States)
  • El tomar de Pelham uno dos tres (United States, Spanish title)
  • The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (United States)
  • Panic on the Subway Express (Egypt, English title)
  • Pelham 1-2-3 (Europe, English title)
  • See more »
  • 104 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $5,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia In a TVO (Ontario, Canada) interview, the producer said that this film did terrific box office in New York, Toronto, London and Paris--all cities with subways--but was considered a flop in the rest of the world. See more »
Goofs When the gang separates the train and backs it up to separate it from the train, the young conductor says in amazement, "I didn't know these things went backwards." Cute, but this is a very unlikely line from an apprentice conductor "studying to take the motorman's exam." Besides the usual running back and forth while making up trains in the yards, every subway car runs in both directions, because they usually do not turn the train around at the end of the line. Instead, the operator stops at the last station, walks from the former front to the former back, switches controls to the new "front end" and goes back the way he came. So all subway cars spend half of their life "going backwards," as any conductor would know. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Superman III (1983). 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 »
Quotes Lt. Garber: [looking for the inspector] Inspector Daniels?
Inspector Daniels: [identifying himself] Daniels.
Lt. Garber: [realizing that Inspector Daniels is Black] Oh, I, uh, thought you were, uh, like a shorter guy or... I don't know what I thought.
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