Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
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Quinn K. Redeker
Four hijackers led by Vincent D'onofrio seize a subway train in the middle of a tunnel and hold 14 hostages for a $5 million ransom. Edward James Olmos and Lorraine Bracco are the officers assigned to work out the release of the passengers. However, even the murder of some passengers are met with an apparent calm by everyone involved. The murder of a subway supervisor prompts everyone to shake their heads and go on about their business.Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Shot in Toronto's TTC subway system, mainly using the system's only abandoned station platform and two of a class of older cars being retired by the TTC. The two cars were shipped by road to the scrapyard the day after filming ended, still disguised as New York cars. See more »
On the section of the Lexington Avenue Line where most of the action occurs, there are four tracks side by side with local trains always running on the rightmost; the dialogue mentions the four tracks. Real-life local stations such as 28th Street have outside platforms with all four tracks between them. In the movie, only two tracks are ever seen except at switches, and 28th Street is shown with a central platform and the title train running on the left. See more »
Popular opinion seems to favor the original 1974 version, but I came at it from a different angle. I'd never seen the original. I just happened to catch the TV version one evening -- curiously enough, while in Costa Rica (and with Spanish subtitles). The story unfolded well enough that it kept me hanging all the way and I was aggravated that due to business I *had* to leave just as the train was making its final run.
I sought out the film immediately upon return to the U.S. and was astonished to see the Matthau/Shaw et al. cast. Though some cite Matthau's occasional humor as a plus, for me it detracted from the grimness; it throws the story off balance (except for providing a context for the final freeze-frame). The TV version is darker, more menacing, more suitable to how I experienced the story. And, frankly, the dated soundtrack just irks me; Copeland's fits better. Opinions, opinions.
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