The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

pelham1“Even great men have to pee.” – Lt. Rico Patrone

Number of Times Seen –  Too many to count (TV, VCR, DVD, 11 Jul 2013)

Brief Synopsis – 4 armed men hijack a NYC subway train and demand $1 Million in exchange for the hostages.

My Take on it – I have loved this movie since one of my older brothers and his friends introduced it to me as a teenager.

This is the way to make a taut thriller. Great cast, suspense, laughs and ultimately you don’t know what will happen around the corner.

First of all the cats is top-notch; Walther Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo (of future Chicago Hope fame), Earl Hindman (Tim Allen’s faceless neighbor on “Home Improvement”), Jerry Stiller, Dick O’Neill and James Broderick.

The dialogue and plot move along at a great pace and the score keeps things suspenseful also.

Tarantino used the idea of naming the criminals by color from this movie.  This movie went one step further having each of them wearing a hat with their color. Blue, Green, Brown and Grey.

One of these days, I’d like to read this book to see if it’s as good as the movie or perhaps even better.

This movie was remade twice. once in 1998 and again in 2009.  I have re-watched the 2009 version with Denzel Washington and John Travolta and was pretty unimpressed.

Why do Hollywood insiders always think that you can take a great movie, update it and it will still be good?  They usually don’t succeed as well as the original did.

Stick to the original. It’s the best one!

Bottom Line – Excellent Thriller. Too bad not many movies are made like this these days. Highly Recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy


8 thoughts on “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

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