Genre Grandeur – The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) – MovieRob (Encore Review)

1970gg For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Movies of the 70’s, here’s a review of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) by Me.

Thanks again to Sherise of The Girl That Loved to Review. for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by me.  In honor of the month when Marty McFly came to visit us here in 2015, I have decided that we will be reviewing our favorite movies featuring time travel. Please get me your submissions by the 25th of October by sending them to  Try to think out of the box!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:


taking of pelham one two three“Who’s gonna steal a subway train?” – Caz Dolowicz

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (TV, VCR, DVD, 11 Jul 2013 and 21 Sep 2015)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – After four gunmen hijack a NYC subway train in broad daylight, everyone tries to figure out how they intend to get away with it

My Take on it – Whenever anyone mentions heist movies, I always think of this movie that my older brother and his friends introduced me to on a lonely Saturday night (for them) thirty years or so ago.

Even after having seen this movie so many times since then, I never get tired of it because of the way the script, plot, characters and nuances mesh so well together beautifully.

Robert Shaw is excellent as the main hijacker who keeps his cool no matter the situation. Walter Matthau is amazing as a transit policeman who is in contact with the hijackers.

His witty comments come off so well and help you crack a smile even in the most tense situations.

They both work so well off one another that despite only having one scene onscreen together we can see how great they are as adversaries just by their constant conversations throughout the movie.

I’m still baffled as to why they even attempted to remake this movie a few years back with Travolta and Denzel. It was a complete disaster and didn’t even come anywhere close to reaching the levels that this one reached in all of the movie making aspects.

The music is excellent and really shouts out 1970’s thriller.

I love how Tarantino used the idea of naming characters with colors that was originated in this movie.

Bottom Line – Excellent heist movie that keeps you in suspense the whole time even after knowing how it will play out. Shaw and Matthau are great as adversaries. Still can’t understand why they even tried to remake such a great movie and did such a poor job of it in the end. All around great thriller that does just about everything right. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The Transit Authority (TA) of New York at first refused to allow the film to be shot on the actual New York subway. They feared it would lead to imitative crime (it didn’t, but their position was shown to be reasonable when the later film Money Train (1995) apparently did). Associate producer Stephen F. Kesten was equally adamant that no other city’s subway could be credibly used (and he was apparently right: see the goofs entry for the remake The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1998)). The TA finally did cooperate after Mayor John V. Lindsay intervened, but they required United Artists to buy anti-hijacking insurance at a cost of $75,000 in addition to paying $275,000 for the use of the subway. The film’s closing credits have a disclaimer that states that the New York Transit Authority neither gave advice nor information for any use in the movie. It reads: “Although many of the scenes in this film were taken on transit property, the New York City Transit Authority is not responsible for the plot, story and characters portrayed. The Authority did not render technical advice and assistance”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)


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5 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) – MovieRob (Encore Review)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur September Finale – Chinatown (1974) – The Girl That Loved to Review |

  2. Pingback: MovieRob Monthly Roundup – September 2015 |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1974 |

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten |

  5. Pingback: MovieRob’s Birthday Bash of Favorites 2020 (#33 of 47) – The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) – Encore Review 3 | MovieRob

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