Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
We are going to kill one passenger a minute until New York City pays us 1 million dollars.
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?
"Even great men have to pee."
Yes, even Walter Matthau.
The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three is a film that had the misfortune of being a thriller made in the 1970s. What this meant was that instead of getting the absolute widespread plaudits, awards and huge box office that it quite obviously deserves, it ended up bubbling under a fair amount of the massive numbers of other similar films made in the decade.
It's not the fault of the film or anyone involved - it just happens like that sometimes. There is no doubt in my mind, though, that this is not only every bit as deserving as other more iconic films from the decade such as The French…
I only reviewed this last December. And I said that I wasn't doing any more rewatches in this season. But it's my birthday today so I'm not even slightly sorry. No I won't tell you how old I am, fuck off.
This was probably my sixth or seventh viewing of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and this time round my thoughts turned to why this is a cut above almost every other film of its type, not just from this decade, but from any decade. I wonder if it's because it isn't really of this 'type', if you know what I mean. It's not just the central plot, which sees a bunch of colour-monikered…
Yeah, I watched it again. Problem with that?
This time I have three really good reasons for doing so.
1) It sort of ties in nicely with my current project.
2) I've been asked to write an article about film soundtracks for a friend's website and I decided to choose this one as the subject, so I had to watch it for research.
3) Well, because it's The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three.
I probably can't come up with a review for it this time that doesn't just rake over the ground that I covered in my review here. Oh, and this one here. Suffice to say that it's still one of my top ten of all time.
Aside from Walter Matthau's questionable fashion sense, there really was no need to remake this film in 2009.
This near-perfect thriller wastes no time getting into the action, as we see the events begin to unfold immediately, and the suspense doesn't let up until the end.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a perfect film. A crime procedural that does not put one foot wrong. It is lean and sardonic; the action is crisp and to the point, the script is funny but realistic and the acting is absolutely top-notch.
The film is a 100 minutes of 1970s crime, again showing the best decade at its best. It is sheer pleasure to watch and listen to Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw trading barbs and demands. Shaw is ultra-professional, Matthau dogged.
While the supporting cast - Martin Balsam, Héctor Elizondo, Lee Wallace, Tony Roberts, Jerry Stiller - is absolutely first class. The film is mostly stolen by Tom Pedi as Caz Dolowicz, the hollering, swearing…
Four hoods hold a New York City subway train hostage for, <voice occupation="doctor" nature="evil">$1,000,000!</voice>
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three has immaculate and speedy characterisation; in the first 7 minutes we know everything we need to about each of the hijackers without one of them speaking a word. The cast? You'll be busy going "hey, isn't that..." as this film has some of the greatest character actors around, and Steve, you're right about the soundtrack... sparsely used but Shire brings in some stonking horns and wild percussion when needed!
You may have noticed I've used the term "character" a couple of times? That's because that's what this film has: character. Something the glossy and forgettable Tony Scott remake was…
Watched as part of "Letterboxd Season Challenge - 2015/16"
Week 9: November 1st-6th
Hardboiled Wonderland Week
Your weekly challenge is to watch at least one previously unseen Hardboiled Wonderland-movie
I thought this was a great small-scale thriller with slick pacing and some good twists and turns. I enjoyed watching it unfold and it even managed to squeeze some humour out of an otherwise pretty dark story of hostage-taking and negotiation. Exciting, well-acted (Robert Shaw is fantastic, and Walther Matthau holds his own in a serious role), I feel like more people should see this!
Charming and believable crime drama, helped significantly by the inclusion of the brilliant Walter Matthau
I think this film is pretty perfect; in the casting of Walter Matthau, in balancing an often uproariously funny script with a real sense of threat, in being completely and unabashedly human, with not the slightest hint of gloss. I adored it.
Watch this -- and not the Denzel Washington version.
It's pure 70s heist-terrorist nonsense, but the cast, led by Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw is the glue that holds everything together -- and bolsters the supporting cast.
The plot is about a small group of terrorists taking for ransom a subway carload of New Yorkers demanding $1M for their release. Simple. A bit silly.
But that's not what the movie is about. The movie is about the relationship between the Transit Safety officer (Matthau) trying to arrange for the money and buying time to formulate a counter plan, and the terrorist leader (Shaw) maintaining control on his side with a band of unpredictable mercenaries. Both are spectacular.
And the thing…
A gang of criminals holds a subway car full of passengers hostage, demanding $1M from the city of New York.
Once you get past the 1970s culture shock there is an extremely good movie here. Every single character feels real. The plot is gimmick-free, very organic. It's hard to stick the ending and Pelham nails it.
I'd forgotten just how great this film is. The score of course...wow...👍👍
"They're on their way. But it's no good running to them, Al. You're the mayor. The buck stops with you."
FRENCH CONNECTION-style New York grime and frenzy used toward pure entertainment with none of the pretension. Walter Matthau is great, showing that he could have made an able bodied Columbo had Falk somehow been unavailable. His rumple doggedness is so much better than his superhuman skills in HOPSCOTCH. Also that Dave Shire score! What a pip.
Thanks to Dan Halsted and his Facebook friends for inspiration.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…