Movies that are slightly off.
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.
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…
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.
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…
Partner had trouble accepting matthau in a non-comedic role but that didn't bother me. Nice period realism.
I'm very disappointed in myself for not having ever seen this until today. What an excellent crime drama. I love the gritty crime films of the 70's. Obviously Tarantino pays homage to this with Reservoir Dogs. Robert Shaw is one diabolical bastard. And Walter Matthau was great as usual. This flick was also kinda funny. Wasn't really expecting that. The closing shot was amazing.
A New York Transit cop (Walter Matthau) scrambles to save the lives of several passengers after a gang led by a cool Brit (Robert Shaw) takes a subway hostage. Taut, tight, terrific thriller that's smart, funny and keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Fantastic cast also includes Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo, Earl Hindman, James Broderick, Jerry Stiller, Kenneth McMillan and Julius Harris. Yet another grand treat on the big screen at The Magnolia Theatre!
A great 1970's "heist" picture with a dynamite cast. Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, and Martin Balsam are the top three billed, but it goes many excellent character actors deeper than that. Four hijackers take a New York subway train and hold 18 hostages for $1 million.
The best movie about NY ever made. More than a suspense thriller, this movie is really about how a city works when confronted with a crisis, as well as about the character with which ordinary New Yawkers respond to the hijacking for ransom of a subway train. Wonderful moments of broad humor integrate seamlessly into the story, the score is top notch, and the final scene is the best movie punch line ever filmed. Perhaps one of the 10 best American films ever made, it really is that good.
A pretty good disaster/crime film, in a similar vein as the Airports/Skyjacked film of the same era. While many of those have become silly sounding and play it too straight, this film knows to have fun with its premise while still being a life or death situation that has hostages life on the line and where people do die through out. I haven't seen the remake, but I might now just to have a comparison to draw between the two. Also, I'm always down for a Jerry Stiller role even if its small like it is here. The bigger roles all played by great talent from the era, Walter Matthau, Martin Balsam and Robert Shaw.
Watching Robert Shaw brought more of a smile to my face than anything I can think of in recent times... And I thought the film in general was amazingly executed. Genuine tension throughout. As much as I love Dog Day Afternoon, I never felt there was a risk of any hostages dying, whereas the threat in The Taking of Pelhan One Two Three was some of the most intense cinema I've experienced.
God I love the American New Hollywood.
I spotted Hector Elizondo before he took off his disguise. Yep. Feeling pretty pleased with myself.
Is there a more "1970s NYC" movie than this? I'd say it's even better than DOG DAY AFTERNOON. And it's got the best final shot ever.
recommend shit to me, please! esp. little known sleazy stuff
Lifted from Mubi. All credit for the list goes to @LaursKemp.
[I added Brewster McCloud, HealtH, and Modern Romance]