A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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…
Honestly speaking, I'm not impressed. Sorry, but I thought the 2009 Tony Scott remake of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was equally as good as this, if not better, due to it being a lot more intense. I do not understand why most moviegoers chose to dislike that film, simply because it was a remake of a 70s thriller that was fine as it was.
The film starts off slowly and racism is a common theme in the movie. Once the train gets hijacked, it slows down and it became an extremely predictable thriller (except for one thing that surprised me). Robert Shaw is great as the bad guy here, but John Travolta didn't do a bad job…
Top of the line, tension soaked, high grade direction, stellar turns from Balsam, Landau, and Harris especially, and wide, diverse cast make this one of the best hard boiled crime thrillers I've ever seen
And then they get off the train. Loses a lot of steam (kill me) after that.
But those first 90 minutes. Those goddamn first 90 minutes are some of the best the genre has to offer. But I hate when I finish a movie with a bad taste in my mouth. Thats only thing that keeps this from being movie I loved, instead of a movie I really liked.
Can't believe it took me this long to watch this. For shame.
What an incredibly lean movie. Absolutely 0% fat.
A great slice of life for New York in the 70s. A nice thriller with an unlikely protagonist.
This is My Kind of Thriller™. Yikes @ the casual racism and misogyny though. I know it's the 70's but I wasn't expecting such a strong undercurrent of "let the smart white men do their jobs, everyone else shut the fuck up" to permeate the whole thing.
Do not watch the remake. This one is fantastic.
“The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” by Joseph Sargent is so hard it needs to go the hospital and get drained of all fluid as recommended by doctors. Life is cheap and money is everything. The film utilizes 70’s New York City, mustaches, and old men coats like a motherfucker.
This is a fantastic thriller.
One of the best final shots in the 1970s--and that's saying something. Fatigued and curt in beautiful measure.
I'm despondent they don't make action films like this anymore because it forces people like me to seem like we don't appreciate action films on principle. I love action films (I just hate noise)!
Edgar Wright's 1000 Favorite Movies via MUBI.