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…
Fast-paced crime thriller - Great representation of New York
If only Tony Scott had access to Robert Shaw that wouldn't require a ouija board or a virgin sacrifice...
I appreciated so much about this film. The no nonsense 70's sensibilities. The acting. The simple premise. The score. I just didn't enjoy it all that much. I could see that it was offering carefully paced tension that I simply wasn't engaging in.
I bought it after seeing the high scores here on Letterboxd. This is probably a case of me simply not being in the right mood or just a film that's not for me.
"We had a bomb scare in the Bronx yesterday, but it turned out to be a cantaloupe."
Filthy, amoral, and ruthlessly efficient, just like the people it portrays. This movie is a goddamn masterclass in pacing - it's slow enough to dive into character motivations and provide tension, yet never loses the sense of sheer momentum that keeps its audience invested. Every performance is spectacular, and you really do get the sense that every character has their own unique life off-screen. The script nails every single mark it has to, right down to the beautifully understated ending. And dear lord, the cinematography here is brilliant in such a minimal way - it only ever shows what it has to, but…
Proper 70s thriller. Walter Matthau Martin Balsam Robert Shaw and a fantastic score. Great stuff...
Easily on of the most tense movies I've ever seen. It's excellently paced, the score matches the tone perfectly, and Walter Matthau delivers a great performance.
June 2016 Scavenger Hunt
Task # 11: A film where someone has to pay or is asking for ransom
My List: letterboxd.com/strangah/list/june-2016-scavenger-hunt-15/
Wow. That ending? Walter Matthau? Robert Shaw? I was mildly apprehensive about this film for roughly 8 seconds. And then film started and all of my apprehension washed away. I loved it from beginning to end. It was like when I watched Inside Man for the first time, thrilling, exciting, dramatic, fun, and tense. I'm not sure what else to say without getting into specifics, but I highly recommend this one. It's 42 years old and still plays incredibly well.
Really fun and exciting thriller that seems to get better every time I see it. The cast is great and the score is great and the dialogue really pops.
One of the all-time great endings in film. So simple, & even a bit predictable, but great nonetheless.
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
recommend shit to me, please! esp. little known sleazy stuff