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…
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.
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.
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…
Having already seen the remake I was in no rush to see this one, I thought I knew all there was to know about The Taking of Pelham One Two Three but I forgot that this was the 70 in America and that was THE Walter Matthau as the hero. Thank goodness for my decision to watch more movies from this decade as research or I might never have gotten around to it.
Tony Scott's film was actually enjoyable in its own way, but everything about this original adaptation feels exactly that, original. Despite filling its hostages with some well chosen minorities (remarkably similar in makeup to the earlier hostges on a train film The Incident) it never really feels…
"The guy who's talkin's got a heavy English accent. He could be a fruitcake"
Gritty '70s action movie meets workplace comedy.
A hodgepodge of tone, genre, and dialogue....TAKING OF PELHAM works in spite of itself. Partly a great cast, great script with often hilarious exchanges, and a crude sense of city living. The film is a strange one, but not in a way that hinders itself, but certainly in a way that makes it all the more fascinating.
Not much to it, but rather enjoyable all the same.
Great, Great NYC film... the tension builds 'till the end!
Good old 70s heist film. Genuinely didn't know what would happen next.
One of the great NYC set pictures with colorful characters, a tense, fast-paced plot and an unforced, organic sense of humor. The dialogue feels very natural and all the performances are on point with Mathau and Shaw leading a pack of fantastic character actors. The throbbing David Shire score is also outstanding. A near perfect crime drama.
A crime thriller where the action is completely secondary to the characters. I love how everyone in this movie seems to be yelling at each other all the time for no reason at all. A terrific picture of New York in the 70s.
All that matters in this movie is the freeze-frame of Walter Matthau giving someone a look that the movie ends on.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…
From the NYT website:
This list is drawn from the second edition of The New York Times Guide to the…