The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Film Review

Rating 15
Length 1h44
Release 12.4.2017
Director Joseph Sargent
About Four gunmen hold a New York subway train and its passengers for ransom. But as the authorities try to negotiate with the armed men, they wonder how the hijackers plan to escape.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch:  Amazon Prime

The Good

  • This is the first film of Robert Shaw’s I’ve watched outside of Jaws. He’s just as captivating in this thriller. He carries the film on the side of the gunmen. I only wish himself and Walter Matthau had more scenes together. Physically on screen.
  • There’s a reason why this has been remade twice; it’s a damn good story with high stakes.
  • Bloody hell, young Hector Elizondo! I love him, but not in this. It says everything about him as an actor though that he can be this repulsive ‘mafia’ man and make it believable.
  • The setting of the film and the use of an actual New York subway train is incredible. It adds to the realism of the situation and takes away any need for continuous action.

The Bad

  • A sign of the time, but the use of certain slurs and the negative commentary of women really starts to grate after a while. Yes, its brilliant to have as diverse a cast as this film has. However, its rendered moot when they’re there to call them the slurs you do.

The Ugly

  • The Mayor?! I think I was missing something … political, there. It felt like something I’d have understood a little more at the time. However, the big issue I had? Why the fuck did he have a cold?! I don’t get it, it doesn’t add to the narrative.

Final Thoughts

Worth a watch for Robert Shaw and Walter Matthau alone.

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