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Taking of Pelham One Two Three [Blu-ray] [1974] [US Import]

Robert Shaw , Martin Balsam    Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Earl Hindman, Walter Matthau, Hector Elizondo
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: 29 May 2011
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0053ENPPA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,348 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Don't waste time with the Tony Scott shakycam remake of PELHAM 123 which was a massive disappointment - stick with the 1974 original, which is WAY better and I will say seems a lot more realistic for the most part and also gets one thing right that other train disaster movies/thrillers don't - the Deadman's Feature. Watch closely, they find a way around it!! Anyway, the story concerns hijackers who hold the mayor of New York to ransom for a few million dollars(!) by taking a subway car loaded with passengers who give this movie some amusing moments at times with the various reactions to their situation, surprisingly and take on their own character in their own way. Walther Matthau is on top form as Lieutenant Garber, the NY transit cop who has to negotiate with the hijackers and stop passengers getting killed while all around him subway employees and local cops make things difficult. Robert Shaw is the hijacker gang leader who is also suitably chilling. Watch out as well for Martin Balsam and Hector Elizondo(THE PRINCESS DIARIES, CHICAGO HOPE) in supporting roles helping out Shaw. I can't help thinking as well that their codenames, based on colors, might have inspired Tarantino with RESERVOIR DOGS character names!

There are plenty of exciting and suspenseful moments as well - the NYPD's attempt to get the money across town to the hijackers while Lt Garber tries to prevent the killing of a hostage, and the ending and final nail-biting climax isn't quite what you'd expect. What's also interesting is that this movie was shot on NY subway property and at the start you get a bit of insight into how things work in a scene featuring a trainee driver and a group of visiting Tokyo subway bosses . . . which does have an amusing punchline when Garber makes a slightly bigoted comment! So this will also appeal to subway/train enthusiasts as well in many ways.

Overall, I can't recommend this enough!!
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thriller of the Seventies? 29 April 2002
By A Customer
The 70's were a fertile period for thrillers..."French Connection", "Dirty Harry", "Charley Varrick", etc. In my opinion "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" is the best of the lot. It thrills like no other movie of the period, everything gels, the script, the direction the music (oh the music, hats off to David Shire for scoring the the best ever twelve tone funk score), the editing, the locale, the cast. And what a locale...this must be the best New York-based film ever; I suspect New Yorkers look at this and go..yeah that's us alright. The characters and the script are a joy...the film is densely populated but even the most minor of characters are graced with eminently quotable lines, and the casting..Walter Matthau rounds off his run of "straight" roles in the early 70's with a fabulous turn here, all sarcastic wit and scathing come-backs..Robert Shaw turns in highly believable perfomance as a mercenary turned hijacker in what must be the prototype of the Brit-as-bad-guy cycle that everyone thinks started with Die Hard...and Jerry Stiller (Ben's Dad) has a good time as Patrone the world-weary and sarcastic transit cop. But the list is endless, the mayor, his aide, the chief of police, the hostages, everyone is outstanding. The script, by Peter Stone is a masterclass in entertaining exposition. It is also frequently laugh-out-loud funny...the humour deriving not from the wish to turn the film into a comedy, but rather the fact that Stone has given these guys a rich sense of humour that naturally develops as the frenetic events unfold. In fact, the juxtaposition of the humour and hard-edged thrills is what makes this film work over and over again... Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top-rate movie 1 July 2009
Four men armed with machine guns hijack a New York City subway train, throwing the city into chaos. They threaten to kill a hostage every minute unless the city of New York pays them one million dollars. Lt. Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau), a New York City Transit Authority policeman, is bemused by the idea of anyone hijacking a subway train, since they can't take it anywhere the transit authority won't know about. He sets about investigating the crooks and their methods, whilst the city rushes to get the money to the hijackers before people start dying.

The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three was released in 1974 and was a hit, its mix of New York cynical humour along with a strong thriller element proving to be a winning formula. Whilst based on the 1973 novel of the same name by John Godey, it alters some details of the story to make it more dramatic, most notably the memorable ending to the film.

Taking is a very effective movie, building tension throughout due to its use of audio exchanges between the transit authority and the hijackers, and the feeling that the hijackers are one step ahead of the police. There are some very influential ideas in this movie, notably the hijackers using colours as code-names (later borrowed by Quentin Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs), whilst there are some visual homages to the movie in Die Hard with a Vengeance. It's also nicely educational, with the audience learning probably more than it ever wanted to know about safety features on a subway network.

The heart of the movie, though, is the ongoing audio showdown between Walter Matthau's world-weary transit cop and Robert Shaw as the ruthless, calm, collected leader of the hijackers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by IAN DORAN
5.0 out of 5 stars The original version
I once had this this on VHS, and bought this DVD version as a keeper I could watch over and over again. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Norwegian
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good story.
I saw this film at the cinema in the 1970's I had see another film and at the end the manager invited us to stay as he was running this. Read more
Published 1 month ago by kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
great film Robert Shaw was a great actor and this is one of his best performances my opinion better than the remake
Published 5 months ago by carol RABONE
5.0 out of 5 stars The
James Stewart just can't take the feelgood aspect of cinema too far. He took us all there with "It's a Wonderful Life" and Harvey is yet another where you are left with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tim Ryan
3.0 out of 5 stars The original
Bernard Grier (Robert Shaw) and his team hijack an underground train and demand a ransom. It is up to Lt. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SBno1
4.0 out of 5 stars dvd purchase
great movie. much better than denzil re-make ! superb cast, fine performances, good direction tense action scenes. check it out then compare.
Published 6 months ago by david whiteaway
5.0 out of 5 stars Original & best
Charley Varrick & this are the only Walter Matthau movies in my collection. He's not my cup of tea but these 2 movies are both top notch. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Liam Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to see Such Great Actors
This compares well to the modern remake. The end is subtler but all the more effective for it. Loved the touch of humour as the world weary Matthau character delegated the guided... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Gee
1.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointed
This is the second time I have ordered this BluRay. I first ordered it 8 months ago and it wouldn't even load, never mind play. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Geoff Webber
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