Flashback Friday-The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

For many New Yorkers, riding the subways is an innocuous, normal part of life. But what happens when someone sees these passengers in a different light?

In the 1974 film The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, four men board the Pelham 1:23 train at different stations. They seems to be ordinary New Yorkers, simply using the train as a means of transportation. But they are not ordinary and they quickly reveal their plans to the passengers. Taking control of the train from the conductors, they stop the train in between stations. The lucky passengers and conductors in all but the first car are freed. The passengers and the conductor in the first car are not so lucky.

The demand is simple: they want one million dollars for each passenger and the conductor. The instructions must be followed to the letter and must be accomplished within one hour, otherwise, the passengers and the conductor will be killed, one by one. Lt. Zach Garber (Walter Matthau) is the liaison between the hijackers and the authorities. He maybe the only one who can figure out who the men are and save the lives of the hostages.

Anyone who has ridden a NYC subway train knows how cramped and closed in the car can feel. While this movie could have been the standard thriller/hijacker, the fact that it takes place within a NYC subway car adds to the already heightened tension.

In 2009, the film was re-made with Denzel Washington taking over the role of Lt. Garber.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

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