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


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: May 29 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0053ENPPA

Product Description

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Dog Day Afternoon. Annie Hall. Taxi Driver. In the pantheon of classic New York films, these three take pride of place. But there are, of course, others, some of which have fallen through the cracks over the years, criminally overlooked and unjustly relegated to commercial-riddled Saturday-afternoon TV broadcasts. Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is just such a picture. This taut 1974 thriller about four armed men who highjack a New York City subway train and hold it and its passengers for ransom may be hopelessly dated (it's loaded with ethnic stereotypes, impossibly wide neckties, and bad hairdos--and there are no explosions!), but that's part of the fun. A gruffly sardonic Walter Matthau heads a fine cast that includes Jerry Stiller, Hector Elizondo, Martin Balsam, and a perfectly villainous pre-Jaws Robert Shaw. Think you'll find a better film that depicts a nearly broke city led by an inept mayor forced to deal with armed terrorists? Fuhgeddaboutit! --Steve Landau

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Allinson on March 8 2005
Format: DVD
I was so pleased to see this released on DVD. copies are inexpensive and should be purchased without prejudice. This is an absolute classic, certainly the type of film that would never be made today. a subway highjacking with all of the classic ethinc seterotypes on board. Walter Matthau is in charge of the case at New York transit headquarters. after putting his foot in his mouth a couple of times, Matthau's leadership come through in one of the best ending to a movie ever. Fantastic
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By falcon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Sept. 5 2007
Format: DVD
this is a pretty good suspense thriller from the 70s.it's about a group
of armed gunmen who take over a subway train and hold the passengers
hostage,demanding 1 million dollar ransom for their safe return.the film
takes place in New York.i really loved some of the accents,and i don't
mean that in a bad way.i also found it amusing how some of the
characters behaved in the film.for example one of the men most
responsible for keeping the trains running,is a complete jerk and cares
more about the train than the passengers.also,it was comical to see the
mayor of New york complain about 1 million dollars,saying they
didn't have that kind of money.that's absurd.true,a million dollars was
more back than,compared to today,but this is New York we're talking
about.anyway,i'm about to go off on a tangent,so i better move on.the
movie has some suspense and has 1 really thrilling sequence.there's no
big explosions or anything like that.this movie is much simpler.there
are some big names from that time in the movie,and all have good
performances.but i especially liked Walter Matthau.i had never seen him
in a dramatic role before.the last movie i saw him in was the comedy
"Grumpy Old Men"(and its sequel)with Jack Lemmon.some people may find
this movie slow compared to today,or quaint even,which is probably
true,to some degree,but i liked it.For me,"The Taking Of Pelham One Two
Three" is a 4/5
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Format: DVD
First of all, it is disappointing that there is nothing in the way of bonus features on this DVD. Yes, most of the stars are dead, but some commentary from Hector Elizondo, maybe? Or Jerry Stiller? Something...please!
Anyway, I always loved this movie as a kid (and had never seen it unedited either, so was surprised at the amount of cussing for its time). Bought the DVD and put it in, hoping it would still entertain. And it does!!!
The heist of hijacking the subway is a bit low-tech, and it's kinda funny to see all the good guys talking to each other through very unsophisticated equipment. Walter Matthau, as the Lt. Garber, the main good guy trying to thwart the hijackers, is constantly flipping switches while he talks to the hijackers, then turns them off to talk to the cops, then turns cops off to talk to Transit police, then off to talk to...well, you get the idea. But it's actually good that the movie is low tech. There are no pretenses of using sophisticated equipment (sophisticated for the '70s) that would now seem ridiculous or laughable. It's a fairly straightforward cat and mouse game, played well.
The script is well written. There are lots of sly moments of humor, especially early on, when Matthau is giving a tour of the subways to a group of Japenese that he thinks don't speak English. Well, after insulting them left and right, it is revealed that they do understand after all. There are lots of bits peppered throughout. But it's pretty tense stuff, since the hijackers only give the authorities ONE HOUR to come up with ONE MILLION (yep, shades of Dr. Evil in Austin Powers). Apparently, ONE MILLION was an absolutely outrageous ransom to demand!
The performances are solid.
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Format: VHS Tape
New York often serves as the backdrop for films. There is something about the buildings, the people, the subways that stamp New York as unique. Love blossoms, criminals go wilding, a many hued population often meet, if for only a time, to impact on each other. This is the New York of THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE. In an age where ideological terrorism seems to be taking root here and overseas, it is refreshing to see that the bad guys can still be motivated by big bucks, and one million of them is nothing to sneeze at. One million dollars is the price that a band of hijackers demand to release no one special, just the dozen Typical New Yorkers (hookers, gray suits, super fly wanna bees, hysterical Latina mammas with unruly kids in tow, and of course, an undercover cop) who ride the subways every day.
There are many reasons why this film clicks as much now as when it was released in 1974, but the main reason is the growing interplay between the chief hijacker (Robert Shaw) and a tired, wisecracking Transit Cop (Walter Matthau). These two could not be more unlike. Shaw's hijacker is merciless, deadly, and does not believe in repeating orders or extending deadlines. Matthau's character radiates the fatigue that grinds down all railway police but still manages to dredge up from deep within the need to talk, even if only to wisecrack with cop buddies. In the film, they never meet until the very end, but they talk, and talk, and talk some more. In fact, their extended conversation reveals their respective probing natures. Shaw's is to see how far to give a microinch before executing a hostage. Matthau's is to gain some inner feeling for the man whose finger is on a trigger.
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