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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three [Blu-ray] (1974)

 R |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $13.00  
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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three [Blu-ray] + French Connection [Blu-ray] + Three Days of the Condor [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0053ENPPA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,332 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw and Martin Balsam lead an all-star cast in this "gripping and exciting" (The Hollywood Reporter) suspense film based on the sizzling best seller by John Godey. A gang of thugs who have hijacked a subway train near New York's Pelham Station threaten to kill one hostage per minute. Forced to stall the assailants until a ransom is delivered or a rescue made, transit chief Lt. Garber (Matthau) must somehow ad-lib, con and outmaneuver one of the craftiest, cruelest villains (Shaw) ever. It's a race against time, and no one knows whether things will end heroically or tragically in this pulse-pounding thrill ride!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 is #1 with me! July 3, 2000
Of all the gritty, realistic police dramas of the 1970's, "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" stands out as the best of a very good lot. Released during the low-point year of NYC history in 1974, "Pelham" is argueably the most real-life look at New York and New Yorkers one can get without actually visiting the big town. The plot concerns the hijacking of an IRT subway train by a gang of four men, led by the coolheaded Robert Shaw (Jaws, Black Sunday). The late Walter Matthau shines as Lt. Zach Garber of the NY Transit Police who, over a two-way radio, has to deal with the terrorists unbelievable demands. The writing in this movie crackles with smart-mouthed NY urgency. The acting, photography, editing, and music MUST have all been created by native NYers. Even the 18 passengers who are taken hostage in the lead car of the #6 train look like they stepped off the street and into the IRT without missing a beat. You wanna hijack me just before rush hour? Go ahead, but I'm not ganna make it easy for you, punk! Many other NY movies (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, French Connection) have overshadowed this gem, but do yourself a favor and buy it, especially in the DVD version, which gives the viewer a panorama of a NYC that has faded into history.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything a New York thriller should be. November 2, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
If you're feeling nostalgic for gritty, rude, 1970's New York, then you should watch this movie. Every detail seems absolutely spot-on, from the location shots and flourescent-lit interiors, to the dialog and characters (check out the sniffley, vote-counting mayor and pragmatic deputy mayor.) Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw give terrific performances in the main roles (not to mention the redoubtable Martin Balsam) but it's the gallery of character actors and walk-on roles that give this film it's hyper-watchable texture and charm. Jerry Stiller and Tony Roberts are great, but there's a trainload (if you'll pardon the expression) that I can't even name, all of whom seem like they stepped right off the Manhattan sidewalk, circa 1974. The guy who monitors the subway display board and keeps asking "What the Hell's going on here?"----he was also in The Hot Rock, as the bank employee who get hypnotized. The time-limit of one hour that the train-jackers give before thay start shooting hostages provides much of the suspense---think of a mid-70's Speed with brains and nuance. The absurdly pulse-pounding score will leave you feeling manipulated and loving it. There's narry a wasted moment in this very economical yet densely detailed film, right down to the perfect, meaningful look Matthau gives at the end. The many humorous touches don't ever threaten to turn it into an outright comedy, since many of them center on how the city works. Call it a light-hearted suspense-thriller; it must have seemed like a shameless piece of urban exploitation when it came out, but now it looks like a masterful, pleasurable time capsule.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The subway...lifeblood of New York. The largest mass transit system in the world, currently operating over 8,000 rail and subway cars, traveling on over two thousand miles of track, serving nearly eight million passengers daily. Seems like a logistical nightmare, keeping tabs on it all, but MTA (Metro Transit Authority) does, anticipating many problems before they arise. One thing they couldn't anticipate, what no one could have, is someone hijacking one of the trains. But it did happen, once (in movie world, at least).

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), directed by Joseph Sargent (Colossus: The Forbin Project, Jaws: The Revenge), presents a wonderfully talented cast including Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, and Hector Elizondo. Also making appearances are Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld), Dick O'Neill (Gamera), Kenneth McMillian (Dune), and Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond). The film involves the hijacking of a New York subway train by a group of men armed with semi-automatic weapons for the purpose of extorting one million dollars from the city, otherwise they begin executing passengers, one by one. `What the hell they expect for their lousy 35 cents? To live forever?!"

This is really an entertaining, tense and witty film that kept me interested up until the very end. Matthau really owns this film, appearing as harried yet cool-headed Lt. Zachary Garber, an officer working for the Metro Authority, and main negotiator with the hijackers, lead by the ruthless Mr. Blue, played by Robert Shaw (it's said Quentin Tarantino got the idea of using colors for the names of his characters in Reservoir Dogs (1992) from this film).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm taking your train... April 28, 2005
THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE is a gritty heist and hijack caper. Set in year it was made (1974), TAKING is also a `perfect crime' movie. How do you hijack a subway train, demand a $1 million ransom, and get away safely with the loot? Robert Shaw, as the cool and efficient `Mr. Blue', seems capable enough. He certainly seems to have planned it out well. Opposing him, and sharing a number of radio-to-radio scenes, is subway security officer Lt. Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau).

Mr. Blue's demands are complicated and Garber is given an hour to meet them. The Mayor's approval is needed, and the viewer is dragged into a couple of unfunny comic relief scenes with a sick Mayor (Lee Wallace) agonizing whiningly over whether or not to meet the hijackers' demands.

British actor Robert Shaw is great as the ultra-smooth and unflappable hijacker. Matthau, more often in comedies, is a good match as the cop in the middle. Matthau's comedy talents are put to better use, as well, in an opening scene where he grudgingly leads a group of Tokyo transit officials on a tour of the facilities. Director Joseph Sargent, when not forcing the comedy, shows a sure editing hand when he contrasts the calm of the hijackers with the chaos surrounding the would-be hostage rescuers.

PELHAM is an enjoyable little crime thriller that goes relatively light on the gore and gunplay and relatively heavy on character and the tension imposed by a deadly deadline. Strongly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original....
What success would you consider when you cast Walter Matthau, Martin Balsam, and Robert Shaw and Jerry Stiiler together in a thriller? A darn good film. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Glenn W.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites
Downloaded the film. One of my all time favorites. I just read the novel and I was surprised to notice there were many differences between film and novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stephen M. Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice interesting exciting
This is a nice, interesting and exciting movie which does not drag too long and is without any unnecessary drama.
Published 1 month ago by Raghav Sharma
5.0 out of 5 stars For the fans of 1970's New York
In my opinion much better then the 2009 remake, here is what it basically comes down to:

1. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. Bieniek
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
This is the original Pelhan movie. I think it is better than the remake. Walter Matthau was great, along with all the other actors.
Published 1 month ago by WILBERT FRANK
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Fun Movie!
This is a GREAT caper movie. Matthau is in great ironic and smart form. The dialog has dry witty humor, as well as being a great caper story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by twiloetta
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated... But I Understand Why
The original Taking Of Pelham One Two Three shows how much movies have changed since its release in 1974. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FilmFanatic
4.0 out of 5 stars This Original movie is the best
I have seen this movie before and the remake with Denzel Washington and I liked this one movie better with Walter Matthau and Robert shaw and other good actors. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Yoly
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST SEE
A good story told well.
Nice to see actors you know, in their youth and everyone pulls it off nicely.
Published 2 months ago by Tee and Tee
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the re-make!!!
This is real film making! Walter Matthau is amazing and the movie has that real NY flavor!!! I'm probably biased since my friends father was the camera man on this film. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kadie Cadigan
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