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Taking Of Pelham One, Two, Three, The (1971)

“You’re trapped like rats in an underground tunnel. Your every exit is covered by sharpshooters. You’ve got a million dollars but you’ll never live to spend it”.

The New York subway is a hostile environment at the best of times, but it becomes lethal in Joseph Sargent’s pulsating thriller, The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three.

A gang of vicious gunmen led by ruthless former soldier-of-fortune “Mr Blue” (Robert Shaw) hijacks a subway train and holds its passengers hostage while demanding that a million dollars in cash be delivered within the hour.

Can Walter Matthau’s Transport Authority detective, Lt. Garber thwart them?

Martin Balsam gives a persuasive performance as “Mr Green”, a disgruntled former subway motorman who drives the train for the gang. Jerry Stiller as Lt Rico Patrone of the Subway police is properly disinterested at first and earnestly involved by the film’s slowly building climax.

Peter Stone’s cracking screenplay, adapted from John Godey’s bestseller, swoops from black comedy – Matthau’s wry comedy acting is great fun – to heart-stopping thrills while Sargent screws the tension up to breaking point.

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Lt. Garber
Walter Matthau
Mr Blue (Bernard Ryder)
Robert Shaw
Mr Green (Harold Longman)

Martin Balsam
Mr Gray (Joe Welcome)

Hector Elizondo
Mr Brown (George Steever)

Earl Hindman
Denny Doyle
James Broderick
Correll
Dick O’Neill
Mayor
Lee Wallace
Caz Dolowicz
Tom Pedi
Mrs Jenkins
Beatrice Winde
Lt. Rico Patrone
Jerry Stiller
James
Nathan George
Police Commissioner
Rudy Bond
Borough Commander
Kenneth McMillan
Mayor’s Wife
Doris Roberts

Director
John Sargent

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