The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three

May 29 - Jun 04, 2009

(Joseph Sargent, USA, 1974, 35mm, 104 min)

Before the release of Tony Scott’s slick, new remake, don’t miss our special 35th anniversary engagement of the original, influential film that helped create the modern action thriller genre. When a gang of criminals hijacks a New York City subway car and demands $1 million cash in one hour, Transit Authority cop Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau, in a broad yellow tie and loud plaid shirt) becomes the point person in a citywide scramble. Garber negotiates with lead hijacker Mr. Blue (Robert Shaw) via squawk box from the TA "noive center," while the pathetic mayor and baffled police department scrambles. Pelham perfectly captures the long lost New York City of the 1970s—the grime of the down-and-out metropolis, the harassed camaraderie and wise-ass humor of its citizens, the hearts and smarts beneath the cynicism. Everything from the film’s cast to its green-heavy color palette to David Shire’s rumbling, funky brass musical score is raw, real and of its time and place. Before (or instead of) seeing the new Denzel/Travolta vehicle, see the real deal!

“Sargent's whole enterprise doubles as a '70s archaeological dig, its eureka moment arriving when the cop car with ransom in tow crashes in a grimy, pre-Starbucks Astor Place.” —Jessica Winter, Village Voice


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