» Rants: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Nathan Schwartz

|    Friday, November 25, 2011

  • Director: Joseph Sargent
  • Producer: Edgar J. Scherick
  • Writer: Screenplay: Peter Stone – Book: John Godey
  • Starring: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo, Jerry Stiller, Doris Roberts
  • Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Running Time: 104 min
  • Rating: R
  • Genre: Crime, Drama

Recently I got a chance to watch the original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, starring Walter Mathau and Robert Shaw. Now, I have not seen the remake with Denzel and Travolta, but after watching this one I don’t think I care to, because the original wasn’t all that good itself. Not that the remake can’t be better, just with the way these things usually go, I highly doubt it is. For remakes are much like sequels in that they are never as good as their predecessor. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but, as the idiom goes, these are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Anyways, for the first hour or so of the movie, I was rather entertained. Sure for a cop movie about a Subway heist it was fairly harebrained, as it handled the situation way too lightly, but I enjoyed the snide quips, and pacing. Also, the mystery surrounding how the criminals were planning to escape from beneath New York City was definitely intriguing. But as the conclusion neared, the turns in the story quickly became idiotic and absurd. The movie went from amusingly silly to plain dumb in a matter of minutes.


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