The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
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One of the finest thrillers of the 70's. Has its fair share of classic cliches, but they didn't bother me that much.
Robert Shaw is an absolute boss in his greatest role. And the music is just simply phenomenal.
I don't know about the remakes, but 1974's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three takes the procedural track to excellent effect in this thriller about a hijacked New York subway train and the transit police's attempts to get the hostages back safe, and the perps apprehended. The crime is somewhat absurd, a feeling supported by the extended cast of the film who tend not to take it seriously. I've never seen a better showcase for New York attitude, and that's where the movie really shines, and why it feels real. I had to check if I wasn't watching a "true story" (which might have explained the two remakes), but no, it's based on a book. Well, the behavioral realism wins you over. A thriller that doesn't resort to action tropes, yet still makes transit cop Walter Matthau cool as hell.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #35 in Quentin Tarantino's Coolest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #237 in 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #703 in Doubling the Canon
This movie ranks #862 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #878 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die