The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

| November 23, 2011

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a classic crime thriller and one of the great film’s of 1970’s. Joseph Sargent adapts the film from John Godey’s original novel that stars Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. The film recently received a remake from Tony Scott and I’m assuming that that’s where most people have heard of the film. This Blu-Ray was originally solicited through Best Buy only and now MGM has decided to go ahead and distribute the film en masse, the way that it should have been in the first place. Walter Matthau plays Lt. Zachary Garber, a New York Traffic division cop that is trying to hunt down a group of men that have hijacked a train car and are demanding a million dollars from the city. Full of intesity and phenomenal performances from the main and supporting cast make The Taking of Pelham One Two Three a great piece of entertainment.
Joseph Sargent was known for making television shows and made for TV movies. The actual films that he did make were few and far between, but this film stands out and is one of the best things he’s made in his entire career. Walter Matthau does a great job at giving us some great comedy, as well as a tough policeman attitude with his portrayal as Lt. Garber. If there’s one reason to see this film though, it is hands down to see Robert Shaw’s performance as the gangs leader, Blue. Cold and methodical, Shaw’s performance in the film is mesmerizing every single minute he’s on the screen. With all of this, there are many reasons why someone should own The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and with this Blu-Ray release, it’s never looked better.
The video on The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is presented in a full 1080p, AVC encoded track, with a an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The grain on the disc is fantastic looking and it’s much better than the previous DVD release. While there are times where the video can be a bit dark, I didn’t mind this as much due to the content of the film. The audio on the Blu-Ray is a DTS-HD version of the mono mix. Obviously, since the film is as old as it is, the film lacks a real dynamic mix but does a great job at presenting all of elements of the mix. From David Shire’s fantastic score to Matthau’s witty banter, the film sounds just fine on this Blu-Ray.
There’s been a resurgence of remaking films of the recent Hollywood years and there’s a reason why this film was picked, as well as referenced by the Beastie Boys and Taratino’s Reservoir Dogs. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is wonderful exercise in the crime thriller genre, as well as a terrific gritty film of the 1970’s. MGM’s Blu-Ray of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a must own for any film buff’s collection and it’s the best presentation of this little gem of a film. Highly Recommended.

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
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