The Screening of Pelham One Two Three

By · Published in 2010

As part of its series showcasing heist movies, Film Forum is taking everyone’s favorite subway caper out of storage. The arthouse will screen the 1974 original version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three for two days starting tomorrow. The movie will go on at 1:30, 5:35 and 9:45 on Friday and Saturday and will be shown in rotation with Charley Varrick, another Walter Mathau heist film. The details are available here.

The original Pelham One Two Three, directed by Joseph Sargent and starring Mathau and Robert Shaw, remains a quintessential 1970s New York movie. The film captures the essence of living in the city during its decline and does a wonderful job skewering cops, the mayor and the MTA as well. If you’ve never seen it, check it out this weekend, and even if you have seen it, isn’t it time to watch it again?

Categories : Subway Movies

8 Responses to “The Screening of Pelham One Two Three

  1. Edward says:

    The best NYC movie ever, bar none. The “remake” was a complete mess and can’t hold a candle to the 1974 version. If you ain’t seen it, run down to The Forum and do yourself a favor!

    • rhywun says:

      I didn’t see last year’s version (I heard it was awful), but the *other* remake – a TV version from a few years ago – was certainly pointless. No character, humor, or thrills. It wasn’t even filmed in NYC.

  2. Peter says:

    The condescension that Matthau’s character shows to the visiting Japanese transit operators, and his comeuppance at their hands is priceless, and prescient.

    • PBK says:


      Matthau saying “mishigas” is worth the price of admission, alone.

      A bit of trivia – the motorman was played by Matthew Broderick’s dad.


      • rhywun says:

        Sometimes I put it in just to hear that fantastic opening music. But yeah, it’s so very New York, warts and all. And that final shot of Matthau at the end is just as priceless as ever.


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