The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Bluray Review

It’s high time I took a look at a thriller film starring Walter Matthau which came out in the seventies. Any ideas? So without further ado here’s my The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) blu-ray review.

  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Directed by Joseph Sargent
  • UK Rating 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By 20 Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Released: 4 June 2012


A New York City subway is hijacked and what’s more its full passengers. The four men are armed with submachine guns and demand $1 million or they will begin killing the hostages.

Style / Direction

The film is directed by Joseph Sargent with the cinematography handled by Owen Roizman. It’s a well shot film that manages to create plenty of tension yet doesn’t get too bogged down with slow pacing. In fact this is actually a highly entertaining and high tempo affair.

Music / Audio Effects

The music is composed by David Shire and it has a high energy tempo that screams out seventies. What’s more it’s actually very fitting for this hijack story that features a train out of control.

Acting / Characters

I have to say all of the main characters are played exceptionally well with the hijackers proving they are willing to kill to get their money. Trying to calm them down is the fabulous Walter Matthau playing a transport police officer left in charge of the situation. I love films from the seventies because the actors all seemed to be that much better. Look at the cast list below and you will see the likes of Robert Shaw and Martin Balsam for example. The casting simply works tremendously well and results in a highly entertaining thriller.


  • Walter Matthau as Lt. Zachary Garber
  • Robert Shaw as Bernard Ryder a.k.a. Mr. Blue
  • Martin Balsam as Harold Longman a.k.a. Mr. Green
  • Héctor Elizondo as Giuseppe Benvenuto a.k.a. Mr. Grey
  • Earl Hindman as George Steever a.k.a. Mr. Brown
  • James Broderick as Denny Doyle
  • Dick O’Neill as Frank Correll
  • Lee Wallace as the Mayor
  • Tony Roberts as Deputy Mayor Warren LaSalle
  • Doris Roberts as Jessie, the Mayor’s Wife
  • Jerry Stiller as Lt. Rico Patrone
  • Nathan George as Ptl. James
  • Beatrice Winde as Mrs. Jenkins
  • Rudy Bond as the Police Commissioner Phil
  • Kenneth McMillan as Borough Commander Harry
  • Julius Harris as Inspector Daniels

Conclusion: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Film Review

As I’ve already mentioned earlier I love films from the seventies it was an era when many films were no nonsense affairs that managed to be incredibly stylish and exciting whilst having terrific actors.

I highly recommend watching The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) its one hell of a train ride.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

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Conclusion: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Blu-ray Review

Now to the picture quality and the news is very good, I found it to be excellent. The image is clean and free from any annoying marks whilst the image is sharp and the film appears to be in the correct aspect ratio. On the extras side of things that’s somewhat of a disappointment with just the film trailer. That said for me as long as the image quality is near perfect I can forgive the lack of extras. After all what’s the point of having a ton of extras if the film itself looks terrible.

I strongly recommend purchasing this blu-ray version if like me you happen to be a fan of the film or actor Walter Matthau.


  • Theatrical Trailer

Popcorn Cinema Rating:

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)





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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version

Summary: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Blu-ray Review
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Blu-ray Review

Movie title: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Duration: 104 mins

Director(s): Joseph Sargent

Actor(s): Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Héctor Elizondo, Earl Hindman

Genre: Action, Thriller

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


One hell of a train ride.


  • Walter Matthau
  • Entertaining Story
  • Excellent Picture Quality


  • Lack of Extras