If you’re looking for a safe bet, or if you simply loathe modern orange actors like Matthew McConaughey, Hulu.com is now streaming The Taking of Pelham One Two Three in its entirety. Judging from the above poster, the film looks like a pulpfest, and to a degree it is, but it’s also an overlooked, hardboiled thriller with two no-bullshit performances from the late greats, Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. Arguably a third star in the film is New York City; the metropolis’s daily grind and ’70s grime is so well captured by director Joseph Sargent viewers practically suffer the screeches and the subway smells. And then there’s the perfect ending. We don’t mean to nag, but with a remake starring Denzel and Travolta due in 2009, you might want to check it out while the plotting and twists remain fresh.
Click here to watch The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Discuss: Anyone a fan? Anticipating Tony Scott’s remake? Feel free to recommend other films starring Shaw and Matthau below.
First off, if you haven’t seen the original 1974 version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three with Walter Matthau facing off against Robert Shaw and a gang of calculating goons in New York City’s subway system, queue it. Not sure why the working class thriller remains slept on, even amongst geeks sans a homage to the villains’ color aliases in Reservoir Dogs, and the film’s ending definitely ranks in my top 20. Here we have the first images of Denzel Washington starring in Matthau’s old transit chief role in Tony Scott‘s 2009 remake, The Taking of Pelham 123 (the title is so modern!).
Currently filming in Queens and Manhattan, Scott’s film pits Washington against John Travolta‘s leader of subway highjackers, with James Gandolfini playing the city’s mayor. As you can see, Washington is wearing twee frames and a bad retro tie, but unless I’m mistaken, the film is set in the present. Let’s hope Scott squeezes all of the potential and predictability out of this cast. Matthau and Shaw were fantastic because both played it close to the vest while managing to chew a helluva lot of scenes. I’m already imagining the hushed, petulant tone Travolta will choose as he spouts his demands over a walkie-talkie to a furrowed-brow Washington. I hope I’m completely off.
via Just Jared