Before Tony Scott’s hyper remake, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three was a comedy charged thriller directed by Joseph Sargent. And before that it was a best-selling novel by John Godey. All three versions of this story share the same plot points, but they all have different approaches. With Walter Matthau starring in this 1974 adaptation, the humor seems to come through stronger.
Matthau stars as NYC transit chief Lt. Garber, a man unfortunate enough to be on the job when a group of criminals take over one of his trains and holds the passengers as hostages for a large ransom. The criminal gang is headed up by a mysterious and ruthless mastermind (Robert Shaw), and he threatens to kill one passenger for every minute that the money is late.
Because much of the interactions are limited to the radio, Garber and the criminals never actually face each other until the very end of the film, and some of these interactions are quite anti-climactic. Although there is little action in this suspense film, which does not mean the high definition is not noticeable on the Blu-ray disc. What are missing are special features.