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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three 1974 ****

Undiminished by the big-budget remake, Joseph Sargent’s 1974 police drama pitches Robert Shaw’s ruthless criminal Mr Blue against world-weary policeman Zachery Garber (Walter Matthau). The conflict arises when Blue and his gang hijack a NYC subway car, threatening to shoot the passengers if their demands are not met. Sargent manages well with both long periods of tension and sharp, location-based action, while coaxing memorable performances from Shaw and Matthau. John Godey’s terse novel gets the film version it deserves, with David Shire contributing a notable score to accompany the sweaty heroics.

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