The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

June 12th, 2009

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The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Still of Luis Guzmán in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3Still of John Travolta in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3Jake Richard Siciliano at event of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3Still of Denzel Washington and John Turturro in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3Still of Denzel Washington in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3Still of John Travolta and Luis Guzmán in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 6.4/10 (59,987 voted)

Critic's Score: 55/100

Director: Tony Scott

Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán

In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he'll start shooting hostages. He'll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it's unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers, and negotiators live through this?

Writers: Brian Helgeland, John Godey

Denzel Washington - Walter Garber
John Travolta - Ryder
Luis Guzmán - Phil Ramos
Victor Gojcaj - Bashkim
Robert Vataj - Emri
John Turturro - Camonetti
Michael Rispoli - John Johnson
Ramon Rodriguez - Delgado
James Gandolfini - Mayor
John Benjamin Hickey - Deputy Mayor LaSalle
Alex Kaluzhsky - George
Gbenga Akinnagbe - Wallace
Katherine Sigismund - Mom
Jake Richard Siciliano - 8-Year-Old Boy (as Jake Siciliano)
Jason Butler Harner - Mr. Thomas


Official Website: Official site [Brazil] | Official site [Mexico] |

Release Date: 12 June 2009

Filming Locations: Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $23,373,102 (USA) (14 June 2009) (3 Screens)

Gross: $65,247,655 (USA) (16 August 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The R-142 and R-142A subway cars portrayed in this film are permanently linked into 5-car sets and cannot operate as single units. R-62A 2079, a single car capable of operating alone, was cosmetically modified to resemble a modern car for this film and restored to its original appearance after filming was completed.

Revealing mistakes: Many times during the picture, the horns from Amtrak trains are heard - horns which could never be heard on a subway system.

Ryder: Do you know what I'm looking at? Do you know what I'm looking at?
Walter Garber: No, I do not.
Ryder: Ok, well first there's my gun... and at the end of my gun, what's your name man?
George: George, everyone calls me Geo.
Ryder: George, his friends call him Geo. He's got this kinda eighties skateboard thing going on... he makes it work, but it's not gonna look to good in his casket.

User Review

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Rating: 4/10

Greetings again from the darkness. For some reason, I keep thinking director Tony Scott will re-capture his magic of "Crimson Tide". Instead, he thrives on being the center of attention, rather than letting the story and characters unfold on screen. How he mangles the great cat-and-mouse game of the original "Taking of Pelham One Two Three" is pure torture to watch.

In the original Walter Matthau and the icy cold Robert Shaw were brilliant. Here Travolta is way over-the-top with all his "MF'ers". Denzel, for all his greatness, is simply miscast as the nice, working class hero. In the original, NYC shots were gritty and real ... here they are Tony Scott disco complete with flying cars. Since when does a car collision send one of the vehicles soaring and somersaulting? And why does a skilled motorcycle cop ram right into a parked vehicle? Just a ridiculous action sequence.

Also in the original, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo and Earl Hindman (Wilson from Home Improvement) were Shaw's team and each had their own personality. Here Luis Guzman is given little to do and I couldn't pick the other two out of a line-up after just watching the film! John Tuturro and James Gandolfini are the only others with much to say. Gandolfini is a nice combo of Giuliani and Bloomberg, and provides at least a touch of humor. The story is expanded from a pure heist film to a bit of distorted revenge by Travolta, a disgraced Wall Street stud.

Just not much good to say about this one since I don't believe it stands on its own and it certainly can't hold a candle to the original.

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