Back to 1974 this week and one of my favourite thrillers of that decade: The Taking of Pelham 123. The film is based on a novel of the same name about a gang of criminals who hijack a New York Subway car and hold the passengers for ransom.
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam and Hector Elizondo are the main players, Matthau’s Lt. Garber and Shaw’s Mr Blue have a fantastic chemistry in their conversations and bring a real energy to the film. Peter Stone’s screenplay crackles with great dialogue (I didn’t know he wrote the Cary Grant film, Father Goose too).
The music is a real standout, too. Composer David Shire uses horns, keyboards and percussion to great effect that would earn him a BAFTA nomination. The score was also chosen as one of the top 10 film scores of all time by NPR film expert Andy Trudeau.
Some extra trivia: the superstitious Transit Authority, for years, did not allow trains to leave Pelham station at 01:23 or 13:23. Also, the driver of Pelham 123 in the film is played by James Broderick – father of Matthew Broderick!
I’ve included both the Main Title and the extended end credits piece for you. Hope you enjoy them.
If you liked this week’s Monday Music, then please check out my other entries from the last few weeks here: