The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009) Poster

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)

  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 62,290 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
  • Release Date: 12 June 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 106 min
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The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)


The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 2009tt1111422.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 62,290 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
  • Release Date: 12 June 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 106 min
  • Filming Location: Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, USA
  • Budget: $100,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $65,247,655(USA)(16 August 2009)
  • Director: Tony Scott
  • Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta and Luis Guzmán
  • Original Music By: Harry Gregson-Williams   
  • Soundtrack: Funklab Bass Problem
  • Sound Mix: SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Train | Hostage | Subway | Hijack | Subway Train

Writing Credits By:

  • Brian Helgeland (screenplay)
  • John Godey (novel)

Known Trivia

  • 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.
  • The IND Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Brooklyn was used in the scene where Garber enters the tunnel to deliver the ransom money.
  • John Travolta’s character (Ryder) wears a Breitling watch. Travolta is a spokesperson for Breitling.
  • Shipped to theaters under the code name “Watch Your Step”.
  • In the movie, from the audience’s viewpoint, Ryder (John Travolta) is seen wearing an earring on his right ear while Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) has one on his left. Also notice that both of them has only a single earring.
  • The mayor (James Gandolfini)’s watch is a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reserve de Marche.
  • Ryder says to Garber, “You live, you die, you either go with the current or you fight it, but you all end up in the same place”, to which Garber asks, “Where’s that, Jersey”. Ryder then says, “Yeah, you watch it, I was born there man.” John Travolta, who plays Ryder, was born in Englewood, New Jersey.
  • John Travolta chose not to promote the film with the rest of the cast, because he was still reeling from the loss of his son, Jett.
  • Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, “Filmed in Panavision” is listed in the end credits.
  • The production team worked closely with the MTA and was given access to the MTA control room for research.

Goofs: Continuity: In the opening sequence Garber is at the controls with a napkin tucked into his neck and he is eating, next we see him without the napkin having a cup of coffee. In the next shot he has the napkin back in.

Plot: 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. Full summary »  »

Story: 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?Written by <>  


Synopsis: Four heavily armed men, led by Bernard Ryder (John Travolta), board the New York City subway 6 train departed from Pelham Bay Park Station at 1:23 p.m., and proceed to take control of it.

Meanwhile, MTA dispatcher Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is assigned to the Rail Control Center, due to an ongoing investigation that he took a bribe to recommend a Japanese car manufacturer for the next subway car contract. The group then uncouple the front car from the rest of the train and hold the passengers in this front car hostage. One of the hijackers, Bashkim (Victor Gojcaj), kills an undercover police officer in the course of the action. Ryder and a former MTA train operator named Ramos settle down in the front of the car, while the other hijackers watch the hostages in the back. They demand $10 million in ransom money to be paid within 60 minutes. For each minute past the deadline, one passenger will be killed. Garber and Ryder exchange conversations through the microphone, while his men set up a wi-fi booster apparatus to enable Ryder to access his laptop in the tunnel to watch the stock market plunge nearly 1,000 points during the next hour.

Unknown to him, one of the male passengers has an active laptop with a webcam, that was casually knocked to the floor, facing the car’s interior previously when they took their hostages, which simultaneously reconnects using that same wifi link; reestablishing the feed to his girlfriend’s desktop with whom he was videochatting; when she returns to her PC, she sees the hostage situation through her webcam and provides the live feed to a local television station. Garber agrees to have the city pay Ryder the $10 million ransom, after the Mayor (James Gandolfini) is intercepted by his staff aboard a train in the Bronx and is transported back to RCC.

NYPD Emergency Service Unit Lt. Camonetti (John Turturro) enters RCC, and Garber’s boss, who has a rocky relationship with Garber, orders Garber to leave the premises. Camonetti takes over the hostage negotiations, infuriating Ryder, who demands that Garber be put back on the mic and that he will speak only to Garber. When Camonetti refuses, explaining Garber has already left the building, Ryder shoots and kills the train operator, James Pollard, who was Garber’s classmate in motor school. Camonetti immediately has Garber brought back on the mic, talking to Ryder, while he sets up a sniper unit in the tunnel where the car is stuck, ordering all officers not to fire upon any hijacker until told to do so. Camonetti is puzzled as to why Ryder will only talk to Garber, but when he learns about Garber’s bribery investigation, he asks Garber in consenting to search his home, which Garber agrees and tells his wife about it. Ryder learns through news reports about Garber’s alleged bribe in Japan and forces him to confess by holding the boy with the laptop at gunpoint, saying the reason for taking the money was to pay for his kids college education but that the Japanese company was his first choice anyway. While the police stand down in the tunnel, a rat on the roadbed crawls up an officer’s leg, causing him to discharge his sniper rifle, killing Ramos, who was sitting in the motorman’s position.

The money is transported uptown to Grand Central and Ryder demands Garber to personally deliver it within 7 minutes. Garber calls his wife to inform her about his new responsibility, in order to save the hostages, but she cares only for his own safety. She makes him promise to pick up some milk on the way home, because he must come home safely. Garber delivers the money (An officer has loaned and concealed a 9mm pistol in one of the bags), then is ordered to operate the train to another location, where the hijackers exit. To ensure that the police go to the wrong location, Ryder uses a special mechanism to lock the driving lever in the full-speed position, bypassing the dead-man’s switch and causing the train to accelerate and go down Coney Island at high speed.

The MTA are unaware of the mechanism holding the driving lever down and believe the hijackers and Garber to still be inside the train. Garber manages to escape from the hijackers and follows them to the emergency exit inside an abandoned subway station underneath The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Inside the hotel, Ryder splits away from Bashkim and Emri, who are surrounded outside the hotel by police; as they both reach for their guns, the police open fire on the two of them, killing them. The runaway train is tripped by a red signal one station away from Coney Island and the train comes to a halt safely. Ryder boards a taxi with Garber in pursuit. Ryder checks his laptop, where it is revealed that he has shortsold the market and invested in gold, earning him a profit far larger than the ransom money. Ryder goes to the Manhattan Bridge, where he leaves the cab, due to heavy traffic, and uses the pedestrian walkway on the bridge. Garber confronts Ryder on the bridge where Ryder demands Garber kill him before the police do. Ryder gives Garber 10 seconds to shoot him. When Ryder finishes counting to 10, he takes out his gun, but Garber gets the first shot out. Before Ryder dies, he calls Garber his "goddamn" hero.

The mayor thanks Garber for saving the hostages, and vows his staff in representing him in the bribery investigation ("Tomorrow, the city is going to go to bat for you and the city has a very good batting average."). The Mayor then offers Garber a ride home in his car along with the escort service. Garber refuses the offer, saying the subway is faster and is his lifeblood. He then heads home with the last shot of the film being Garber, walking into his home holding a halfgallon of milk in a grocery bag.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Richard Baratta known as associate producer
  • Todd Black known as producer
  • Jason Blumenthal known as producer
  • Michael Costigan known as executive producer
  • Anson Downes known as co-executive producer
  • Linda Favila known as co-executive producer
  • Don Ferrarone known as associate producer
  • Ryan Kavanaugh known as executive producer
  • Tony Scott known as producer
  • Steve Tisch known as producer
  • Barry H. Waldman known as executive producer (as Barry Waldman)
  • John Wildermuth known as associate producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Denzel Washington known as Walter Garber
  • John Travolta known as Ryder
  • Luis Guzmán known as Phil Ramos
  • Victor Gojcaj known as Bashkim
  • Robert Vataj known as Emri
  • John Turturro known as Camonetti
  • Michael Rispoli known as John Johnson
  • Ramon Rodriguez known as Delgado
  • James Gandolfini known as Mayor
  • John Benjamin Hickey known as Deputy Mayor LaSalle
  • Alex Kaluzhsky known as George
  • Gbenga Akinnagbe known as Wallace
  • Katherine Sigismund known as Mom
  • Jake Richard Siciliano known as 8-Year-Old Boy (as Jake Siciliano)
  • Jason Butler Harner known as Mr. Thomas
  • Gary Basaraba known as Jerry Pollard (Motorman)
  • Tonye Patano known as Regina (Conductor)
  • Aunjanue Ellis known as Therese (Garber's Wife)
  • Anthony Annarumma known as 'Q' Train Motorman
  • Victor Cruz known as Maintainer Three
  • Glen Tortorella known as Maintenance Worker
  • Bobby Bojorklund known as Maintenance Worker
  • Saidah Arrika Ekulona known as Dispatcher One
  • Jasmin Tavarez known as Puerto Rican Girl
  • Alice Kremelberg known as George's Girlfriend
  • Sean Meehan known as Undercover Cop
  • Todd Susman known as Supervisor
  • J. Bernard Calloway known as Officer Moran / NYPD Liaison
  • Chip Brookes known as Zealous Aide
  • Zach Poole known as LaSalle's Aide
  • Reuben Jackson known as Reporter at MTA
  • Sean Nelson known as ESU One
  • Deak Evgenikos known as ESU Two
  • Ty Jones known as Sniper
  • Lee Shepherd known as Dr. Weiss
  • Mike Houston known as Money Car Driver
  • Rene David Ifrah known as Money Car Shotgun (as Rene Ifrah)
  • Frank Wood known as Police Commissioner Sterman
  • Brian Haley known as Police Captain Hill (MTA)
  • Maria Bartiromo known as Financial Reporter
  • John Lavelle known as Team Member (NYPD)
  • Chance Kelly known as ESU Captain
  • Peter Bucossi known as SUV Driver
  • Steve Routman known as Heckler
  • Laurie Cole known as Reporter at 42nd Street & Vanderbilt
  • Nick Loren known as Tunnel Commander
  • Daniel Stewart Sherman known as ESU Lieutenant Staley
  • Patrick Dalton known as MTA Worker (as Patrick J. Dalton)
  • John Keiser known as MTA Worker
  • Adrian Martinez known as Cabbie
  • Jordan Gelber known as Commuter
  • Rose DelCastillo known as Reporter
  • Joe Forbrich known as ESU Guy
  • Jason Cerbone known as ESU Guy
  • Billy Devlin known as ESU Guy
  • Jonathan Rau known as Federal Reserve Supervisor
  • Michael Mihm known as ESU Desk Officer (as Mike Mihm)
  • Sammy Miraglia known as Motorman
  • Kenneth Natal known as Motorman
  • Robert Perry known as Motorman
  • Fernando Alicea known as Business Man (uncredited)
  • Daniel Bartkewicz known as Commuter (uncredited)
  • Ira Berkowitz known as Plainclothes Detective (uncredited)
  • Gregory Casimir known as Gang Banger #3 (uncredited)
  • Joseph Cintron known as Track Worker (uncredited)
  • Maria Diaz known as MTA Employee (uncredited)
  • Elli known as Subway Commuter (uncredited)
  • John Farrer known as Subway Passenger (uncredited)
  • Edgar Felix known as ECU Agent (uncredited)
  • Katerina N. Gagkas known as Teen Girl Hostage (uncredited)
  • Cassidy Gard known as Passenger (uncredited)
  • Ronald E. Giles known as Commuter (uncredited)
  • Danielle Glick known as Train Passenger (uncredited)
  • Johnathan Hallgrey known as Subway Passager (uncredited)
  • Walter Hartung known as Deputy Mayor Asst. (uncredited)
  • Takako Haywood known as MTA Worker (uncredited)
  • Gina Hernandez known as Press Conference Photographer (uncredited)
  • Jenny Hill known as Commuter (uncredited)
  • Billy Horton known as Journalist (uncredited)
  • Kalon Jackson known as Swat Team Memeber (uncredited)
  • Michael Jeremiah known as Mechanic (uncredited)
  • Edgar Jimz known as NYPD Lieutenant (uncredited)
  • Martin Kalwill known as Subway Passanger (uncredited)
  • David Kneeream known as MTA Personnel (uncredited)
  • Tom Margiotta known as Extra (uncredited)
  • Jamie McBriety known as Hostage (uncredited)
  • Christopher Moser known as NYPD Sergeant (uncredited)
  • Edvin Ortega known as Mariachi 2 / Hostage (uncredited)
  • Danny Pennacchi known as Train Pedestrian (uncredited)
  • Nick Poltoranin known as MTA Manager (uncredited)
  • Vince Puma known as ESU Officer (uncredited)
  • Bartolo Raffaele known as Commuter (uncredited)
  • Vincent Riviezzo known as SR. MTA Person (uncredited)
  • Angel Rosa known as Officer on Bridge (uncredited)
  • Melissa Russo known as Car #3 Rider (uncredited)
  • Nick Sakai known as Paramedic (uncredited)
  • Christina Sampson known as Commuter (uncredited)
  • CarloVito Santangelo known as Spanish Couple Boy Hostage (uncredited)
  • Tim Schuebel known as Sergeant of Mayors Security Detail (uncredited)
  • Duane Sequira known as Gang Banger #2 (uncredited)
  • Ryan Shibley known as Wall Street Train Hostage (uncredited)
  • Paul Thornton known as MTA Senior Supervisor (uncredited)
  • Teddy Valdes known as Williams (uncredited)
  • Julian Walker known as ESU Sergeant (uncredited)
  • Liz Walsh known as MTA Worker (uncredited)
  • Bill Walters known as Hasidim on Subway (uncredited)
  • Todd Travis Warrick known as ESU Officer (uncredited)
  • Neville White known as Apprehending Officer on Bridge (uncredited)
  • Ralph A. Wilburn Jr. known as Subway Rider (uncredited)
  • Brad Lee Wind known as Hostage Negotiator #1 (uncredited)
  • Dianne Zaremba known as MTA Supervisor (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Jill Astmann known as makeup artist
  • Larry M. Cherry known as hair stylist: Mr. Washington
  • Carl Fullerton known as makeup artist: Mr. Washington
  • Linda Grimes known as background supervisor
  • Todd Kleitsch known as makeup department head
  • Erwin H. Kupitz known as facial hair pieces
  • Mark Mahoney known as tattoo artist
  • Louise McCarthy known as key makeup artist
  • Rita Parillo known as key hair stylist
  • Yolanda Toussieng known as department head hair
  • Frank Vazquez known as hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Joseph Alfieri known as construction coordinator
  • Henry Antonacchio known as head carpenter
  • Brad Bachtell known as scenic shopperson
  • Stephen Barth known as scenic artist
  • Emily Beck known as assistant art director
  • Valerie Rose Bronte known as art department dog
  • Richard K. Buoen known as storyboard artist
  • Brian Buteau known as on set dresser
  • Paul Cheponis known as assistant set decorator
  • Joe Coppola known as set dresser
  • Almitra Corey known as set decorating coordinator
  • Chris DeTitta known as leadman
  • Lauren Doner known as scenic artist foreman
  • Brendan Ferrer known as art department assistant
  • Deborah Greene known as assistant set decorator
  • Gavin A. Holmes known as carpenter
  • Brian Kontz known as sculpture foreman
  • Ross La Terra known as leadman: re-shoot
  • Ross La Terra known as set dresser
  • Ross La Terra known as unit set decorator: second unit
  • Joe Landolfi known as set dresser
  • Elizabeth Linn known as scenic artist chargeman
  • Miguel López-Castillo known as art director: second unit
  • James Mazzola known as property master
  • Charles E. McCarry known as assistant art director
  • Jeffrey D. McDonald known as assistant art director
  • Ramona Messina known as props
  • William Moore known as on-set LED technician
  • Eric Pastore known as props: re-shoot
  • Mark Pollard known as graphic art director
  • Kevin L. Raper known as additional graphic artist
  • Sarah Riggs known as picture cars assistant
  • Michael Scarola known as key construction grip
  • David Schanker known as assistant property master
  • Diana Shaller known as scenic artist
  • Dylan Sheridan known as set dresser
  • Sha-Sha Shiau known as art department coordinator
  • Nithya Shrinivasan known as assistant art director
  • Stephen Siersema known as scenic artist
  • Andrew Spagnoli known as set dresser
  • Robert Spence known as shop manager
  • Victoria Stewart known as art department assistant
  • Mark Storella known as art department production assistant
  • Omar Vaid known as props
  • Michael Acevedo known as carpenter (uncredited)
  • Joel Herron known as art department assistant (uncredited)
  • Tobin Ost known as assistant art director (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Columbia Pictures (presents)
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) (presents) (as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
  • Relativity Media (in association with)
  • Scott Free Productions (as Scott Free)
  • Escape Artists

Other Companies:

  • BT Industrial Supply  expendables
  • Bloomberg L.P.  footage courtesy of
  • Central Casting  extras casting
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Company 3 NY  dailies
  • Company 3 NY  digital intermediate
  • Company 3  dailies (as Company 3 LA)
  • Company 3  digital intermediate (as Company 3 LA)
  • David Haddad  transportation equipment
  • Gotham Sound  walkies provided by
  • Haddad's  transportation equipment
  • Klass Security and Investigations  anti-piracy film security (uncredited)
  • LCW Props  set equipment
  • Media Magik Entertainment  post-production
  • New York City Transit Authority  special thanks (as MTA New York City Transit)
  • On Tour Productions  provided the dog
  • On Tour Productions  transportation services
  • Pacific Title  end titles
  • Professional Sound Services  sound equipment provided by
  • Rockbottom Rentals  cellular fax rentals
  • Skip Film  main titles
  • Sony Pictures Studios  post-production sound services
  • Spacecam Systems  aerial cameras provided by
  • Tony's Food Service  catering
  • US Computamatch  negative cutting


  • Columbia Pictures (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • ACME (2009) (Lithuania) (theatrical)
  • Alexandra Films (2009) (Bulgaria) (theatrical)
  • Audio Visual Enterprises (2009) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Columbia TriStar Warner Filmes de Portugal (2009) (Portugal) (theatrical)
  • Continental Film (2009) (Slovenia) (theatrical)
  • Falcon (2009) (Czech Republic) (theatrical)
  • Forum Cinemas (2009) (Estonia) (theatrical)
  • Forum Cinemas (2009) (Latvia) (theatrical)
  • ITA Film (2009) (Slovakia) (theatrical)
  • InterCom (2009) (Hungary) (theatrical)
  • InterCom (2009) (Romania) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing Canada (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (Malaysia) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Sony Pictures Releasing (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Tuck (2009) (Serbia) (theatrical)
  • United International Pictures (UIP) (2009) (Poland) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Finland (2009) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Feelgood Entertainment (2009) (Greece) (DVD)
  • RTL Entertainment (2011) (Netherlands) (TV) (RTL5)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nordic (2010) (Finland) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Belgium) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Belgium) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (UK) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Asylum VFX (visual effects) (as Asylum)
  • Eye-Spy Productions (additional visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Andy Barrios known as Inferno artist: Asylum (as Andy Rafael Barrios)
  • Elissa Bello known as rotoscope and paint supervisor
  • Jason Bidwell known as compositor: Asylum FX
  • Jason Bidwell known as paint artist
  • Justin Blaustein known as flame artist
  • Rob Blue known as digital effects artist: Asylum
  • Kathy Chasen-Hay known as visual effects executive producer: Asylum
  • Zac Chowdhury known as digital artist
  • Zac Chowdhury known as rotoscope artist
  • Timothy Clark known as matte painting and texture supervisor
  • Stuart Cripps known as senior compositor
  • Eric Evans known as digital compositor
  • Andy Foster known as visual effects producer: Asylum (as Andrew Foster)
  • John Hart known as texture artist
  • Todd Hemsley known as senior inferno artist: Aylum
  • Stephanie Ide known as digital artist
  • Stephanie Ide known as rotoscope artist
  • Shahen Jordan known as matte painter
  • Joe Ken known as digital compositor
  • Scott Krehbiel known as tracker
  • Ali Laventhol known as digital compositor
  • James Lee known as texture artist
  • Michael Lori known as tracker (as Mike Lori)
  • Valy Lungoccia known as lead paint artist
  • Jose Marra known as visual effects editor
  • Nathan McGuinness known as senior visual effects supervisor: Asylum
  • Steve Muangman known as digital compositor: Asylum Visual Effects (as Steve Maungman)
  • Paul O'Shea known as digital compositor
  • Eddie Offermann known as software and tracking
  • Midori Otsubo known as digital artist: Asylum (as Midori Witsken)
  • Midori Otsubo known as rotoscope artist
  • David Parker known as digital compositor
  • Bethany Pederson Onstad known as digital artist: Asylum FX (as Bethany Pederson)
  • Bethany Pederson Onstad known as painter: Asylum FX (as Bethany Pederson)
  • Kosta Saric known as visual effects editor: Asylum Visual Effects
  • Junko Schugardt known as paint artist
  • Frank Spiziri known as visual effects coordinator: Asylum (as Frank R. Spiziri)
  • Tom Stanton known as tracker
  • John Stewart known as digital compositor: Asylum
  • Greg Stuhl known as digital modeler
  • Marc Varisco known as visual effects supervisor
  • John L. Weckworth known as digital compositor: Asylum Visual Effects
  • Diana Marie Wells known as painter
  • Yuichiro Yamashita known as lighting technical director
  • Toshihiro Sakamaki known as modeler: Asylum (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 4 June 2009 (Westwood, California) (premiere)
  • Egypt 10 June 2009
  • Kuwait 11 June 2009
  • Lebanon 11 June 2009
  • Singapore 11 June 2009
  • South Korea 11 June 2009
  • United Arab Emirates 11 June 2009
  • Canada 12 June 2009
  • Philippines 12 June 2009
  • Taiwan 12 June 2009
  • USA 12 June 2009
  • Argentina 16 July 2009
  • Greece 23 July 2009
  • Israel 23 July 2009
  • Malaysia 23 July 2009
  • Spain 24 July 2009
  • Belgium 29 July 2009
  • France 29 July 2009
  • Morocco 29 July 2009
  • Switzerland 29 July 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Estonia 31 July 2009
  • Finland 31 July 2009
  • Ireland 31 July 2009
  • Lithuania 31 July 2009
  • Turkey 31 July 2009
  • UK 31 July 2009
  • Sweden 5 August 2009
  • Denmark 7 August 2009
  • Latvia 7 August 2009
  • Norway 7 August 2009
  • Romania 7 August 2009
  • Indonesia 12 August 2009
  • Czech Republic 13 August 2009
  • Iceland 19 August 2009
  • Croatia 20 August 2009
  • Netherlands 20 August 2009
  • Poland 21 August 2009
  • Australia 27 August 2009
  • Peru 27 August 2009
  • Panama 28 August 2009
  • Hong Kong 3 September 2009
  • Hungary 3 September 2009
  • Kazakhstan 3 September 2009
  • New Zealand 3 September 2009
  • Portugal 3 September 2009
  • Russia 3 September 2009
  • Slovakia 3 September 2009
  • Brazil 4 September 2009
  • Japan 4 September 2009
  • Bulgaria 11 September 2009
  • Chile 11 September 2009
  • Colombia 11 September 2009
  • Cyprus 17 September 2009
  • Italy 18 September 2009
  • Switzerland 18 September 2009 (Italian speaking region)
  • South Africa 23 September 2009
  • Germany 24 September 2009
  • Switzerland 24 September 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Austria 25 September 2009
  • Mexico 25 September 2009
  • Slovenia 8 October 2009
  • China 15 October 2009

MPAA: Rated R for violence and pervasive language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. David Ferguson ( from Dallas, Texas
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

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

    In the original Walter Matthau and the icy cold Robert Shaw werebrilliant. Here Travolta is way over-the-top with all his "MF'ers".Denzel, for all his greatness, is simply miscast as the nice, workingclass hero. In the original, NYC shots were gritty and real … herethey are Tony Scott disco complete with flying cars. Since when does acar collision send one of the vehicles soaring and somersaulting? Andwhy does a skilled motorcycle cop ram right into a parked vehicle? Justa 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 ownpersonality. Here Luis Guzman is given little to do and I couldn't pickthe other two out of a line-up after just watching the film! JohnTuturro and James Gandolfini are the only others with much to say.Gandolfini is a nice combo of Giuliani and Bloomberg, and provides atleast a touch of humor. The story is expanded from a pure heist film toa 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 itstands on its own and it certainly can't hold a candle to the original.

  2. Special-K88
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    It started out like any ordinary day; that's likely what New York Citysubway dispatcher Walter Garber, an employee of questionable character,was thinking when he got up and went to work in the morning. Little didhe know that he'd become the confidante and "stand-in" hostagenegotiator for a slick criminal mastermind who takes over the Pelhamsubway train and demands money in exchange for the lives of itspassengers. Hearing the names Washington, Travolta, and Scott creates alot of anticipation, but unfortunately what wants to be a slickcombination of suspense thriller and character study instead results ina ponderous film with a weak setup, predictable plot twists, shallowcharacters, and little tension. It's easy to watch with actors ofWashington and Travolta's caliber at work, but Scott's direction ispretentious and throws out some obligatory action scenes that seem toexist for the sole purpose of padding the time on the way to anexpected climax. The leads do what they can with the strained materialbut really deserve better. **

  3. pacdm from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    I went to the this most recent remake of Pelham 1-2-3 (most don't evenrecall the made-for-TV version filmed in Toronto – with good reason)with an open mind. I was weened on Godey's book when 8, and saw theoriginal film when it was released a few years later. I've committedpractically every line and scene to memory. I'll admit…. I'm biased.I felt the original could not be successfully remade… the grittyfeel, the outstanding David Shire soundtrack, the believableperformances of the ensemble cast….. and I was right. I did not gointo the theater hoping to hate the remake, but instead to like it. IREALLY wanted to like it. I have always enjoyed both Denzel Washingtonand John Travolta in their various endeavors and thought the chemistrymight work fine here. While entertaining, it became almost tiresomeafter a while. I felt no tension, no "edge of the seat" sensation thatthe original brought, I found myself disliking most of the charactersand really not caring what happened to them. It passed the time, hadsome thrills, but that was about it for me.

    The '09 version is entertaining, with some excellent action scenes andmore than a few decent dialog exchanges between characters, but it isnothing more than a Tony Scott action movie dressed up as "The Takingof Pelham 1-2-3". While starting off liking Washington's character (nowdisgraced MTA administrator-turned dispatcher Walter Garber, as opposedto Detective Zachary Garber in the book and original screenincarnation), I found, as the movie progressed, that he went frombelievable to just another two-dimensional action movie hero who, if hewas what as he really started out as being, would not have ended updoing what he did in the film. Sorry, no spoilers here gang. You'llhave to go judge for yourselves.

    Travolta was dynamic, putting in a great performance, but I found hismanic characterization not befitting as the supposed master-mind of thecriminal plot involved. Remarkably, there were three other hijackers inthe movie. I don't know why Scott even bothered including them. Theywere not only ineffectual characters with lackluster performances, buttotally lacked the dynamic presence and interplay between the hijackersof the original film so much so that you barely even noticed them – orcared. Oh well, I guess it would not have been practical with only onehijacker….

    The dizzy camera-work and stylized production were tedious at times anddistracting. The soundtrack was, IMHO pure garbage.

    Like I said, I found it entertaining, but despite some opinions thatthe "updated" and "freshened" plot was exhilarating and an improvementon the '74 incarnation, I honestly don't think the Matthau/Shaw/Balsamversion need worry about being eclipsed by this remake. Go see itthough, as it is fun summer fare and if you have no ties to theoriginal, you'll probably find it relevant. Afterward, do yourself afavor and rent the original. You'll see the way the story was meant tobe done.

  4. C-Younkin from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    "Taking of Pelham 123" was the movie that had it all. A great directorin Tony Scott, screenwriter in Brian Helgeland (Man on Fire, LAConfidential), and leading men in Denzel Washington and John Travoltaeach doing what they do best. To its credit, Washington and Travoltakeep it afloat. This is the kind of movie both can do in their sleepand watching them go one on one with each other is the film's mainbright spot. Were also in for a pretty exciting ride as Tony Scottswings his camera around New York city streets and underground subwaytunnels. Though this remake of the 1974 film starring Walter Mathau andRobert Shaw proves to be a little less than the sum of its parts.

    Washington plays Walter Garber, the chief detective for the MTAcurrently involved in some controversy over a bribe he may or may nothave taken. While that's being worked out, he's been reassigned to deskduty as dispatcher in the subway command center. Just today will be aday unlike any other as armed men hijack a New York City subway 6 trainand hold all of its passengers hostage. The leader of the hi-jackerswishes to be called Ryder (John Travolta), and tells Walter that hewants 10 million dollars within an hour or he will start executinghostages. The cops (led by John Turturro) are brought in but Walterremains as the lead negotiator at Ryder's request.

    Short on actual plot, I was expecting more of a character driven movieand early on it appears to go in that direction. There is a great scenewhere Ryder puts Walter on trial for the bribe and it leads you tothink that these two are going to butt heads in dialogue-driven scenesall day long, exposing each other for who they really are. Just thebattle of wits ends there, which is unfortunate cause the movie reallycrackles whenever they talk to each other. Travolta, sporting amenacing goatee and tattoo, is at his over-the-top, f-bomb-dropping,lunatic best and Washington is his level-headed, average-guy adversary.

    The rest is all action. Car crashes and shoot-outs take place, the carcrashes coming within a sloppy scene where the police travel bymotorcade to deliver the money and the shoot-out starting from a ratcrawling up a guy's leg of all things. Both feature no importantcharacters and situations that are manipulated. The finale comes beforeyou know it, a chase through the streets of NY that's more excitingbecause it makes more sense. And Tony Scott, despite using clichés likecounting down the clock and going into slow-motion, keeps the moviegritty and fast-paced. As for the rest of the cast, James Gandolfini,playing a New York Mayor, is good comic relief, getting jokes aboutGiuliani, subways, and the Yankees but Turturro and Luis Guzman,playing a disgruntled MTA employee working with Ryder, don't get muchto do.

    "Pelham" works pretty well as a thriller because the Tony Scott-DenzelWashington teaming (this is their fourth go-around) always seems to doso and adding Travolta, always fun as a villain, is another nice touch.Just it doesn't always leave you engaged in what's happening, whetherbecause the plot or the action lacks humanity. Still it's held togetherby good acting and solid direction and for that alone it's worth aride.

  5. Dan Franzen (dfranzen70) from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    I was surprised to find this remake of the 1974 thriller was actuallypretty good. I thought that, because it was a remake by anexplosion-happy director (Tony Scott) and starred ultraham JohnTravolta, it couldn't possibly be all that interesting. Maybe a milddiversion, but those are a dime a dozen during the summer. But hey, bigshock! It's actually pretty tense, with just enough twistiness tofascinate without seeming implausible.

    Of course, the biggest reason the movie succeeds is Denzel Washington.Washington plays a disgraced (investigation pending) transit executivewho's currently slumming as the control chief. On his shift, naturally,a 1:23 train out of Pelham (New York City) suddenly stops in the middleof its run, and a hijacker demands $10 million to be delivered inexactly one hour, or passengers start dying unnaturally.

    What makes this a little more than your typical cat-and-mouse game isthe undercurrent of what's gotten Washington character into hot water,as well as Travolta's character's actual motives. After all, he's justgrabbed a subway full of hostages, but obviously he can't just ride thecar to Cuba, or something. He has to have an escape plan.

    Washington and Travolta play off each other very nicely, withWashington's flawless portrayal of a flawed man far more convincingthan Travolta's garden-variety unhinged wacko. Essentially, Washingtonwas good enough to counterbalance Travolta's overacting. (Is he crazy,or is he just cleverly acting crazy? Who cares?) Washington's WalterGarber is unsure of himself, an actual Everyman thrust into a madman'smaster plan. It's roles like these that separate Washington from peoplelike, say, Tom Cruise, guys who can play really only one character, theMan Who Knows Everything. Walter Garber not only isn't a "seize theday" kind of person, he shies away from confrontations he knows hecan't win.

    Also worth noting are John Turturro (as a hostage negotiator displacedby Washington, since Travolta won't talk to anyone else) and JamesGandolfini (as Hizzoner, finally playing a mayor who's not a completenitwit). Gone is the whimsical naming convention from the first, inwhich Robert Shaw named his comrades after colors, which was swiped byQuentin Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs. There are some changes from theoriginal, true, but they don't seem contrived; for example, WalterMatthau was a transit cop in the 1974 version, not someunder-investigation suit.

    The action is tense throughout, especially since you assume that thehijackers are going to have to murder someone at some point (otherwise,why have a deadline?) Somehow, the movie manages to be gripping andrealistic without being over the top. There are some minor bouts ofnonsense (did we really need to know that Garber needed to bring home agallon of milk?), and maybe in the final 20 minutes or so it's a littleby the numbers in its approach to action, but overall it's not bad atall. It's certainly a lot better than I'd expect a John Travolta movieto be, but maybe that's because he's the bad guy here, and they'repractically expected to be over the top.

  6. JoeyGreen from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    Technical wizardry does not make for a good film. Mix in an annoyingjazzy score, guitar riffs and some violin music, a couple of overratedactors, and you get TTOP123.

    First off did Denzel do a reverse DeNiro and gain 50 pounds for thisrole? He looked like fat Albert "on a good day." Travolta, alsosporting an earring or two — what are these guys, two metrosexualswanting to do each other? — alternately drops f-bombs betweenridiculous soliloquies about his tortured past and while plugging ahostage or two just to break the boredom. OK, he was reading bad lines,but he did not make for a believable villain, alternately scowling andlaughing or otherwise mugging for the camera. Compare to the superbRobert Shaw, who played the character with calm menace that was 10times as scary.

    Plot holes? By the bushel. First off, there's Denzel's wife, in themiddle of a tension-filled crisis in which blood is being spatteredleft and right, badgering her husband to bring home a gallon of milk.Could anything be more ridiculous? Maybe a producer promised the womansome more celluloid time on the casting couch, but the role wasentirely superfluous and the 10-minute scene of the couple talkingsweet nothings on a cellphone while bodies are dropping everywhere wasone of the funniest I've ever seen.

    Then there's Travolta, $300 million richer, thanks to his manipulationof the stock and commodity markets, worried about a paltry $2.5 millioncut from the heist, weighing around 55 pounds, that he had to lugaround at the end during his escape.

    No disguise, easily identifiable, Travolta and the rest of the gangblithely stride through midtown Manhattan carrying big heavy satchelsof cash, trying to hail cabs with thousands of people milling aroundand hundreds of cops. Travolta's character was about as stupid as youcan get, riding and then walking in broad daylight, inviting easycapture. A more plausible ending would have had him stroll into theWaldorf, get a room and disguise himself until he could try to get awaylater, setting up a cat-and-mouse finish.

    But there was no imagination, no humor, no intelligence, nothingwhatsoever to justify making this movie other than its sole purpose:another big paycheck day for the two stars. Watching Gandolfini playmayor, I couldn't help thinking that if he was Tony Soprano, he wouldclip the entire cast, crew, director and production team and dump emall in the East River.

    Save your money and rent the original.

  7. Kristine ( from Chicago, Illinois
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, from the minute I saw the trailer, thislooked like it was going to be such an exciting thriller. We have twogreat actors in the leads: John Travolta and Dezel Washington. Wherecould you go wrong with that? So my boyfriend and I saw this movie acouple nights ago and had a great time. The movie was intense andprovided very good action… BUT… there is a huge but… the film just fellflat at the end. The first and second act are extremely entertainingand beyond intense, two power house actors pulling in very decentperformances, had great chemistry and did a good job with the scriptthey were given. But what the heck was with the ending? We shift intothis Action 101 book of clichés list and was a complete let down. As amovie, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is certainly entertaining, but whenit comes to being realistic, yeah, it's pretty bad.

    Four heavily armed men, led by a man who calls himself "Ryder," board aNew York City subway 6 train, then proceed to take control of thetrain. Meanwhile, MTA dispatcher, Walter Garber, is assigned to theRail Control Center due to an ongoing investigation that he took abribe to recommend a Japanese car manufacturer for the next subway carcontract. The group then uncouple the front car from the rest of thetrain and hold the passengers of that car hostage. Ryder and thehijackers settle down on the front car, demanding $10 million dollarsin ransom money to be paid within the next 60 minutes. For each minutepast the deadline, one passenger aboard his car will be killed. Garberand Ryder exchange conversations though the microphone, Garber agreesto have the city pay Ryder the $10 million ransom. Lt. Camonetti entersRCC, and Garber's boss, who has a rocky relationship with Garber,orders Garber to leave the premises. Camonetti takes over the hostagenegotiations, infuriating Ryder who demands that Garber be put back onthe mic and that he will speak only to Garber. Beginning a very awardfriendship as the clock ticks down to get the money for the hostages.

    Over all I would recommend this for a matinée show or just a rental,it's nothing I would say to rush out and see. It's still a decentenough movie that I'm shocked John Travolta actually made a good choicein taking. He's a great villain when he wants to be and he proved thatin Face/Off. Denzel also did a great job as this poor man who justcoincidentally was having an average day and now all of a sudden hasthe added pressure of having lives depend on him. But like I said thereare some major flaws that came with this film as well, there wereunnecessary moments like what was with the kid and his computer? It hadnothing really to do with the story and wasn't that vital. The nicearmy black man that jumped in front of the gun to protect the kid, thekid's mother talks to him before, but turned out to be unnecessary.Still as silly as these flaws are, it's still a fun movie to watch, I'mglad I checked it out.


  8. tvspace from hiding under my seat
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    A surprisingly enjoyable and tense thriller. While it does have a goodbit of the kind of silly excess that ruins most summer blockbustermovies anymore, those flaws are overshadowed by the tightly-woundscript and a couple of good performances from Denzel Washington andJohn Travolta. Director Tony Scott seems to have spent a good bit ofeffort trying to channel the spirit of 1970's American movies, andoften this pays dividends as the focus on grittiness over spectacularaction sequences ups the suspense. It's interesting that as the movieapproaches the end you can feel the director's 21st century comic-bookinstincts straining against the genre he's working in as the storybecomes increasingly less believable and more "heroic."

    Nevertheless I can recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys asuspenseful action movie that doesn't beat you over the head withhistrionics from beginning to end. Admittedly I've never seen theoriginal, and I can easily imagine those who love it might besubstantially less enthusiastic about this remake.

  9. dglink from Alexandria, VA
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    The new Tony Scott movie gives one helluva ride, but don't sit andanalyze the plot for credibility during the closing credits, this isnot that kind of movie. Four sleazy thugs, who could be spotted as badguys by a blind man, hijack a Lexington Avenue subway and takepassengers as hostages. A ransom-for-hostages negotiation begins viaradio between the driver's compartment on the train and the centralcontrol center for the New York City subway system. The premise ishardly new territory, and, for those who have seen theWalter-Matthau-Robert-Shaw version of the John Godey novel, the film iseven less original.

    However, for audiences that want a night out at the movies with arousing action flick, "The Taking of Pelham 123" will fill the billnicely. The editing is often frenetic, and the camera moves even duringdialog-heavy scenes. The chases are fast paced, the car crashes areover the top, and the bloody scenes are properly bloody. While all ofthis is enough for some mindless entertainment, four excellentperformances enhance the proceedings and make the film seem better thanit is. John Travolta pulls out the stops as Ryder, the head hijacker,and, in his full wacko persona, steals his every scene. As the man onthe other end of the phone, bespectacled Denzel Washington, dresseddown in everyman frumpy, is quiet and assured, although nothing quitesuggests that the character of Walter Garber will or could rise to hisclimactic actions. James Gandolfini plays the mayor with a sly sense offun, and John Turturro is a hard-to-gauge hostage negotiator. "Pelham"is a man's movie, and the women are relegated to small, peripheralroles as wives, conductors, and hostages. How refreshing the film mighthave been if Scott had cast a female in one of the four main roles.

    However, whatever the movie's flaws, and there are many, "The Taking ofPelham 123" does what it sets out to do: entertain and engage theaudience for two hours. Don't expect more, and you won't bedisappointed, and, in a summer movie, "Pelham's" assets are exactlywhat most of us are looking for anyway.

  10. Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    30 Mar 2012, 5:26 am

    In New York, four criminals led by the smart Ryder (John Travolta)hijack the subway train Pelham 123, stopping the first car withnineteen hostages in a higher plane in the tunnel in Manhattan. Rydercalls the subway control center and the operator Walter Garber (DenzelWashington) talks to him. The abductor demands ten million dollar andgives one hour to the delivery by the City Hall. The Mayor (JamesGandolfini) accepts to pay the ransom while the NYPD negotiatorCamonetti (John Turturro) assumes the negotiation. However Ryderdemands that Garber, who was demoted from an executive position due tothe accusation of accepting kickback in the purchase business ofJapanese trains, continues to be his liaison with the authorities.Within the tense hour, Ryder empathizes with Garber and asks him tobring the money to the train.

    "The Taking of Pelham 123" could be a good movie, with a story withpotential and great cast. Unfortunately it is spoiled due to flawscombined with the usual exaggerations of most of Hollywood actionmovies. There are terrible moments that really destroy the story, suchas: (1) why the corrupt Garber would confess the true story of hisbribery? He could have told a fantasy to satisfy Ryder and keep secretof his kickback. (2) Why the ransom was not transported by helicopter?(3)Why that imbecile girlfriend would insist on asking her boyfriend tosay that he loves her in such a tense situation? (4) Even in an unusualday like that one, how could an investment be multiplied by 150 in afew hours? Two million dollars transformed in three hundred milliondollar in less than two hours is simply ridiculous. (5) Why shouldGarber risk his life following Ryder? (6) Why should two criminalsunder siege of a large number of police officers and without anyprotection shoot their guns? (7) Garber had less than six minutes toreach the location to deliver the money and spends precious secondstalking nonsense with his wife. (8) Why would a cold blood killer likeRyder with three hundred million dollars to pay bribery pacificallysurrender to Garber? I listed only some absurd and silly parts thatinsult the intelligence of any average viewer. Unfortunately I have notseen the original movie to make a comparison. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "O Sequestro do Metrô" ("The Hijack of the SubwayTrain")

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