Robert Shaw

The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three (1974)

The Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3

When a gang of four armed men in matching disguises — known only as Blue (Robert Shaw), Grey (Héctor Elizondo), Green (Martin Balsam), and Brown (Earl Hindman) — hijack a New York City subway train, they round up seventeen passengers and put them into one subway car before separating it from the rest of the train.  Blue gets in touch with Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau), a police Lieutenant with the transit authority, and demands a million dollar ransom to be paid within an hour.  If an hour passes and they don’t get their money, they will kill one passenger for each minute they are late with the money.

The mayor of New York is hesitant to pay the ransom at first, but eventually agrees.  While the money is being gathered, Garber and Lieutenant Rico Patrone (Jerry Stiller) work in the control room to keep the situation under control and try to figure out who the gunmen are.  Garber figures that since one of them clearly knows how to operate the subway train, at least one of them might be a disgruntled former transit employee so they get to work finding a list of dismissed transit employees.

Police officers manage to get the money delivered in time, but the ordeal is only just beginning for the hostages.  When the gunmen get the train moving again, they get off and leave the hostages trapped on a train barreling through the subway system at 70 miles per hour.  Tensions also start to get to the gunmen and when it’s all over, only one of them makes it out alive.

Simply put, The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three is a must-see movie for anyone who enjoys a good suspense film.  It easily ranks as one of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen.  From beginning to end, it’s filled with action and tension that leaves you on the edge of your seat.  The pacing is perfect; there isn’t a single dull moment to be seen here.  Everybody in it is perfectly cast.  It’s just marvelous.  Believe me, you do not want to miss The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three.  It does everything a good suspense film is supposed to do.

Adam Had Four Sons (1941)

Things couldn’t be better for Adam (Warner Baxter) and Molly (Fay Wray) Stoddard at the turn of the 20th century.  Adam’s business is doing well, they have a beautiful home, and they have four wonderful sons: Jack (Richard Denning), David (Johnny Downs), Chris (Robert Shaw), and Phillip (Charles Lind).  They hire Emilie Gallatin (Ingrid Bergman) to be the boys’ governess and she quickly becomes one of the family.  Times get tough for the Stoddards, though, after Molly dies and Adam loses all his money in a stock market crash.  Unable to keep the family home, he has to send Emilie back home to France, but promises to send for her as soon as he gets the house back.

Seven years later, Adam’s luck has finally turned around and he buys the house back and sends for Emilie.  When Emilie returns, she comes back to find all four boys are now grown up and have all gone into the military and David has some news that surprises the entire family — he’s gotten married.  His new bride Hester (Susan Hayward) puts up a front of being a nice woman, but she really has her sights set on the Stoddard’s fortune and isn’t happy to have Emilie standing in her way.

David gets called to fight in World War I, and while he’s gone, Hester lives with Adam and Emilie.  When Jack comes home for a while, Hester seduces him.  Adam nearly catches them together, but Emilie knows whats happening, so she pretends it was her with Jack.  Adam is shocked and Jack doesn’t want Emilie to be stuck in that awful position, but she knows the truth would only hurt Adam.  But as Hester’s actions continue to tear the family apart, Jack realizes he must tell the truth.

Adam Had Four Sons is an enjoyable, but not great, little drama.  However, if you’re a big fan of Ingrid Bergman or Susan Hayward, this is one you’d definitely be interested in seeing.  Warner Baxter and Fay Wray were no strangers to film audiences in 1941, but Ingrid and Susan were very new to the game at the time.  Adam was only Ingrid Bergman’s second American film and Susan Hayward only had a few credited roles under her belt, but both of them show serious star quality here.  The two of them absolutely steal the movie and are far more memorable than their more experienced co-stars.