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.
October is upon us and that can only mean one thing — classic horror movies! TCM certainly doesn’t disappoint in that department; every Wednesday night in October will be full of great horror movies to help you get into the Halloween spirit. In addition to the great horror movies, there’s also a great Star of the Month — Spencer Tracy. Every Monday night this month will be all about Spencer, but his movies also carry over into every Tuesday as well.
On Tuesday nights, TCM will be doing a series called “The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film,” which will examine how people with physical and mental disabilities have been portrayed in film.
One night that certainly sounds intriguing is the night of October 21st, a night full of animation rarities. There will be selections of UPA cartoons as well as many cartoons from the silent film era, dating back as early as 1907! I know I’m certainly looking forward to seeing those!
Hard to believe it’s already almost June! June’s Star(s) of the Month are Teen Idols. Every Thursday will be showcasing movies starring the likes of Elvis, Frankie and Annette, The Monkees, and Troy Donahue. TCM will also be doing a series called The Immigrant Experience every Wednesday night this month. June 10th is a very noteworthy day as it marks what would be Judy Garland’s 90th birthday. TCM will be celebrating by playing her movies for a full 24 hours, all chosen by noted Judy Garland expert John Fricke. The Essentials, Jr. series also makes its return to Sunday nights this month.
TCM for July is one of those months that’s kind of odd, but I can’t help but love the fact that it’s odd just because where else are you going to see this kind of schedule? I challenge you to find another network where you can see a night dedicated to portrayals of Arabs in film one night and then singing cowboys the next. I don’t particularly care so much about the singing cowboys, but I like when TCM does the spotlights on minorities in film because a: I find it interesting, and b: they usually play some stuff that doesn’t get shown too often. Other than that, it’s a little bit of a slow month to me, but I’m going to welcome that break because next month is Summer Under the Stars time again!
Happy Halloween! Before we get to the TCM schedule for October, it’s time for a little site news. To celebrate Halloween, I’ll be reviewing a different horror film every Wednesday this month. I promise it will be a mix between some typical Halloween favorites and some more unusual choices, so be sure to check that out.
Now, back to the TCM schedule. Since it’s October, I’m sure it’s not at all surprising that there will be tons of horror movies this month. Every Friday night is a night of horror classics from Hammer Film Productions. Fredric March is the star of the month, which I’m pretty geeked up for. Every Monday and Wednesday night is Critic’s Choice night, where two notable film critics pick two of their favorite movies to play. Some of the critics include Leonard Maltin, Roger Ebert and Mick LaSalle and they’ve made some pretty great choices.
It’s August, and that can only mean one thing: Summer Under the Stars! Like 31 Days of Oscar, Summer Under the Stars never disappoints and I’m definitely excited for this year’s schedule. There are plenty of days dedicated to showcasing some SUTS mainstays like Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Henry Fonda. But this year they’re really mixing things up and spending nearly half the month focusing on people who have never been part of SUTS before, including John Gilbert, Ethel Barrymore, and Gene Tierney. Not only are there lots of stars who are new to SUTS, there are also tons of movies being premiered this month. I counted a grand total of 54 TCM premieres in August, 19 of which are on Thelma Todd day alone.
Here is a complete list of the stars featured this month. To get the complete schedule, you can download a copy here.