The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974 film)

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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a 1974 film about armed men who hijack a New York City subway car and demand a ransom or they will begin killing its passengers. They must also contrive a way to escape the "closed system" of the NYC subway system.

Directed by Joseph Sargent. Written by Peter Stone, based on the novel by John Godey.
Everyone read it. Now you can live it. (taglines)

Mr. Blue

  • Now, then, ladies and gentlemen, do you see this gun? It fires 750 rounds of nine millimeter ammunition per minute. In other words, if all of you simultaneously were to rush me, not a single one of you would get any closer than you are right now. I do hope I've made myself understood.
  • You a policeman? [cop nods] Well done. The mayor will go to your funeral. [raises his gun and points it at the cop's head]

Lt. Zachary 'Z' Garber

  • These are the assignment desks, one for each of the lines. This is the BMT, the IRT. Here's the IND. There's our artist in residence. And right through here's our operations lieutenant, Enrico Patrone, who on weekends works for the mafia.
  • The guy who's talking's got a heavy English accent. He could be a fruitcake.

Lt. Rico Patrone

  • We had a bomb scare in the Bronx yesterday, but it turned out to be a cantaloupe.
  • [about Lt. Garber] Even great men have to pee.

Ptl. James

  • [six people have been shot] Bully.


  • Listen, you little prick. 20 bucks wouldn't buy you a good night kiss.
  • Hey, wait a minute! Wait a minute! Can't anybody count? They all four got off! There's nobody driving the fucking train!


  • Caz Dolowicz: Oh, come on. If I've got to watch my language just because they let a few broads in, I'm going to quit. How the hell can you run a goddamn railroad without swearing?
  • Frank Correll: Whaddaya mean, you haven't got any buses? Go out and hijack some!
  • The Mayor: All I know is I am the goddamn Mayor of the goddamn City of New York.


Correll: Don't bug me, Garber. I've got problems.
Lt. Garber: Oh, yeah? What's the matter?
Correll: Oh, nothing: a train is down, its radio's dead, the power's off, and it's dumped its load. Aside from that, everything's ginger peachy.

Mr. Blue: What did they catch you doing?
Mr. Green: Nothing. They framed me. The beakies needed a fall guy.
Mr. Blue: The beakies?
Mr. Green: Transit cops. Undercover guys. They got wind of a gang passing dope, you know, transporting from downtown uptown and giving it to a motorman, somebody picking it up in Harlem. They tried to pin the evidence on me, but they didn't find anything.
Mr. Blue: You were innocent?
Mr. Green: Course I was innocent. Do you think I'd do a thing like that? What's the matter with you?

Mr. Green: What's your name, motorman?
Denny Doyle: Uh, Doyle, sir. Denny Doyle.
Mr. Green: Ever get written up?
Denny Doyle: Uh, yes, sir. Once.
Mr. Green: What for?
Denny Doyle: Running a red signal. How about you?
Mr. Green: Twice. Once on the Canarsie...
Mr. Blue: (clearly irked) That's right, Mr. Green. Tell Mr. Doyle all about yourself, will you?

Mr. Green: I'm taking your brake handle and reverse key, Denny. I want your cutting key also. That's it.
Mr. Blue: You'll be hearing from Command Center in a minute or two. You won't answer. You'll ignore the call. Is that clear, Mr. Doyle?
Denny Doyle: Oh yes, sir, they can call all they want to. I'm deaf.

Mr. Blue: Be quiet! Now be quiet! Nothing will happen as long as you obey my orders.
African American: Shit, man, that's what they said in Vietnam, and I still got my ass shot full of lead.
Mr. Gray: Shut your mouth, nigger! And keep it shut!
Mr. Blue: Mr. Gray!

Mr. Blue: I once had a man shot for talking to me like that.
Mr. Gray: Yeah, well, that's the difference between you and me. I've always done my own killing.

Lt. Patrone: What's up, Z?
Lt. Garber: You won't believe it.
Lt. Patrone: You know me. I'll believe anything.
Lt. Garber: A train's been hijacked.
Lt. Patrone: I don't believe it.

Lt. Patrone: Lex 28, Lex 28 come in please.
Patrolman James: Patrolman James.
Lt. Patrone: This is Lieutenant Patrone, Operations. Where are you now?
Patrolman James: 28th Street, southbound. Hey look, Lieutenant, everything has cooled out. I mean nothing's happening. Now what's going on?
Lt. Patrone: Look don't react to this... but a train's been hijacked.
Patrolman James: Holy shit!

Correll: Christ, to hear you plead with that chickenshit makes me ashamed to be an American.
Lt. Garber: Go away, will you, Frank? Go play with your trains.

Mayor: Warren, I've thought it over. I know what we're going to do.
Deputy Mayor: You tell me.
Mayor: We're going to let 'em keep the goddamn subway train. Hell, we've got plenty of them; we'll never even miss it.
Deputy Mayor: How about the 18 hostages, Al? Are we going to miss them?
Mayor: Warren, goddammit, this city hasn't got a million dollars!
Deputy Mayor: Then you better empty out one of your Swiss bank accounts because there's no other way out.
Mayor: Don't we even get to think about it?
Deputy Mayor: There's no time.
Mayor: All right. I still want the full picture. Get me the police commissioner, the chairman of the Transit Authority, and that putz we've got for a Comptroller.
Deputy Mayor: (getting more annoyed at Al's cowardice) They're on their way over now, but it's no good running to them, Al. You're the mayor! The buck stops with you.
Mayor: Oh, shit!
Deputy Mayor: (disgust evident in his voice) God help us.
Mayor: Shit! Piss! Fuck!

Caz Dolowicz: When did the power go? Hey, conductor, when did the power go?
Conductor: Who wants to know?
Caz Dolowicz: Me! The supervisor of the Grand Central Tower wants to know!
Conductor: Oh yes, sir, a couple of minutes ago. Hey, what happened down there? A man go under?
Caz Dolowicz: Who wants to know?

Lt. Patrone: Z, they just drew first blood, that supervisor from Grand Central Tower. We don't know his name, they just killed him.
Lt. Garber: Oh God. Thanks, Rico. Frank, do you know who went down to 28th St. from Grand Central?
Correll: Yeah, Caz Dolowicz. Why?
Lt. Garber: Geeze, I knew him.
Correll: Hey, what do you mean you knew him?
Lt. Garber: They just shot him.
Correll: Dead? Caz? Fat Caz?
Lt. Garber: Yeah.
Correll: Awww, shit!

Correll: Boy, I never thought I'd see the day when talking to murderers took priority over running a railroad.
Lt. Garber: Get off it, will you, Frank? My only priority is saving the lives of these passengers.
Correll: Screw the goddamn passengers! What the hell did they expect for their lousy 35 cents - to live forever?
Lt. Garber: Oh, you're beautiful. [into mike] Do you read me, Pelham One Two Three?
Correll: If I was running things, I'd go in there with guns and tear gas and blast them out.
Lt. Garber: Yeah, well you're not running things, so why don't you start doing your own work and let the police do theirs, huh?
Correll: Like that lily-livered cop on the train, huh? When the hell's he going to start shooting?
Lt. Garber: We don't even know if it is a he. [into mike] Do you read me, Pelham One Two Three?
Correll: Lady cops - what the hell good are they? She probably can't even find her gun in her goddamn purse!

Mr. Blue: It is 2:24, Lieutenant, you've got forty-nine minutes.
Lt. Garber: Be reasonable, will you? We're trying to cooperate with you but we can't do anything if you don't give us enough time to work with.
Mr. Blue: Forty-nine minutes.
Lt. Garber: We're dealing with City Hall, for God's sake, you know what a mess of red tape that is?
Mr. Blue: Forty-nine minutes.
Lt. Garber: Look, fella, we know how to tell time as well as you do, but we're not gonna get anywhere if all you do is repeat forty-nine minutes!
Mr. Blue: Forty-eight minutes.
Lt. Garber: Yeah, all right, we'll get back to you as soon as we can. [after shutting off the mike] Son of a bitch.

Deputy Mayor: All right, Al. You've heard from the Three Wise Men. Now what do you say?
Mayor: What are THEY going to say, Warren?
Deputy Mayor: "They" who?
Mayor: Who? Everybody - the press, the man on the street.
Mayor's wife: He means the voters.
Deputy Mayor: You know what they're going to say. The Times is going to support you. The News is going to knock you. The Post will take both sides at the same time. The rich will support you, likewise the blacks, and the Puerto Ricans won't give a shit. So come on, Al, quit stalling!
Mayor: Will you stop bullying everybody, Warren? This is supposed to be a democracy!
Deputy Mayor: Wise up, for chrissake, we're trying to run a city, not a goddamn democracy! Al, quit farting around - we've got to pay!
Mayor: Jessie, Jessie, what do you say?
Mayor's wife: I know a million dollars sounds like a lot of money. But just think what you'll get in return.
Mayor: What?
Mayor's wife: Eighteen sure votes.
Mayor: All right, all right. Warren, Warren, arrange for the payoff!
Deputy Mayor: Hallelujah! Alright, fellas, you heard him. Phil, pass the word to the bad guys that we're coughing up. Sid, what bank do we do the most business with?
Transit Authority Chairman: City National Trust. I'll give them a call.
Deputy Mayor: I'll call. You'll take an hour trying to knock down the interest rate.

Mayor: Jesse, I think I handled it alright huh?
Mayor's Wife: You're a regular Fiorello LaGuardia.

Mayor: Warren, suppose the hijackers start shooting at me?
Deputy Mayor: Will you stop? They have no reason to shoot at you.
Mayor: Why - do you think they're from out of town?
Deputy Mayor: Get dressed, Al. I'll do the jokes.

Mr. Blue: Ladies and gentlemen, it might interest you to know that the City of New York has agreed to pay for your release.
[Hostages cheer]
Old Man: Excuse me, sir. Do you mind telling me how much you're getting?
Mr. Blue: Why does that concern you, sir?
Old Man: A man likes to know his worth.
Mr. Blue: One million dollars.
Old Man: That's not so terrific.

Lt. Garber: Frank, how much longer before the track's clear all the way to South Ferry?
Correll: You mean before this railroad is so totally fucked up it'll take a computer to put it back together?
Lt. Garber: Yes, Frank, that's what I meant.
Correll: About five or six minutes. I got a snag over at Brooklyn Bridge.

Patrolman Miskowsky: This is a million dollars?
Patrolman O'Keefe: It's what it buys, Albert, not what it weighs.

Inspector Daniels: Garber, I just had a terrible thought: suppose they're not on the train? What if they set the throttle and jumped off? While we're chasing the train, they're sneaking out of an emergency exit somewhere behind us.
Lt. Garber: Ingenious thought, sir, except for one thing: it's impossible.
Inspector Daniels: Why?
Lt. Garber: Little gizmo known as a dead man's feature. It was built into the controller handle in case a motorman should ever drop dead. The controller handle has to have a man's hand pressing down on it hard at all times. Otherwise, the thing don't work. The train stops cold.
Inspector Daniels: Uh-huh. I see.
Lt. Garber: Nice try, though.

Correll: I don't give a rat's ass for your fucking instructions. I'm not lifting a finger to help the killers of Caz Dolowicz. [Grabbed by the shirt by Lt.Garber] Hey, Jesus!
Lt. Garber: Now you listen to me, you dumb son of a bitch. You don't do what I tell you, you'll be having dinner tonight with Caz Dolowicz!

Lt. Patrone: Wait a minute, I think I just figured out how they're gonna get away.
Lt. Garber: I'm listening.
Lt. Patrone: They're going to fly the train to Cuba.
Lt. Garber: You're a sick man, Rico.

Lt. Garber: Rico, she's moving.
Lt. Patrone: Who's moving?
Lt. Garber: Who do you think? Pelham!

Lt. Garber: Inspector Daniels? She's moving, sir.
Inspector Daniels: Who's moving?
Lt. Garber: What's the matter with everybody? How many hijacked trains have we got around here, anyway?

Lt. Garber: Rico, you want to make yourself useful? Get personnel and tell them to get together a list of all motormen discharged for cause during the past five to ten years.
Lt. Patrone: What are you looking for?
Lt. Garber: Somebody down there knows how to drive a train. You don't pick that up watching Sesame Street. Tell them we want it today.

Lt. Patrone: (on phone) get that list out on the wire, will you, Wally? Tell 'em it's top priority!
Lt. Garber: (returning to Transit Police HQ) What have you got, Rico?
Lt. Patrone: We got positive identification on the three dead men.
Lt. Garber: (reading the ID cards) George Stever. Professional guy, huh?
Lt. Patrone: From St. Louis.
Lt. Garber: (muttering) Yeah, I know how to read, Rico. (aloud) Giuseppe Benvenuto, alias Joe Welcome. Where's the English guy, the guy who fried himself?
Lt. Patrone: No card on him, but we got a confirm on his prints from Immigration. His name's Bernard Ryder, mercenary soldier. Between wars, I guess.
Lt. Garber: None of these guys knows how to drive a train, that means it's the motorman who's missing. Did you get that list of motormen who were discharged for cause I asked you to get?
Lt. Patrone: Yeah - seventy-eight names.
Lt. Garber: Seventy-eight?
Lt. Patrone: Yeah, but it's not that bad. Eight are dead, twenty-two were rehired, eleven are in jail, twenty-six moved away, one's in a mental institution, and another's a member of the New York Police Department.
Lt. Garber: That's our man right there.
Lt. Patrone: Sorry to disappoint you, Zachary, but he was accounted for.

Lt. Garber: Inspector, that short move they made between 28th Street and 17th Street - why did they do that?
Inspector Daniels: I don't know.
Lt. Garber: Suppose they wanted to do something they didn't want anybody else to know about?
Inspector Daniels: Like what?
Lt. Garber: Like jumping off the train! Turn around, Inspector, we're going back to 17th Street.
Inspector Daniels: Like hell we are!
Lt. Garber: They are not on the train. I'm sure of it!
Inspector Daniels: Look, Garber, I suggested that in the first place and you shot me down. Something about a dead man's feature?
Lt. Garber: But they figured out how to beat that! That's their plan! That's what they started with!
Inspector Daniels: [to his driver] Turn this thing around and burn rubber.

Inspector Daniels: You better be right about this, Garber.
Lt. Garber: Well, even if I am, it's probably too late.

Hispanic Woman: We're gonna be killed!
Old Man: Stop it! nobody's gonna get killed.
Black Woman: The hell of a lot you know, old man!
Old Man: But I do know, I've been riding the subways before you were born, I'm an expert. You see they have something called stoppers or sticker or something like that and whenever a train goes by a red light these things automatically stop it.
Pimp: There's just one thing, baby!
Old Man: What's that?
Pimp: They're all green!

Mr. Blue: Excuse me, do you people still execute in this state?
Lt. Garber: What? Oh, execute. No, not at the moment.
Mr. Blue: Pity.
[he then touches the third rail and electrocutes himself]

Lt. Garber: [identifying himself as they drive up to the toll booth] Transit Authority.
Toll Booth Officer: Still gotta pay.
Lt. Garber: Hey, your name is Lattimer?
Toll Booth Officer: What about it?
Lt. Garber: Well, just answer a question, would you please, fella?
Toll Booth Officer: Look, I don't work for you guys anymore. You don't get shit from me.
Lt. Garber: Hey, can you account for your whereabouts today, Mr. Lattimer?
Toll Booth Officer: Are you trying to connect me with that hijacking? Forget it! I've been here since 2:30 this afternoon.
Lt. Garber: You sure?
Toll Booth Officer: Sure? Ask anybody.
Lt. Garber: Don't worry, we will.
[they start to drive away]
Toll Booth Officer: Hold it! It's still gonna be 50 cents.


  • "We are going to kill one passenger a minute until New York City pays us 1 million dollars."
  • Before this train reaches the next station, it will become the scene of the most spectacular hijack ever attempted.
  • Everyone read it. Now you can live it.
  • No other hijack was ever like this.