Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw
Lt. Garber: Why don’t you tell these gentlemen about some of the exciting things that have happened in the New York City subway system lately, Rico?
Rico: Well, we had a bomb scare in the Bronx yesterday…but it turned out to be a cantaloupe.
A group of men hijack a subway car and hold a group of hostages, demanding a ransom of $1 million.
I had heard that there was a remake of this movie coming out soon, so I decided to check out the original to see if it was remake worthy. Now that I’ve seen it, I’m guessing the remake won’t be as good as the original.
My favorite aspect of this movie is the realism of it. The locations don’t look like a series of movie set pieces. They look like authentic New York City subway system offices and buildings. As do the workers occupying them. The hijacking and the resolution of it are both done in a very realistic manner, without all the crazy action sequences and stunts. It’s a race against time and a battle of wits.
Speaking of wits, the movie is also very funny at times, but rarely at the expense of the flow of the story. There is one character I could have done without though, and that’s the mayor. He’s too much of a caricature and serves little purpose outside of comedy relief.
There’s not much else to say about it, I suppose. It’s a fairly straightforward story, but it just goes to show that even a simple story can be made into a good movie if it’s a smart script, with good characters and good performances.
10 – 1 for the mayor caricature – .5 for hurrying things at times – .6 for not developing the villains enough + .1 for the good performances = 8.0