Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Made for television, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is adapted from the suspense novel by John Godey, previously filmed as a theatrical feature in 1974. The earlier version was highlighted by the verbal cat-and-mouse game between a cynical veteran NYPD detective, played by Walter Matthau, and a world-weary master criminal, played by Robert Shaw. The remake offers two detectives, Piscotti (Edward James Olmos and Ray (Lorraine Bracco), who match wits with a man calling himself Mr. Blue (Vincent D'Onofrio), who has masterminded the hijacking of a New York subway car. As his cohorts hold the 14 passengers hostage, Mr. Blue demands a $5 million ransom, to be delivered in one hour, or else the captives will be killed one by one. Though the dark humor which pervaded the 1974 version is largely absent here, the remake pulls off the neat trick of being highly suspenseful and subtle and low-key at the same time. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three debuted February 1, 1998, on CBS.