I am delighted to have received another guest post from my blogging friend, John Reiber. Please enjoy his take on these two classic films, and I will provide a link to his site at the end.
Two Cult American Action Films From The 70’s!
The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3
Take some of the greatest Actors of the 70’s, add some dynamite action sequences…blend with sharp dialogue and a delicious sense of humor and you have two of the great action films of the early 70’s.
Here is the plot summary of “The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3”: Four armed men hijack a New York City subway train and demand 1 million dollars for the return of the hostages.
Check out the star-studded trailer:
Legendary Actor Walter Matthau plays Lt. Rico Patrone, who oversees the crime unit for the NY Subway. He is willing to admit that their job isn’t that exciting:
“We had a bomb scare in the Bronx yesterday, but it turned out to be a cantaloupe.”
Robert Shaw plays the leader of the hijackers, Mr. Blue. Shaw starred in a number of classic 70’s films, such as “The Sting” and “Jaws”, and he was the “nearly-unstoppable” killer going up against James Bond 007 in “From Russia With Love.”
Martin Balsam is Mr. Green, and Hector Elizondo is Mr. Gray…that’s right, this is the movie where all of the hijackers called each other by colors…something Quentin Tarantino “homaged” effectively in “Reservoir Dogs”.
This tense thriller has sharp-edged dialogue, a great “cat and mouse” battle of wits between Matthau and Shaw, and tight action sequences.
Here is another film from that era with two great Actors going up against each other:
Lee Marvin was one of film’s all-time tough guys, and no more so than in this gritty thriller, where he saves a naked Sissy Spacek from the mob…here’s a teaser:
Lee Marvin plays an “Enforcer” for the Mob, who heads to Kansas City to get the money that midwest Mobster Gene Hackman owes the Mob.
Hackman’s a crooked cattle rancher who not only grinds his enemies into sausage, but sells women as sex slaves, and yes, he keeps them penned up…including Sissy Spacek, in her movie debut, who is nude throughout.
Gene Hackman digs into his role as the bad guy, just one year after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for “The French Connection!”
Lee Marvin had also also previously won the Best Actor Oscar, in 1966 for “Cat Ballou.”
There is a great scene where Marvin and Spacek are chased through a wheat field by a shredder…a well done action sequence.
Both “Pelham” and “Prime Cut” capture a gritty time in America in the early 70’s, a great double bill!
John has his own great site. He showcases exploitation films, Food and Drink, Japanese oddities, and his own travels around the world. And burgers of course. Lots of amazing burgers.