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Saturday May 18th 2024

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three | 1974

A small group of men hijacks a New York subway train, and demands a million dollar ransom, in this laconic, laid-back thriller – which invented colour-coded villains, later picked up by Quentin Tarantino for Reservoir Dogs, while providing more-than-usually serious roles for Walter Matthau and Jerry Stiller as NY transit cops.

The subway scenes were shot on the Pelham Bay Line. Mr Green (Martin Balsam) boards the train at 59th Street Station, but most of the interiors used the disused Court Street Station in Brooklyn Heights, on a forked section of track which looks different enough from various angles to stand in for both ‘Grand Central’ and ‘28th Street’

The good news is, you can visit – in 1976, the station was transformed into the New York Transit Museum.

The ‘flu-ridden mayor, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ed Koch, is laid up in bed in his official residence at the Gracie Mansion, Carl Schurz Park, East 88th Street at East End Avenue. You can tour the mansion with an advance booking.

He OKs the ransom delivery, which comes to grief in a crash at Astor Place and Lafayette Street in NoHo, but is ultimately delivered to 28th Street Station, at 28th Street and Park Avenue South. In the background you can see the long-gone Belmore Cafeteria, that would find fame two years later as the cabbies’ hangout in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.