The 10 best movie heists of all time

Posted by , 01 July 2009

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

The bandits: A bunch of New York-based reprobates - including an excellently creepy Robert Shaw - who hit upon the wheeze of calling themselves Mr Blue, Mr Brown, Mr Grey etc for anonymity. And wear ridiculous spectacles. A young Tarantino took note.

The loot: One million of your US dollars, which was a lot back in 1974 when the film was released (we'll gladly ignore the blasphemous, shite, Denzil Washington remake from last year for now).

The plan: Gun-men hijack a train on New York's most famous subway route - the graffiti-coated Pelham Express to the Bronx - stall it between stations and threaten to start executing hostages. Hard-bitten cop Walter Matthau can't quite work out how they're going to escape, but then that's the genius behind the plan...

Does it work? Yes. Until the most famous piece of bronchial misfortune in film history. Everyone should see this film, if only to realise how totally cool it would have been to live in a bankrupt, drug and crime-ridden 70s New York.

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