Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Check out this great movie before it leaves Amazon Prime Video next week

Walter Matthau as Lt. Garber speaks over the radio to the criminals in The Taking of Pelham 123.
MGM/United Artists

Among the many frustrating things about the modern streaming landscape is that, in addition to not knowing what to watch, it’s also difficult to know when you’ll actually be able to see it. Although Amazon Prime Video has plenty of great movies, those movies come to the streamer and leave it seemingly at random because of complicated rights agreements that no regular person should ever care about or understand.

It can be hard to make sure you catch a great movie before it leaves, which is why you should definitely make time to watch The Taking of Pelham One Two Three before it leaves Prime Video at the end of April. The movie, which tells the story of a MTA train heist in 1970s New York, holds up remarkably well 50 years later. Here are three reasons you should check it out.

It’s a perfectly paced heist movie

THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974) | Official Trailer | MGM

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three splits its time between four men who have taken a subway car hostage in Manhattan, and the transit policeman who is heading up the negotiations. Hanging over the entire film is the key question: These hostage-takers are trapped underground, so what exactly is their exit strategy?

Giving away the answer to that would spoil the fun, but rest assured that watching those investigating the crime try to figure it out is part of the movie’s charm. Like all great heist movies, Pelham One Two Three has its fair share of surprises, and those surprises keep you guessing about exactly how things might turn out.

It features the great Walter Matthau at the top of his game

Walter Matthau as Lt. Garber shakes some sense into his fellow transit authority worker in The Taking of Pelham 123.
MGM/United Artists

Given his incredibly distinct physical features, Walter Matthau does not feel like the kind of man who would be allowed to play the protagonist in movies, but in the 1970s, he did, and we should all be grateful for that. Matthau plays the transit policeman who keeps things as cool and collected as possible, even amid the chaos of his circumstances.

Matthau’s incredible charm, combined with his overwhelmingly calloused and hardened demeanor, make him perfect for this role. This is a guy who cares, but he’s also a professional, even if he doesn’t necessarily present himself as one.

It has one of the best endings in movie history

Robert Shaw's "Mr. Blue" threatens a train conductor in The Taking of Pelham 123.
MGM/United Artists

To spoil the way that Pelham One Two Three concludes would be to give far too much away, but there are few endings in the history of cinema that are more perfectly satisfying and unexpected.

The ending is really just a reminder of exactly how well thought out every single one of the movie’s beats is. This is a movie where every single hair is perfectly in place, and that’s true up until the very last moment.

You can watch The Taking of Pelham One Two Three on Amazon Prime Video.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
3 Hulu movies you need to stream this weekend (May 10-12)
Anne Hathaway as Rebecca looking intently off-camera in Eileen.

If you're looking for something to watch this weekend, then Hulu has you covered. Disney's other streaming service doesn't get all of the press that Disney+ does, but Hulu has a much better library of movies, especially for cinema lovers who want to watch more than just Star Wars or Marvel flicks.

This week's selections of the three Hulu movies you need to stream this weekend include an underrated Wes Anderson film, a non-Marvel superhero flick, and a 2023 psychological thriller that didn't get the attention it deserved during its initial release.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Read more
3 sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video you need to watch in May 2024
A man exercises in Gattaca.

There have been some great sci-fi movies released over the last several decades that typically depict a future world or catastrophic event of some kind that wreaks havoc on humans. Some focus on the human condition and are far more cerebral than others, while there are also sci-fi movies that center on incredible visual effects.

If you’re in the mood for a good sci-fi flick, check out Amazon Prime Video. The streaming service has a rotating selection of movies of all kinds, including plenty in that genre. The three sci-fi movies on Amazon Prime Video you need to watch in May before they’re gone include an indie gem, a franchise reboot, and a 1990s dystopian movie about human genetic engineering.
Coherence (2013)
Coherence Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Mystery Movie HD

Read more
3 TV comedies on Amazon Prime Video you need to watch in May
Bernie Mac smiling and holding up a cigar while talking to the camera on The Bernie Mac Show.

There’s nothing like a good belly ;augh to get you through a tough day, kick off the weekend, or entertain you during a commute or a flight. Whenever and wherever you want to watch, Amazon Prime Video has some great TV comedies (with the option to download content to watch offline, too!)

The great thing about TV comedies is that the episodes are typically, short so you can watch them during a 20 to 30-minute commute, while doing other tasks like making dinner, or when you only have limited time. There are three TV comedies on Prime Video you need to watch in May, two that will take you back to a simpler time with clever, biting, and even deadpan humor.
Newhart (1982-1990)

Read more