YMMV / The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

  • Adaptation Displacement: Of John Godey's novel, which has largely been forgotten in place of the film remakes. This is somewhat ironic considering that the original, as indicated by its film poster, used the book's popularity as part of its marketing.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In the 2009 remake, it is never established beyond a reasonable doubt that Garber wasn't involved. The entire movie could have been a Xanatos Gambit by Garber, as evidenced by him arriving home happy at the end - not mentally exhausted or breaking down from the stress. He could well have been The Man Behind the Curtain, Hiding In Plain Sight, and had to resort to some Xanatos Speed Chess, and then taken advantage of the chance to remove loose ends for himself or a larger organization he was working for.
  • Awesome Music: David Shire's score for the original movie is drop-dead funky, with sleazy horns and a memorable Epic Bassline, but what lifts it into sheer awesomeness is that the whole thing is written according to the twelve-tone system of modernist composer Arnold Schoenberg - and yet it's still hummable.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the original, The Mayor very closely resembles real-life NYC mayor Ed Koch...who wouldn't take office until three years after the film was made!
  • Narm: A lot of critics derided the excessive amount of swearing in the 2009 film.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Mr. Blue's suicide in the 1974 version. When he hears from Garber that New York does not execute criminals, he replies, "Pity," and deliberately touches the third rail; a buzzing noise is heard and Garber cringes as the camera pans from Blue's legs, up his torso, to his hands, which are stiffly jerking, to his face, which has taken on an expression of extreme pain, while all the while, white smoke issues from his body. The buzzing only stops when Blue finally crumples to the floor. The background music (yes there is background music) doesn't make things better. Garber's reaction: "Christ."
  • Retroactive Recognition: Hector Elizondo as Mr. Grey, although hardly recognizable without his trademark goatee, baldness and collectedness.
  • Values Dissonance: Garber's very '70s attitude toward female cops. You'd never see a film's hero talking like this these days. Other characters also exhibit shockingly racist and sexist attitudes which would never be acceptable today; for example, Caz Dolowicz's ranting about newly qualified female workers.