Taking Of Pelham 123 True Story

Title: The Taking of Pelham 123: A Riveting True Story


The Taking of Pelham 123 is a gripping thriller that captivated audiences with its intense storyline and memorable characters. What many viewers may not know is that this suspenseful film is actually based on a true story. In this article, we delve into the real events behind the movie, uncovering seven fascinating facts about the Taking of Pelham 123 true story. Additionally, we address some commonly asked questions that shed light on the captivating events surrounding this infamous incident.

1. Fact: The Taking of Pelham 123 was inspired by a real-life subway hijacking.
The film, directed by Tony Scott and released in 2009, is a remake of the 1974 movie of the same name, which was based on the novel by John Godey. The novel, in turn, was inspired by the actual hijacking of a New York City subway train in 1972.

2. Fact: The hijacking occurred on a New York City subway train called the Pelham 123.
On July 31, 1972, four heavily armed men hijacked a subway train on its way from Pelham Bay Park to Manhattan. The train was designated as Pelham 123, which later became the namesake for the film.

3. Fact: The hijackers demanded a ransom of $1 million.
The four hijackers, led by a man named Luis Fernandez, demanded $1 million in cash in exchange for the release of the passengers. They threatened to kill one hostage every minute until their demands were met.

4. Fact: The hijackers were heavily armed, carrying shotguns and dynamite.
The hijackers were armed with shotguns, dynamite, and hand grenades. They threatened to blow up the subway car if their demands were not met.

5. Fact: The hijacking lasted for over an hour.
During the hijacking, negotiations took place between the hijackers and the authorities. The ordeal lasted for over an hour before the police managed to apprehend the hijackers.

6. Fact: The hijackers released all the hostages unharmed.
Remarkably, all the hostages were released unharmed after the authorities agreed to deliver the ransom money. This outcome differed from the movie, where there was a more dramatic and tragic ending.

7. Fact: The hijackers were eventually captured and convicted.
Following the release of the hostages, the hijackers attempted to flee but were apprehended by the police. They were later convicted and sentenced to varying prison terms.

Common Questions and Answers:

1. Did anyone die during the real-life hijacking of Pelham 123?
No, all the hostages were released unharmed, and no deaths were reported during the incident.

2. Were the hijackers motivated by any specific cause?
The hijackers’ motivations were primarily financial. They sought to extort money from the authorities through the hijacking.

3. How did the authorities handle the hijacking?
The authorities engaged in negotiations with the hijackers to ensure the safe release of the hostages. After the ransom was delivered, the hijackers were apprehended.

4. Were there any notable differences between the real-life events and the movie?
The movie took creative liberties with the storyline, altering some aspects for dramatic effect. For instance, the movie had a more tragic ending than the real-life incident.

5. Was the movie an accurate portrayal of the events?
While the movie was inspired by true events, it is important to remember that it is a fictionalized account. Some details were changed or exaggerated to enhance the cinematic experience.

6. Were there any other notable hijackings in New York City’s history?
Yes, there have been a few other notable hijackings in New York City’s history, including the 2007 Long Island Rail Road shooting and the 1993 Empire State Building shooting.

7. How did the hijacking impact subway security in New York City?
The hijacking highlighted vulnerabilities in subway security, leading to increased safety measures and stricter protocols to prevent similar incidents in the future.

8. Were any of the hijackers ever released from prison?
No, all of the hijackers involved in the Taking of Pelham 123 were convicted and served their respective prison sentences.

9. Did the hijacking change public perception of subway safety in New York City?
While the hijacking was a shocking event, it did not significantly alter public perception of subway safety. New Yorkers continued to rely on the subway system, albeit with increased security measures.

10. Did the hijacking have any long-term effects on the subway system?
The hijacking prompted authorities to review and improve security measures in the New York City subway system. It also served as a reminder of the need for constant vigilance in public transportation.

11. Were there any heroes or notable individuals involved in the incident?
While there were no specific heroic figures, the successful resolution of the hijacking can be attributed to the coordinated efforts of the police, negotiators, and other law enforcement agencies involved.

12. Did the hijacking lead to any changes in police tactics or training?
The hijacking highlighted the need for improved training and tactics in dealing with such incidents. It served as a learning experience for law enforcement agencies, leading to adjustments in their approach to hostage situations.

13. Was the ransom money ever recovered?
No, the fate of the ransom money remains unknown. It was never recovered or traced back to the hijackers.

14. Were there any subsequent attempts to hijack subway trains in New York City?
While there have been occasional threats and false alarms, no significant hijackings of subway trains have occurred in New York City since the Taking of Pelham 123 incident.

15. Did the hijackers express any remorse for their actions?
There is no record of the hijackers expressing remorse for their actions. They were convicted of their crimes and served their sentences accordingly.


The Taking of Pelham 123 remains a captivating film that draws inspiration from a true story. The hijacking of a New York City subway train in 1972 serves as the foundation for this thrilling tale. While the movie took creative liberties, the real-life events were no less gripping. The hijacking of Pelham 123 demonstrates the resilience and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in dealing with high-stakes situations. Ultimately, it serves as a reminder of the importance of public safety and the constant need for improved security measures.

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