Glasses worn by John Travolta & Denzel Washington in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray – The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is the Tony Scott re-make of the classic 1974 movie starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw.  The new movie stars Denzel Washington (Book of Eli) and John Travolta taking over the roles of the lead characters in this 21st Century update.  Having only watched the 1974 version last Summer myself (and loving it), I decided it was about time I rented the new version of the film to see how it compared.


From the point of view of a blog about glasses, it was pretty obvious just from the movie poster and DVD cover that both the leading actors of the film are wearing glasses or sunglasses, which obviously gives us a bit more incentive to take a closer look at the movie.

The Movie

Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is a New York City subway dispatcher, whose ordinary day is thrown into chaos when four heavily armed men led by Ryder (John Travolta) hijack a subway train, holding the passengers to ransom, they give Garber and the City of New York just 1 hour to come up with the money before they begin executing a hostage for every minute the ransom is delayed.

The movie proves to be an exciting, suspenseful game of cat and mouse which reeks of Tony Scott’s adrenaline charged film making style.  It’s a film which has been updated and Hollywood-ized to satisfy today’s MTV generation of movie goers, who should find the overall experience a blast, despite some minor quibbles and imperfections.

But as good as this film is, it’s nowhere near as perfect as the 1974 original, but sadly, films aren’t quite made the way they used to be, which is a real shame as the final act and the ending of the original is a classic and very different to what you would expect to see in a modern day movie.

Quite simply, this re-make of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is on steroids from beginning to end, but not necessarily in a bad way!

The Glasses

Ryder (John Travolta)

John Travolta - Oakley Square Wires

John Travolta as Ryder – the leader of the gang, wears Oakley Square Wire Sunglasses in order to help him become the badass he needs to be to hijack a New York Subway train.

Walter Garber (Denzel Washington)

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington as Walter Garber wears an unbranded pair of prescription glasses selected by Todd Black, one of the movie producers.

Phil Ramos (Luis Guzmán)


Phil Ramos played by Puerto Rican actor Luis Guzmán, one of the four hijackers has the skills and expertise to pull of the job.  He formerly worked for the New York Transit Department as a motorman, but was sent to prison for negligence when he crashed a train killing 10 people while high on drugs.

Apart from the obvious hat and plaster over the nose helping to cover his face, he also wears solid black plastic rimmed glasses with distinctive yellow tinted prescription lenses.

Mayor of NYC (James Gandolfini)


Better known for his role in The Sopranos, James Gandolfini takes on the role of the Mayor of New York City wearing simple square shaped metal wire-rimmed prescription glasses not too dissimilar from our own Arizona JM8001’s or Uzumba frames.

Movie Trailers

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Checkout the massive rims and styles worn in the Classic 1974 version of this film.  In fact, check out how bad movie trailers used to be.  I can promise you though, this original version of the film is brilliant, despite the trailer’s best efforts to destroy it.

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Chris (SelectSpecs)

Chris is the Web Content Manager for and usually blogs about new product releases, celebrity eyewear or the latest movie releases. He also runs the Sport Glasses and Movie Glasses sites as well as his own personal Movie Blog just for fun.

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