The Incident

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"A Bold, Gritty, Terrifying Story Of Inner-City Terror"
  • Approved
  • 1967
  • 7.6  (4,559)

The Incident is a gripping and intense film from 1967 that follows the story of two young thugs who terrorize a subway car full of passengers in New York City. The film examines the psychology of fear, group dynamics, and the struggle for survival. The movie's plot is divided into two parts: the first part portrays the daily lives of New Yorkers, who are different from the passengers aboard a late-night subway headed to the Bronx. The cast of characters includes a timid middle-aged couple, a young soldier on leave, a bickering family, a drunkard, and others. None of these individuals see themselves as heroes, but they are all forced to confront a brutal and terrifying situation when two young hoodlums board their carriage.

The young thugs, played with chilling conviction by Tony Musante and Martin Sheen in their respective film debuts, immediately start terrorizing the passengers. They verbally abuse, humiliate, and threaten their victims, agitating them to a level of fear that is almost unbearable to watch. The tension builds steadily, and as the thugs' behavior becomes more violent and unpredictable, the passengers become more desperate to escape.

The second part of the film takes place in a holding cell at a police station, where all the survivors of the subway incident are brought for questioning. This is where the psychological impact of the event becomes even more apparent. No one is emotionally equipped to deal with the aftermath of the experience, which has left them traumatized, vulnerable and confused about what they should do next.

During the police interrogation, the film's three main characters are introduced, and we learn about their personalities, backgrounds, and motivations. One of them is a sensitive and philosophical homosexual, played by Beau Bridges, who is trying to come to terms with his sexuality in a society that is still hostile to non-heterosexuals. The other two are the young thugs, who seem thrilled by their newfound power and the fear they have inspired in others.

The Incident is not an easy film to watch. It is a stark reminder of the cruelty and brutality that can exist within human nature. It is also an exploration of the power dynamics that exist between humans and how they are distorted in a crisis. Those who survive the subway incident are forced to confront the fact that they are not the individuals they thought they were, and that their survival may have depended on their willingness to abandon their values and betray their fellow man.

The movie's black and white cinematography is gritty and raw, perfectly capturing the intense and claustrophobic atmosphere of the subway car and the interrogation room. The score is also well done, adding to the movie's intensity and sense of foreboding.

Overall, The Incident is a powerful and thought-provoking film that deserves to be remembered for its uncompromising and unflinching portrayal of human nature. While it may be difficult to watch at times, it is an important reminder of the potential for violence that exists in all of us, and how easily it can be triggered under the right circumstances.

The Incident
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  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (4,559)