The Incident (1967)

the incident

Seriously, why is this not more highly regarded? I’d never even heard of it, but Fox Classics recently held a crime week and this was one of the films I recorded. The intro by a film historian says this film is very unknown and after watching it I’m really disappointed that it is. It is timeless with the themes presented being an issue for every generation and I’ve never seen them better presented then here.

The film tells the story of 2 drunk criminals that hold a whole train carriage hostage. Each passenger on the train is only concerned for themselves, each for entirely different reasons. As the criminals assault each passenger one by one, all the others just sit there, looking away as if nothing is happening. None are willing to help and these easily stoppable crims get away with everything.

The direction is what really makes this film, it is dark and gritty. It was filmed on a micro budget and a lot was done guerilla hand-held style due to the restrictions imposed by the city of New York. But this all works in the films favour as it really puts you into the situation, the film makes you shine a light on yourself as you sit on the couch doing as little as the passengers on board.

The cast also doing a stunning job. Tony Musante is the crazy criminal that goes to the extremes, he is really menacing and completely unpredictable. Musante is brilliant and steals the show. Martin Sheen also stars, in what was his first feature film, as the other villain. He isn’t as strong as Musante but will still put a shiver down your spine. Beau Bridges also features and becomes our eventual hero, he shows real restrain and is probably the best performance I’ve seen from this now veteran actor.

I highly recommend it, but it is almost impossible to find. From the quick reading I’ve done it seems like the film was banned in a lot of countries upon release and Fox has never taken it back to classification boards. It is a real shame, because they are sitting on a potential classic here. If you happen to stumble upon it then I urge you to take 90 minutes out of your life and watch this.

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