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| 30 September 2015 | Reply

Shock Entertainment, Cinema Cult series
Directed by Larry Peerce
Starring Victor Arnold, Ruby Dee, Beau Bridges, Ed McMahon, Donna Mills, Tony Musanto, Martin Sheen
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

The Incident DVD cover

Not only a brilliantly realised film, but an important one, 1967’s The Incident is a near-lost classic which features fantastic performances from it’s entire cast, including the movie debuts of Tony Musanto, Martin Sheen and Beau Bridges.

Sheen and Musanto are a couple of young thrill-seeking thugs who, after running out of places and people to wreak havoc late on a New York Sunday night, end up terrorising a disparate group of people on a subway train.

The genius of the film is in bringing together such a microcosm of New York life: subjected to the hoodlums’ unwanted attention are a bickering old Jewish couple; a white-hating black man and his peaceful wife; a player and his reluctant virginal date; a mild-mannered teacher and his gold-digging wife; another couple arguing about having another child; a possibly gay, socially inept outsider; a recovering alcoholic; and a couple of off-duty soldiers heading back to base.

The twosome terrorise each one or couple in turn, playing on their fears and social issues, whilst the others mostly sit quietly and try to avert their gazes, showing their innate cowardice while simply hoping the problem will go away.

The climax to the film is brutal and absolute, on the one hand showing the importance of standing up not only for your beliefs but also for the rights of others too scared to fight their oppressors; whilst simultaneously proving their fears correct. The Incident remains relevant, timeless, powerful and important almost fifty years after being made.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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