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Stark melodrama about two thrill seeking tough guys who terrorize late-night passengers on a New York City train. The random victims are more concerned with their own problems than helping each other and pray that they won't be next. But it's going to take a lot more than prayer to end this nightmare of fear and violence. Film debut of both Martin Sheen and Tony Musante as the hoodlums. Written by
****SPOILERS**** Until I saw the movie "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" in the late 1980's I never saw a major movie out of Hollywood more vicious and disturbing then "The Incident".
Two brutal and vicious thugs Joe Ferrone & Arti Connors, Tony Musante & Martin Sheen, after brutally murdering a man, Ben Levi,coming home from work at night get on a New York City subway train and terrorize all the passengers on it. Like in most New York City movies the train contains every nationality age and social group and even sexual preference on it and Joe & Arti treat them all just about equally.
What was very phony about the movie is that the subway car had something like a dozen passengers on it and nobody or no group of the passengers tried at attack and subdue the two thugs that until the very end. The thugs didn't even show or pull out any weapons and when they did the only weapon they had was a switchblade knife. Even more so they not only brutalized everyone on the subway car they nauseatingly humiliated all the women who were on the train in full sight of their husbands or boyfriends! with the men doing absolutely nothing to help them! I couldn't help wondering what the wives and girlfriends of these wimps did after this hell was over did they still stay with them? Another thing that was a little bit off was that both Joe & Arti went from person or couple to couple abusing and humiliating each one as it they were working on an assembly line.
The two jumped on a poor gay man Ken, Robert Fields, and brutalized him so badly that he looked like he lost his mind and was left in a catatonic state with nobody on the train lifting as much as a finger to help the poor man. There was also a black couple Arnold and Joan Robinson,Brock Peters and Ruby Dee, who were about to leave the train on their stop at 125th street in Harlem but Arnold insisted that his wife stay with him on the train so he can see the "show", how stupid can one get? Being the only two blacks on the train Arnold was especially singled out by the two white thugs for special treatment. The big strapping black militant was left whimpering and crying like a baby in front of his wife Joan and a train full of whites whom Arnold showed earlier in the movie nothing but hatred contempt and scorn for.
The outrages continued until Felix, Beau Bridges, A GI on leave with a broken arm in the big city just couldn't take it any more when Joe started molesting Mr. & Mrs. Wilks, Ed McMahon & Diana Vander Vilis, young daughter. Felix finally took the law into his own hands by smashing Joe's face in with his plaster cast that he had on his broken arm, that it took a dentist to pull all of Joe's teeth out of it. Felix then cornered and kicked Arti so hard between his legs that if he were a football he would have traveled at least fifty yards for a field goal with Felix getting a knife right in his gut, and as usual in this movie, with nobody coming to his aid until it was too late or better yet until the police finally came to the "rescue".
Seventeen years later after the movie "The Incident" was released on the early afternoon of December 22, 1984 another "Incident" happened on the Subway in New York City that was like the movie but with a much better ending. Bernie Goetz was on a crowded #2 subway train minding his own business when he was confronted by four muggers wanting his wallet. In him knowing what he was in for Bernie then pulled something out of his jacket pocket but it wasn't a Christmas gift and ended up putting the four would-be subway Christmas shoppers out of action for a long long time. I always thought and suspected that Bernie saw the movie "The Incident" and knew what just to expect on the NYC subway and also made sure that he would be ready for it when it came.
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