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The Long Island Incident (1998)

TV-14 | | Drama | TV Movie 3 May 1998
On December 7, 1993, a gunman opened fire in a crowded commuter train on Long Island. This fact-based story focuses on the events that swell around Carolyn McCarthy, a woman whose husband ... See full summary »


Joseph Sargent


Maria Nation
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurie Metcalf ... Carolyn McCarthy
Mackenzie Astin ... Kevin McCarthy
Peter MacNeill ... Dennie McCarthy
Tyrone Benskin ... Colin Ferguson
Elisa Moolecherry ... Natalie Berger
Cedric Smith ... Tim Bobek
Lawrence Dane ... Tommy
Diane D'Aquila Diane D'Aquila ... Dr. Ellen Lipsky
Nancy Beatty Nancy Beatty ... Jean McBride
John Boylan John Boylan ... Frank McBride
Greg Ellwand Greg Ellwand ... Bob Leahy
Sandy Crawley Sandy Crawley ... Dan Frisa
Bill Lake ... Bill Leffert
Peter Mensah ... Hugh
Martin Doyle ... Leonard Marshall


On December 7, 1993, a gunman opened fire in a crowded commuter train on Long Island. This fact-based story focuses on the events that swell around Carolyn McCarthy, a woman whose husband is killed and her 26 year old son is severely wounded in the massacre. The result is she is forced out of her comfortable suburban existence and she becomes an out-spoken crusader against assault weapons. The film shifts from her perspective to the mind of the killer and finally to the media frenzy that surrounds both. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il coraggio di una donna See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Carolyn McCarthy has a cameo during the sentencing scene of Colin Ferguson. She is seen right before the actor portraying Kevin McCarthy addresses Mr. Ferguson. See more »


The 1996 Congressional election in which she ran against Dan Frisa was never considered to be a close one, like the movie suggests. All the polls had McCarthy up by a substantial margin and it was clear in October that she would win. She won 58% to Frisa's 40%. See more »

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User Reviews

Trailblazer for Runaway Production
8 March 2004 | by busy-boySee all my reviews

This film, if taken standing alone, that is, without the horrifying context in which it was born but as just another plot in a million plots, is really a mediocre "B" movie potboiler. It's focus is Carolyn McCarthy, the wife of a man slain in a brutal random shooting incident on a Long Island Railroad commuter train. Her son was with the father and was also shot, but recovered from his wounds. Mrs. McCarthy went on to win a seat in Congress with a one plank platform on gun control.

Here is my problem with this film. This is a story that took place on Long Island. Six New Yorkers were killed on this black day. Many more were injured. This case shook the local population to its core. It could have happened in any suburban bedroom community in America, but it didn't. It happened here.

It most certainly was not a Canadian story. Canada has very little gun violence. It's black population did not originate as Canadian slaves. "Black Rage" as a legal defense is never employed as it was by the counsel for the shooter in this case. This was decidedly an American story, tied to the urban and suburban population of Americas most vital city.

The people of Long Island have a big stake in the movie industry. Many of us work in it. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, who was employed as a paid advisor on the film, and whose constituency could have used the work, travelled to Canada all star struck that Hollywood was paying attention to her instead of making some deals that would have put the interiors into Kaufman Astoria or Silvercup Studios and the exteriors right onto the tracks of the actual railroad where it all occurred. All of this was possible, and she had the clout to do it.

When you watch this movie and you see the train go by, note that "VIA" on the sides of the cars stands for VIA Rail Canada. That train was one of the first vehicles to take our production jobs out of our homeland in search of Canadian government subsidized labor.

Since then, hundreds of films have followed the tracks across the border. New York ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani did not lift a finger to keep the making of "Rudy!" in New York. So scenes of one of America's most fateful days, 9/11/01, were shot in Canada. Oh, Canada! Oh well.

Me, I'm working on a new production about fur trappers in a battle with the mounties far up in the Canadian wilderness. I'm planning to shoot in Brooklyn. Why not? It's got trees!

Chris Zizzo// Christopher G. Zizzo Film & Videotape

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