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.
User Reviews: Poster "Sol1218" wrote that he found it not credible that none of the other passengers on the train tried to interfere with the thugs or help their fellow passengers. But the reality of 1967 was that it was a rare New Yorker who would stick his neck out for a stranger.
Just three years earlier, in 1964, a terrible crime occurred in Forest Hills, Queens that made headlines world-wide. A barmaid named Kitty Genovese was attacked and killed on the street while dozens of neighbors in surrounding apartment buildings listened to her screams. During the attack, apparently one person yelled from a window and the attacker backed off for a few moments. But when no further interference took place, the attacker returned and stabbed Miss Genovese to death.
None of the neighbors even called the police. They all later said, when interviewed, "I didn’t want to get involved." That sentiment reflected the majority of New Yorkers in that era of rampant street crime: mind your own business, don’t get involved.
The passivity of the passengers in The Incident was perfectly in line with the sensibilities of the time, and the fact that it took a visitor from Oklahoma (Beau Bridges) to step up to the plate, was also very apt.
All that being said, this movie is extremely powerful. The first time I ever saw it, on television, I was shaking for hours.