Blu-ray Review: THE INCIDENT

THE INCIDENT was directed by Larry Peerce from a screenplay by Nicholas E. Baehr and stars Tony Musante, Martin Sheen, Beau Bridges, Jack Gilford, Thelma Ritter, Robert Fields, Donna Mills, Gary Merrill, Jan Sterling, Brock Peters, Ruby Dee and Ed McMahon. The score is by Terry Knight and Charles Fox.

The Incident (1967), directed by Larry Peerce and written by Nicholas E. Baehr, is an excoriating look at the average New Yorker’s failure to get involved even when confronted by the most egregious and unfair form of sudden violence. Shot in brilliant quasi-documentary style by Gerald Hirschfeld, it focuses on a nightmare subway trip and a group of passengers terrorized by a pair of punks (Tony Musante and Martin Sheen, giving stunning early performances); the victims include veterans (Thelma Ritter, Jack Gilford, Jan Sterling, Gary Merrill) and an array of newcomers (Beau Bridges, Ruby Dee, Brock Peters, Robert Fields, Donna Mills).

The movie takes place at night on a New York City subway and follows two young thugs who walk into this subway car full of unsuspecting passengers from all walks of life who end up becoming unfortunate hostages. The thugs immediately draw attention to themselves by being loud and obnoxious but it doesn’t stop there. The two decide to terrorize everyone inside the car and make their rounds to each person or couple one by one. They humiliate and embarrass each victim in different ways and won’t allow anyone to exit the car. They pick on people’s appearances, mannerisms, and even their insecurities and personal fears. Needless to say, they make mush out of the innocent people they’re bullying.

What happens is, the two thugs continue to harrass the passengers to the point where a mild-mannered soldier has enough and decides to do something about it so he takes a stand against his aggressive opponents. Everyone has their boiling point but it starts and stops and different levels with each person. This tense situation is a prime example of that but sadly not everyone has the spine to do something about it or even step in to help when it’s called for so the soldier is on his own as he takes on the two ruthless goons. One thing is for certain, the people on this subway car will never forget this terrifying experience because it leaves each of them scarred in their own unique way. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about The Incident by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This is a really nice upgrade by the Twilight Time gang for such an obscure film.

Bottom line is, The Incident ended up being a fantasticly twisted character study that focuses closely on bullying and the lowlifes who dish it out as well as the unfortunate ones on the receiving end and how they handle this uncomfortable situation diffferently from one another. I liked the story and the atmospheric rawness of how this noir subway thriller was shot because it takes an extreme in-your-face approach at this subject matter that also includes racism and homosexuality. And just think, this movie was released way back in 1967! Another standout in this impressive movie is the amazing cast assembled for it that features a stable of familiar faces that include some on screen debuts. Tony Musante and Martin Sheen play the two unlikable thugs to perfection plus this was Sheen’s on screen debut. There’s also a very young Beau Bridges who plays a mild mannered soldier who ends up being the one who takes matters in his own hands – because nobody else has the spine to do so. Larry Peerce did a great job capturing all of these performances that showcase people from different walks of life and how each of them handles the same kind of uncomfortable situation differently. It’s a gritty and violent psycho-drama that apologizes for nothing. The Incident is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen / (1.85:1) / B&W / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (2.0 on some players)

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include an isolated score track, some audio commentary and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music & Effects Track
  • Audio Commentary with Director Larry Peerce and Film Historian Nick Redman
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (01:55)

 

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