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Film / The Incident

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The Incident is a 1967 independent American thriller film, written by Nicholas E. Baehr (who adapted his own 1963 teleplay Ride with Terror) and directed by Larry Peerce. The ensemble cast includes Martin Sheen (in his film debut), Tony Musante, Victor Arnold, Beau Bridges, Ruby Dee, Jack Gilford, Ed McMahon, Donna Mills, Brock Peters, and Thelma Ritter.

It's a New York City Subway rider's nightmare: being stuck in a subway car with two punks who will do anything they can to insult, antagonize, and terrorize you, just because they can, made even worse by the fact that no other passenger will do anything to help.

The 2011 film by the same name can be found under Asylum: Blackout. The 2014 film by the same name can be found under The Incident (2014).


  • The Alcoholic: One passenger is a drunk who sleeps throughout the entire movie. At the end, he falls out of his seat, too drunk to even wake up when he hits the floor.
  • Berserk Button: Felix lets the two thugs terrorize the other passengers — perhaps out of disgust at them, since they're all perfectly capable of banding together and defending themselves — but he draws the line when they start threatening the little girl.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: One of the earliest defining films of the trope. NYC as depicted here is a nightmarish place, with danger lurking in alleyways and subway cars, and with the inhabitants being largely cowardly and apathetic to the plight of their fellow man.
  • Dirty Coward: The entire subway car, except for the drunken passenger who is passed out throughout the entire film and hence is completely unaware of what is going on, the little girl (who doesn't really understand what is going on and is too young in any case to defend herself in any meaningful way), Joe — who is an Axe-Crazy maniac who promptly attacks Felix when the latter finally stands up to him and Artie — and finally Felix, who is handicapped with a broken arm and is the one to finally take down the two thugs. Artie reveals his true colors at the end when he is left alone to face a wounded and enraged Felix, folding like a wet rag when he no longer has Joe to back him up and pathetically begging for mercy, to no avail.
  • For the Evulz: Joe and Artie mug and terrorize people purely for their own sick thrills and pleasure.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Felix finally beats down Joe, Artie pulls this face. He's screwed and he knows it.
  • Subways Suck: Particularly when the door leading to the rest of the subway is stuck, and you are stuck with two drunk, psychotic thugs who won't let you leave.