THE INCIDENT

title: THE INCIDENT
year: 1967
cast: Beau Bridges, Tony Musante, Martin Sheen, Ed McMahon, Jack Gilford, Donna Mills, Brock Peters, Ruby Dee, Gary Merrill
rating: ***1/2

Ensemble cast of characters in New York City, from thugs to soldiers to an assortment of loners and couples (old and young, black and white), are introduced in various locations on a late Sunday night. When they arrive on the same subway, in the same car, the stage is set. The problem is the same thing that works. The play-like atmosphere weaves in and out of realistic intensity and the acting, at times, goes overboard, especially the leader of two thugs played to the hilt by Tony Musante who, through threats and machismo and along with his strange and dangerous partner Martin Sheen, hold the passengers hostage: driving each to individual breaking-points. But the movie really belongs to Beau Bridges as a seemingly docile soldier from Oklahoma. With genuine confidence and a palpable inner-strength he gives hope to a seemingly hopeless situation and brings the movie to a more realistic (and less dated) level acting-wise. Sheen's performance is also top-notch, foreshadowing his role in BADLANDS a few years later.

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