The most underrated movie of all time

  
By:  Vic Eldred  •  2 months ago  •  14 comments


The most underrated movie of all time
I wouldn't say you are a little crazy, I'd say you're a lot crazy

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EVERYONE LOVES MOVIES - CLASSIC TO CURRENT


I'm sure I've written something here about this movie some time ago. Every once in a while, usually late at night I'll watch it again. I first saw it when it was new and I was young. I not only consider it the most underrated movie of all time, but the most realistic. It has won critical acclaim, (3 awards at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in 1968 and 1 in Spain in 1970) but none in the US. In addition to that, you seldom see this movie on TCM or AMC, but believe it or not you can get a clear, crisp edition on You Tube. Remember when You Tube let us see everything for free? Well this movie is still free on You Tube! That's what I mean by underated. As for realism the movie captured what Truman Capote called America's "underbelly."

I realize many here won't relate to it. You need to have grown up in the inner city to have known those random acts of mean spirited viciousness. The setting here is New York City in the middle of the night. The year was 1967. Tony Musante captured every bully that we ever knew growing up in the old neighborhood. He nailed it.
Who won the Academy Award for that year?  Rod Steiger for "In the Heat of the Night."  Granted it was a tough year to pick a best actor.
It was also the film debut for Martin Sheen, who played the other hoodlum.


Over the course of what is a Sunday night we get to meet a cross section of NYC residents circa the 1960's and all are put to the test on a night of terror. Anybody who ever rode a subway in the northeast in those days will quicly recognize the subway cars...the dirty littered floor, the advertising along the upper interior, the handle bars and in those particular overnight NYC cars...the sleeping derelict. Seeing this movie again, just a few nights ago, I thought of how much worse it must be today. The news reports we heard from New York over the past year highlighting all the mayhem taking place there. I think the only thing missing is the pleasure that "Joe Ferrone" & "Artie Connors" took in humiliating people.  A remake would have to cut right to the violence.

The story's lone hero is just who we would expect it to be. Yup, just like in real life.


The movie is The Incident (1967)



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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  author  Vic Eldred    2 months ago

The New York Transit Authority denied permission to film even background shots on its property, but the filmmakers shot them anyway. Cinematographer  Gerald Hirschfeld  and an assistant rode the subway with a hidden camera, and when its sound was noticed, they stopped and came back later to finish the job. Hirschfeld said in an interview that he filmed in black and white in order to get "the most realistic style of photography possible"; test shots were taken in muted color but they were deemed to distract from the desired "somber" effect.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

Others may have a different opinion, but that would be valid if one has seen the movie, and I have not.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    2 months ago

I found the movie and will watch it and report back. 

Most underrated movie ever? I'm sure there are dozens but I would go with Hombre, which was also released in 1967 I believe. 

Hombre isnt usually mentioned as one of Paul Newman's best movies, but that is a mistake. 

A sweaty , bitter tale of racism and greed and plain old ill manners across a late 1800's southwestern  landscape, Hombre has more memorable one liners , based on an Elmore Leonard novel, than normally fill a half dozen movies. Richard Boone was a great movie villain, and Paul Newman is at his anti-hero best as a loner forced by circumstances to keep doing the right thing. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 months ago

And Hombre's name is.......?

 
 
 
Freewill
Junior Participates
3.2  Freewill  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 months ago
Hombre isnt usually mentioned as one of Paul Newman's best movies, but that is a mistake.

Agreed.  I remember that movie.  Very good!  Newman's character's name is quite familiar as well... jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.3  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 months ago
I'm sure there are dozens but I would go with Hombre, which was also released in 1967 I believe. 

It was a banner year.

It was the year of: In the Heat of the Night, Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, In Cold Blood, Cool Hand Luke, The Dirty Dozen and The Producers.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.3    2 months ago

Two Paul Newman movies in that same year?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.3.2  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.3.1    2 months ago

He was a busy man in the late 60's,

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.3.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.3    2 months ago

There is a book called Pictures At A Revolution ,     which is a deep dive into the making of the five Best Picture nominees from 1967 , Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In The Heat Of The Night, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, and Dr. Doolittle.  It explains in great detail not only the making of these individual movies , but also how a "new" Hollywood" was emerging through some of these films as the studio system faded.  Probably the best book I have personally seen about the movies. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.3.4  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3.3.3    2 months ago
but also how a "new" Hollywood" was emerging through some of these films as the studio system faded. 

 Also around the same time the old censorhip code unraveled 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4  JohnRussell    2 months ago

I watched The Incident and I agree it is a very interesting film, and agree it probably is underrated. It has an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is quite good, but this is not a well known or particularly remembered movie. 

The character played by Tony Musante, a bullying psychopath, is the center of the story as he, and his partner played by Martin Sheen terrorize a group of "good" citizens on an overnight subway ride. The "appeal" of the movie, in my opinion , is the in the facial depiction of this as the camera repeatedly gets very close up on the characters. 

In the course of the subway scene we see various levels of timidity and fear as the individual riders make internal excuses for not "getting involved". 

My quibbles would be the long run up to the core scenes, as a long time (roughly half the movie)  is spent introducing the dozen or so subway riders. This was probably done to stretch this thing into feature film length, and doesnt add much to the impact of the story. 

I also wondered why all these "good" and "decent" people would be riding the subway in the middle of the night. (The incident takes place at 2 a.m. )

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4.1  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 months ago
My quibbles would be the long run up to the core scenes, as a long time (roughly half the movie)  is spent introducing the dozen or so subway riders. This was probably done to stretch this thing into feature film length, and doesnt add much to the impact of the story. 

After seeing that movie 4 or 5 times over a 53 year stretch, I kind of had that same impression. I think the writer wanted to tell us the private problems each of them had. They really introduced us to each of those characters. Can you imagine actually introducing a gay character or a woman who was dissatisfied with her husbands drive in 1967? We may have all understood it, but never expected to see it on the big screen back then. I still like that scene of the history teacher's wife strutting back and forth on the platform.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @4.1    2 months ago

Some of it may be interesting, but none of that has any effect on what happens on the subway. I'm fairly sure they just needed more story so that is why all the introductory backstory.  An hour and a half of nothing but the intense subway scene would have been too much for audiences to take. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4.1.2  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    2 months ago

Especially in those days. I can still recall all the faint chatter in the theatre during the early part of Psycho.... until that famous shower scene. I have have my older cousin to thank for taking me along (when I was 8 years old) to go see Psycho.

 
 
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