COBWEB CORNERS: Another look at ‘The Incident’

By Mel McFarland

       Boy, I struck a nerve with the mention of that movie! I have gotten a couple of interesting calls since the column ran three weeks ago. I guess not many remember the stories that went around when the movie, “One Minute To Zero,” was being filmed. Anyway, here are a few interesting observations from what I found.
       "The Incident" took place in an unnamed Colorado town during World War II and involved prisoners of war. One caller was sure it was based on a story of events that happened at Camp Carson. He knew the details of things that were similar. So I started looking for information about the writers and where they got the ideas for the story. As it turns out, it could have been from here, but it probably was not. There were stories of a similar vein in most internment camps in the US. Germans captured early in the war were not used to losing and were sure the Nazis would prevail. These men were a real problem. They would run the insides of the camps, as the movie shows. My father worked at a prison camp in Illinois for a time, and he had similar stories, except that many of those soldiers had been captured after the Normandy invasion in 1944. They were more cooperative.
       I have also chatted with people who were involved with the actors and production people during the movie's filming. An old friend told of meeting Walter Matthau at the Pioneers Museum. Many of the employees were in the movie. If you can see the film on a larger screen, you might recognize some of the people. Some 50 local residents had roles in the movie.
       The most fun I have is watching how some of the scenes were done. One memorable scene was in Rogers Bar on Colorado Avenue. The actors go outside and bingo, they are at Pike's Peak and Tejon watching a parade. The prison camp was set up behind the Alexander Film and Aircraft Mechanic's plant on north Nevada. Fort Carson officials would not allow the use of their post. Some of the old cars belonged to members of the old car clubs. The movie ends at Fairview Cemetery. I have watched it several times just to find things I had not seen before!