The Happening is a 1967 American comedy crime film starring Anthony Quinn, Michael Parks, George Maharis, Robert Walker Jr., Martha Hyer and Faye Dunaway and featuring Oscar Homolka, Jack Kruschen and Milton Berle that was released in March 1967 by Columbia Pictures. Produced by Jud Kinberg and directed by Elliot Silverstein, it is the story of four hippies who kidnap a retired Mafia mob boss named Roc Delmonico and hold him for ransom.
The movie is an anti-establishment story that questions the values of Middle America and the older generation.
Four bored beach bums from Miami come across kids playing with toy guns. They chase one into a house, which by chance belongs to Roc Delmonico, a former gangster who is now retired and a respectable businessman.
Delmonico assumes it's a kidnapping and volunteers to go quietly. The hippies like the idea, particularly their leader, Taurus, a gigolo who lives off rich ladies. He and his accomplices, Sureshot, Herby and Sandy, drive off with Delmonico in the trunk of their car. They hide out and demand a ransom of $200,000.
No one will pay—not Delmonico's unhappy wife, Monica, or his business partner, Fred, or even Sam, his old mob boss. The frustrated crooks decide it's hopeless, but Delmonico is so offended that he personally takes charge of his own kidnapping. He raises the demand to $3 million, vowing to reveal secrets that will ruin Monica, Fred and Sam.
The money is paid, whereupon the greedy Taurus suggests to Delmonico that they kill the others, leaving a two-way split. Delmonico not only knows the boy can't be trusted, he knows the bills from the ransom have been marked by the bank and will be traced by the cops. Delmonico sets fire to the money and walks away. When he's asked what he will do now, Delmonico responds, not looking back, "Who knows?"
Only a minor success as a film, The Happening is most notable today both as one of Faye Dunaway's earliest films and for its self-titled theme song. Recorded by The Supremes, "The Happening" became a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when released as a single on the Motown label.
Another music piece, "The Fuzz", was used by several local area TV news programs in the United States and Canada in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and a rearrangement of the same composition is still used by Brazil's Rede Globo national newscast Jornal Nacional.Anthony Quinn as Delmonico
George Maharis as Taurus
Michael Parks as Sureshot
Robert Walker Jr. as Herby
Martha Hyer as Monica
Faye Dunaway as Sandy
Jack Kruschen as the Inspector
Oscar Homolka as Sam
Milton Berle as Fred