THE INTRUDER: SPECIAL EDITION
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
William Shatner as ADAM CRAMER
Frank Maxwell as TOM MCDANIEL
Beverly Lunsford as ELLA MCDANIEL
Robert Emhardt as VERNE SHIPMAN
Leo Gordon as SAM GRIFFIN
Charles Barnes as JOEY GREENE
Charles Beaumont as MR. PATON
Directed by: Roger Corman
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
BY KEVIN CARR
Let’s face it: Roger Corman is never going to remembered as one of the great directors of his time. Oh, he’ll be remembered, but more for making tons of money with cheap, crappy movies. Still, that doesn’t mean he was incapable of making a fine film.
While Corman ended up producing more and directing less over the years, it was not uncommon for him to step behind the camera for his favorite films. In 1962, he directed a surprisingly intense drama called “The Intruder,” based on the book by Charles Beaumont. This film tackled the touchy subject of racial integration, and it was shot at the epicenter of the debate – the South.
William Shatner stars as Adam Cramer, a racist from out of town who is determined to stir up trouble with the locals after the law forces integration in the public schools. Most folks in town back Cramer, but there are a few voices of reason. However, Cramer is not flawless in his charisma, and soon he finds he has his own enemies to deal with.
“The Intruder” has gone down in history as a film addressing the issues of Civil Rights, but I feel that Hollywood should continually revisit the film for an example of how to tell a socially significant story without preaching. Sure, Corman’s handling of Cramer as a sleaze-bag is a bit heavy-handed at times, showing him committing rampant adultery and fornication (or at least showing as much as you could for a film in the early 60s), and Shatner’s overacting gets the best of him at times, but overall this is a sober treatment of a hot-button issue.
The DVD comes with scant special features, with only one retrospective featurette of the movie. However, hearing Shatner and Corman go head-to-head in separate interviews is worth checking this out.