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Intruder
     

The Intruder

Director: Roger Corman

Cast: William Shatner, Frank Maxwell, Beverly Lunsford

 

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This mere existence of this DVD demonstrates the robust nature of the medium. During the early 1990s, a dozen years into the laserdisc era, this reviewer was supposed to prepare a laserdisc edition of Roger Corman's The Intruder, which never got released. Three years into the DVD era, the same movie now shows up in a very fine transfer, complete with a

Overview

This mere existence of this DVD demonstrates the robust nature of the medium. During the early 1990s, a dozen years into the laserdisc era, this reviewer was supposed to prepare a laserdisc edition of Roger Corman's The Intruder, which never got released. Three years into the DVD era, the same movie now shows up in a very fine transfer, complete with a supplement, at a list price of less than half what the laserdisc would have cost. The Intruder is very frank in its language and action, as William Shatner portrays a soft-spoken but virulent racist who arrives in a small Southern town on the eve of its local school being integrated. Working quietly, he transforms a tense situation into a crisis that leads to a race riot. The harshness of the language and the subject matter is enhanced by the sharpness of the film-to-video transfer, which is superior to the master prepared for the aborted laserdisc. There are a few flaws in the decades-old source material, but the contrasts are all exceptional and the detail is greater than in any unauthorized version of this film seen in recent years. The dead giveaway about the quality comes in the opening seconds of the credits, when Herman Stein's title theme just starts pounding away relentlessly, with startling presence, though the volume is slightly low, typical of DVD releases. The clean track makes it sound very good when pumped up on speakers or through a monitor. The movie is divided into 18 chapters that mark out all of the key sequences perfectly. There is no trailer, but there is an on-camera discussion between William Shatner and Roger Corman, in which they discuss their memories. Shatner's memories are interesting and add to the more concrete recollections by Corman, but one wishes that the director had done a full audio-track accompaniment to discuss the shooting in detail. One understands how author Charles Beaumont ended up playing an acting role in a screen adaptation of his own book, but one would love to know how writers George Clayton Johnson and William F. Nolan ended up acting in the movie, as well as the means by which Frank Maxwell, Beverly Lunsford, and Jeanne Cooper were cast. One would also love to hear about the machinations involved in filming The Intruder, for most of which the crew barely kept ahead of various local law enforcement agencies trying to shut them down; the production was even beset by threats from the Ku Klux Klan. The menu pops up automatically on start-up, which leads to a chapter selection and a separate bonus menu. The packaging includes no insert and surprisingly little in the way of written annotation.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Five years before becoming the voice of intergalactic understanding as Star Trek's Captain Kirk, William Shatner delivered the performance of a lifetime as a bigoted drifter fanning the flames of segregation in 1961's The Intruder. Produced and directed by B-movie king Roger Corman, The Intruder was one of the filmmaker's rare projects with a serious message and, perhaps not coincidentally, one of his few films that lost money. At a sensitive time in the civil rights movement, the producer had difficulty finding movie houses that would show the film. Despite its incendiary nature, Corman was quite proud of the movie, and rightly so. It stands as one of the most important pictures from his early-1960s output, and one of the best films that he ever directed. It also gives the world a chance to see Shatner as they've never seen him before. Post-Trek, the actor would reunite with Corman for the 1974 cult favorite, Big Bad Mama.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/27/2001
UPC:
0736991305199
Original Release:
1961
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
New Horizons
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:23:00

Special Features

Exclusive video interview with William Shatner and Roger Corman; Widescreen theatrical version; Original theatrical trailers; Cast and crew biographies; Interactive menus; Preview attractions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Shatner Adam Cramer
Frank Maxwell Tom McDaniel
Beverly Lunsford Ella McDaniel
Robert Emhardt Verne Shipman
Jeanne Cooper Vi Griffin
Leo Gordon Sam Griffin
Charles Barnes Joey Green
Charles Beaumont Harley Paton
Katherine Smith Ruth McDaniel
George Clayton Johnson Phil West
William F. Nolan Bart Carey
Oceo Ritch Jack Allardyce
Phoebe Row Mrs. Lambert

Technical Credits
Roger Corman Director,Producer
Charles Beaumont Screenwriter
Taylor Byars Cinematographer
Gene Corman Executive Producer
Ronald Sinclair Editor
Herman Stein Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Social Worker [5:56]
2. Southern Hospitality [4:23]
3. Exploring Caxton [4:33]
4. Who's Law [4:28]
5. Nonviolent Resistance [4:31]
6. Free, White, America [6:57]
7. Hatred And Fear [2:32]
8. Harsh Reality [2:40]
9. Flames Of Intolerance [7:49]
10. Martyrs And Victims [5:09]
11. Pitchmen [5:55]
12. Taking A Stand [4:08]
13. No Heroes [4:11]
14. A Little Favor [2:40]
15. Mob Rules [5:40]
16. Dixie Justice [4:44]
17. Losing Control [4:53]
18. Your Work Is Over [1:38]

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