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Now, If I were you, I'd just take a few minutes and plan my escape route.
July 7, 2009 1:27 PM   Subscribe

55 years ago, Brown v. Board of Education was decided, which lead to the controversial court-ordered school integrations in the South. Four years later, the prolific Charles Beaumont wrote his only solo novel, The Intruder, based on a true story but set in a fictitious small southern town of Caxton that is riled up by a mysterious man from out-of-town who wants to halt the school integration. The novel was turned into a movie by the same name in 1962, produced, directed and financed by Roger Corman, starring a charismatic William Shatner as the mysterious intruder, some 4 years before the start of his iconic role in Star Trek. Shot on location, using locals who were not fully aware of the plot of the movie, the whole film was made for $80-$90,000, and was Corman's only film to lose money at the box offices. The production was banned in some Missouri cities because the local people objected to the film's portrayal racism and segregation. The film finally saw a profit after its re-release on DVD in recent years. (Previously discussed as part of this 1970s Shatner post; video links inside)

For reasons not entirely clear, The Intruder turned up on various "public domain" lists in the early '80s and showed up on different cable channels specializing in such fare, but it was never actually out-of-copyright, though you can watch the full movie at the Internet Archive or on YouTube. Also on Youtube: interview segments with Corman and Shatner, which seems to taken from a longer interview (no video link).
posted by filthy light thief (26 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is going out to Bageena: sorry for Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, it was too good to ignore (and too bad to not share).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:30 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wrote rather extensively about this film in my series of reviews of Shatner films. I think it's superb.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:33 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Shat-tastic work, filthy light thief.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on July 7, 2009


Don't forget about its companion case, Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), which applied Brown to the District of Columbia, where the 14th Amendment does not apply.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:36 PM on July 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow. I haven't seen this movie in years. Can't believe you can watch the whole film online. Excellent post. Thanks.
posted by zarq at 1:38 PM on July 7, 2009


I bet half the films which are "public domain" are still in copyright. Anyone can say a film is PD, upload a copy online and wait for a takedown notice from the rights holder. But for various reason the rights holder never enforces the copyright.
posted by stbalbach at 1:42 PM on July 7, 2009


Great post. Thanks so much.


Don't forget about its companion case, Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), which applied Brown to the District of Columbia, where the 14th Amendment does not apply.


Not to derail, but does this mean the Supreme Court has to issue a separate, DC-specific ruling on any case involving 14th Amendment-related issues to make the ruling apply to DC?
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 1:44 PM on July 7, 2009


This sounds amazing. I'm definitely going to check it out.
posted by threeturtles at 1:46 PM on July 7, 2009


I want film editing software that allows me to edit young William Shatner so midway through the movie he starts shaking with rage and yells, "BROWWWWWWWWWWWN!"
posted by mattdidthat at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, what an interesting review. I'll definitely go watch it. Nice work!
posted by scrutiny at 1:55 PM on July 7, 2009


Charles Beaumont is a pretty interesting guy, BTW. Possibly the least well know of the big three Twilight Zone authors (after Rod Serling and Richard Matheson) he developed Alzheimers* at an early age and had his brain rot away from underneath him. Poor fucker.

* Wikipedia tells me it's not 100% identified as that.
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


To me, Beaumont was the writer to admire in The Twilight Zone. He was very, very ahead of his time, just look at "The Crooked Man," a nice little story about a future wherein heterosexuality is utterly stigmatized, to the point where folks are unwillingly dragged off for a "cure," and one of the members of a male/female couples has to hide in drag.

In 1955. Think about that.
posted by adipocere at 2:22 PM on July 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


posted by adipocere To me, Beaumont was the writer to admire in The Twilight Zone. He was very, very ahead of his time, just look at "The Crooked Man," a nice little story about a future wherein heterosexuality is utterly stigmatized, to the point where folks are unwillingly dragged off for a "cure," and one of the members of a male/female couples has to hide in drag.

Conformity and alienation seemed to be common themes in his writing--The Crooked Man sounds similar to Number 12 Looks Just Like You and Rod Serling's The Eye of the Beholder.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:33 PM on July 7, 2009


Not to derail, but does this mean the Supreme Court has to issue a separate, DC-specific ruling on any case involving 14th Amendment-related issues to make the ruling apply to DC?

That is correct.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:34 PM on July 7, 2009


East Prairie threw the shooting crew out of town, & they also shot in Charleston, the other city to ban the film. I think they banned the movie because of the filmmakers, not just the film.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:17 PM on July 7, 2009


Cockfighter (A.K.A. Born to Kill), starring Metafilter's favorite actor, Warren Oates, and based on the novel by Charles Willeford also has also been called the only film on which Corman lost money.

Yet, years later, when the B-movie king Roger Corman offered to buy the rights to "Cockfighter," Willeford's hard-boiled re-telling of "The Odyssey", the author not only accepted immediately but insisted that he be hired to write the screenplay. (He also had a part in the film.) Willeford later wrote that working with Mr. Corman was a happy experience, despite the fact that he was forced to do a huge amount of cutting. (Mrs. Willeford says the first draft "would've been longer than 'Gone With the Wind.' ") Unfortunately, the film was a bomb and "Cockfighter" gained a reputation as being the only film on which Mr. Corman lost money.

Link.
posted by dortmunder at 3:19 PM on July 7, 2009


East Prairie threw the shooting crew out of town, & they also shot in Charleston, the other city to ban the film. I think they banned the movie because of the filmmakers, not just the film.

From the locals who were not fully aware of the plot of the movie link to William Shatner's tales from making the film. The post title came from what a local police man told them on arriving to shoot the film: "Now, If I were you, I'd just take a few minutes and plan my escape route." In the interview with Corman and Shatner, Roger Corman says that they shot the cross burning and parade right as they were ready to leave town, so they shot the parade scene, and kept on going.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:39 PM on July 7, 2009


I wish this one had been in Esperanto too.
posted by ...possums at 3:53 PM on July 7, 2009


dortmunder, that's odd. Some sources say Cockfighter was one of the (very) few produced by Roger Corman that lost money, then other articles say [Corman] even boasts that he's never lost money on any film he has ever produced. Maybe his memory for the details is fuzzy, after the hundreds of films he's made (and re-made).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:55 PM on July 7, 2009


Wow. "Best of the web" indeed

Flagged as fantastic. Thanks filthy light thief .
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:15 PM on July 7, 2009


Presuming Corman's figure is accurate, isn't $90K a living fuckton of money for 1962? No wonder it didn't make a profit.

Beaumont was a pretty great writer indeed (although he didn't write all of the TZ episodes that are credited to him -- his Alzheimer's or whatever ailment it may have been kept him from working toward the end of the show, and the last few scripts with his name on them were the product of a very grateful ghostwriter whose name escapes me; this is all in The Twilight Zone Companion, which I of course don't have here). Sadly, it doesn't look like any of his short stories are currently in print, but if you can find this generous collection from '92 at anything like a decent price, get it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:46 PM on July 7, 2009


WARREHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHN!
posted by DU at 5:56 PM on July 7, 2009


This is a straight-up excellent movie, anyone interested in early independent film making needs to track a copy of it down. It's a real shame that Corman never really tried making anything like it again.

It's worth noting that it's also been released under the title "Shame" (that's what my VHS copy of it is called), and the much more glorious alternate title "I Hate Your Guts!".
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:32 PM on July 7, 2009


"Some sources say Cockfighter was one of the (very) few produced by Roger Corman that lost money, then other articles say [Corman] even boasts that he's never lost money on any film he has ever produced. Maybe his memory for the details is fuzzy, after the hundreds of films he's made (and re-made)."

Or it's Hollywood accounting. Return of the Jedi hasn't turned a profit yet.
posted by Mitheral at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2009


Great post, but I must admit that I did not have the stomach to stick it out for the whole film.
posted by caddis at 4:24 AM on July 8, 2009


This is a straight-up excellent movie, anyone interested in early independent film making needs to track a copy of it down. It's a real shame that Corman never really tried making anything like it again.

It seems there are only 2 versions available at this time, both US editions. Apparently, the first version has the original aspect ratio (widescreen), while the Buena Vista (Walt Disney Company) version is pan and scan. One reviewer of the DVDs noted that it was odd to see Buena Vista distributing a movie about racism and segregation, while Disney's Song of the South (with content that Disney executives believe would be construed by some as racially insensitive towards blacks) has yet to be released in the US (it's available in many European, Latin American and Asian countries).

As for similar creations by Corman, some commentary has noted that making movies like this one were too risky for the long-term career of a producer/director. Instead, Corman (primarily) went the rout of exploitation and fantasy films.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:33 AM on July 8, 2009


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