APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 5: The Intruder (1962)

Also known as I Hate Your GutsShame and The Stranger, this film was bought by Roger Corman from Seven Arts in 1960. He originally saw Tony Randall as the star and the movie was turned down by AIP, UA and Allied Artistsbefore he raised the money with help from Pathé Labs, with Corman and his brother Gene paying the rest. That said, Pathé eventually got cold feet and the Cormans distributed the movie themselves.

Even though it cost only $90,000, this was one of the few Corman movies to lose money.

Corman said, “We put our hearts, our souls – and what few people do – our money into this picture. Everybody asked us “Why would you make this picture?” as if to say why try to do something you believe in when everything else is so profitable. Obviously we did it because we wanted to, and we think it’s a damn good job.”

It did teach Corman a valuable lesson. He said, “I think it failed for two reasons. One: the audience at that time, the early sixties, simply didn’t want to see a picture about racial integration. Two: it was more of a lecture. From that moment on I thought my films should be entertainment on the surface and I should deliver any theme or idea or concept beneath the surface.”

Based on the Charles Beaumont novel of the same name — Beaumont also wrote the screenplay — The Intruder has Adam Cramer (William Shatner) has shown up in the small Southern town of Caxton to disrupt integration. Even though he’s a stranger and not even a Southerner, he soon charms the entire town into going from accepting blacks and whites in the same school to attempting to use that very same school’s swingset to lynch a black student.

Shatner has claimed that the lives of the cast and crew were threatened, equipment was destroyed and permission to film in a local schoolyard was revoked. He was also told that a tree in one scene actually was used for lynching. And then the entire production was kicked out of East Prairie, MO for being Communists.

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