Intruder in the Dust

  • Film
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By far the best of the race prejudice cycle of the '40s, a subtle adaptation (by Ben Maddow) of William Faulkner's novel which goes out of its way to avoid the usual special pleading in dealing with Lucas Beauchamp (Hernandez), the elderly black facing a lynch mob when accused of shooting a white man in the back. Lucas is clearly innocent but also 'stubborn and insufferable', so scornful of whitey and his patronage that he refuses to stoop to defending himself; an arrogant sonofabitch so hard to like that when two lone citizens come forward in his defence (an old woman and a young boy), they do so against their wills, purely so that they can go on sleeping easy. An amazingly laid back conception for the period, echoed by Brown's calmly dispassionate direction and by the unobtrusively persuasive ambience (most of the film was shot in Faulkner's home town of Oxford, Mississippi).

Release details

Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Clarence Brown
Screenwriter: Ben Maddow
Cast: Claude Jarman Jr
David Brian
Juano Hernandez
Elizabeth Patterson
Porter Hall
Will Geer
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