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Rural Mississippi in the 1940s: Lucas Beauchamp, a local black man with a reputation of not kowtowing to whites, is found standing over the body of a dead white man, holding a pistol that has recently been fired. Quickly arrested for murder and jailed, Beauchamp insists he's innocent and asks the town's most prominent lawyer, Gavin Stevens, to defend him, but Stevens refuses. When a local boy whom Beauchamp has helped in the past and who believes him to be innocent hears talk of a mob taking Beauchamp out of jail and lynching him, he pleads with Stevens to defend Beauchamp at trial and prove his innocence. Written by
Chick had school pennants on his bedroom wall: Ole Miss, for the University of Mississippi, Jefferson, for the high school in the fictional town of Jefferson, Mississippi, the setting of the movie, and "Carvel," the fictional setting of the Andy Hardy movie series. The last pennant must have been a stock property from MGM's prop department. See more »
When Chick comes out of the water his hair is dry even though he had been completely under water. But, when he get to Lucas's cabin and takes off his wet clothes, his hair is wet. See more »
Miss Haversham, I'm not gonna touch yuh now. You're an old lady, but you're in the wrong. You're fightin' the whole county, but you're gonna get tired, and when yuh do get tired, we're gonna go in.
Miss Eunice Habersham:
I'm goin' for eighty, and I'm not tired yet.
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INTRUDER IN THE DUST captures Faulkner at his best.
As a fan of Wm. Faulkner since college, I was especially pleased to see Intruder In the Dust and for other reasons. My grandfather, also named Clarence Brown as was the director, grew up in the Oxford area having been born near there in 1888. We attended a week long family reunion at Oxford in July, 1964 a mere 15 years after filming the movie. It still looked mostly like it does in the film but was going thru a period of civil rights upheaval then as the site of Ole Miss. My recollection is of its being a nice little college town that summer but I was just an 18 year old college sophomore and white. I was just then beginning to see the injustice of segregation and prejudice but still had a long way to go. Anyhow, the movie is well worth watching but the filmmakers must have had to walk a tight rope to get it done there and I would love to know more about that story.
Now days, Oxford is a larger, more modern college town with all the ills that go along with such things and I hope to return again to see how it must have changed socially in the last 40 plus years. Juano Hernandez should certainly have been nominated for an Oscar that year but Hollywood was still to bigoted itself to let that happen. Other Faulkner stories have been filmed so look for them and compare. One of the best was a PBS treatment of The Barn Burner from about 1985 or so starring Tommy Lee Jones. It really captured the intensity of rural Southern whites that Faulkner wrote so incisively about so often.
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