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The Intruder (1962)

A man in a gleaming white suit comes to a small Southern town on the eve of integration. He calls himself a social reformer. But what he does is stir up trouble--trouble he soon finds he can't control.


Roger Corman


Charles Beaumont (screenplay), Charles Beaumont (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Shatner ... Adam Cramer
Frank Maxwell ... Tom McDaniel
Beverly Lunsford Beverly Lunsford ... Ella McDaniel
Robert Emhardt ... Verne Shipman
Leo Gordon ... Sam Griffin
Charles Barnes Charles Barnes ... Joey Greene
Charles Beaumont Charles Beaumont ... Mr. Paton
Katherine Smith Katherine Smith ... Ruth McDaniel
George Clayton Johnson ... Phil West
William F. Nolan William F. Nolan ... Bart Carey (as William Nolan)
Phoebe Rowe Phoebe Rowe ... Mrs. Lambert
Bo Dodd Bo Dodd ... Sheriff
Walter Kurtz Walter Kurtz ... Gramps
Oceo Ritch Oceo Ritch ... Jack Allardyce (as O.C. Ritch)
Jeanne Cooper ... Vi Griffin


A man in a gleaming white suit comes to a small Southern town on the eve of integration. His name is Adam Cramer. He calls himself a social reformer. But his aim is to incite the people against letting black children into the town's white school. Soon he has the white citizens of the town worked up. He thinks he's leading them; but a man he befriends and immediately betrays knows better. The people have become a mob. The black leader of a church and a white newspaper editor soon feel its wrath. But after a false accusation against a black student, Adam Cramer may find the people are totally and permanently out of his control. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Fed Their Fears And Turned Neighbor Against Neighbor!



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

17 January 1963 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

I Hate Your Guts! See more »

Filming Locations:

Charleston, Missouri, USA See more »


Box Office


$90,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roger Corman Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After William Shatner performed Cramer's big racist speech on the courthouse steps, a local newspaper man told him that a tree in the courthouse yard had been used for lynchings.

[source: William Shatner/Roger Corman interview in the DVD's Special Features] See more »


When Adam turns off the light in Vi's room, the "night light" that is supposed to counterbalance it goes on a little too early. See more »


[first lines]
Adam Cramer: [to the little girl he helps out of the bus] There you go... Ma'am.
Little Girl's Mother: Thank you... What do you say to the nice gentleman?
See more »


Featured in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

The American Civil War Continues
23 October 2007 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

With 100 times the budget ($80K) of Roger Corman's The Intruder, lesser directors have created thousands of films with less than a hundredth of the intelligence, sensitivity, entertainment-value and raw power of this film. Charles Beaumont, the unfortunately short-lived author and screen-writer, was contracted to produce a screenplay from his novel (and appeared in the film as the beleaguered but morally just principal of a newly integrated school), a young but accomplished William Shatner was hired, and a few veteran character actors were brought on board. Most of the actors and crew were locals who, according to Corman, didn't know very much about what they were getting into. The rest is legend.

Corman indulged in a form of guerilla film-making to make a statement that he felt needed to be made. Corman, the cast and the crew were thrown out of two locations, worked under constant threat of physical violence, and wrapped this lean, tight, morality play in a grand total of three weeks. Most of the cast had literally NO acting experience. Does it show? Occasionally - but in the end the odd representations of some of the extras in the mob only adds to the film's realism.

The Intruder is a story which examines the ease with which a charismatic leader with a pernicious all-consuming hunger for power can exploit fear to rally otherwise normal people into irrationality, violence and hatred. William Shatner stars as Adam Cramer, a northern hate-monger who has just arrived in the small southern town of Caxton to sow the seeds of racial violence just as the town has begun to integrate its schools in compliance with federal law. Cramer preaches non-violent resistance, but is unwilling to stand in the way when his followers escalate the issue in their own way. His powerful and dramatic speaking ability and his cunning turn most of the town's white minority against their black neighbors, culminating in his orchestration of a vicious frame-up of an innocent student.

Cramer is, in one way or another, behind almost everything that happens in this film. Yet the film does not permit facile scape-goating of this single sociopath. Rather, it indicts ignorance in general, and racism, hatred and intolerance much more specifically. Amazingly, it does so without exploiting stereotypes of southerners, yankees, blacks, whites, or anybody else. The Intruder deals with its subjects without reducing them to anything that could be wholly represented or analyzed in the hour and half of intense drama the film gives us. Instead, the Intruder leaves its subjects wide-open and raw. If you view this film about once every 6 months, you might just take something different away from it each time.

I do not believe the rumor that Roger Corman has ever, in any way, suggested that William Shatner's performance destroyed this film's box office potential. In interviews, Corman has consistently given Shatner a great deal of praise for his award-winning portrayal of evil incarnate. And rightly so. Shatner is nothing short of incredible in this film. He clearly dedicated everything he had to this film, and it shows. Other noteworthy performances are given by Frank Maxwell, Robert Emhardt and Charles Barnes.

The film is pristinely directed - lean and economically edited, even for Corman. The cinematography is straightforward and clean. And the locations are entirely appropriate - another Corman trademark.

Possibly the best truly low-budget film I have ever seen. Would-be film-makers, even some established big-budget purveyors of modern junk-food-film should learn a great deal from a careful study of the Intruder.

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