5.2/10
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34 user 33 critic

The Klansman (1974)

A local Sheriff tries to keep the peace as racial strife hits his small Alabama town as tensions boil over when a black man is accused of raping a white woman.

Director:

Terence Young

Writers:

William Bradford Huie (novel), Millard Kaufman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Marvin ... Sheriff Track Bascomb
Richard Burton ... Breck Stancill
Cameron Mitchell ... Butt Cutt Cates
O.J. Simpson ... Garth
Lola Falana ... Loretta Sykes
David Huddleston ... Mayor Hardy Riddle
Luciana Paluzzi ... Trixie
Linda Evans ... Nancy Poteet
Ed Call Ed Call ... Shaneyfelt
John Alderson John Alderson ... Vernon Hodo
John Pearce John Pearce ... Taggart
David Ladd ... Flagg
Vic Perrin Vic Perrin ... Hector
Spence Wil-Dee Spence Wil-Dee ... Willy Washington
Wendell Wellman ... Alan Bascomb
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Storyline

A small southern town has just been rocked by a tragedy: a young woman has been violently raped. The white town fathers immediately declare that the attacker had to be black, and place the blame on Garth, a young black man. Assuming that the men in white sheets aren't intent on holding a fair and impartial trial, Garth takes to the woods as the Klansmen lynching party hunts him down. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to scenic Atoka County. Pop 10,000. Cross burnings. Rape. Murder. Arson. Its a great place to live...... if THEY let you.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel Fuller submitted a screenplay that was almost completely different from what was filmed. Among other things, the Lee Marvin character was not a sheriff, but a KKK leader whose racist viewpoint is completely changed around. However, Paramount got nervous about the provocative nature of the screenplay and ordered it rewritten, infuriating Fuller (who left the project because of this) and Marvin (who wanted out but had already signed a contract.) See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning of the movie, Breck limps up the stairs to his front porch and one leg doesn't bend at the knee. Later, when he leaves the house to give the $200 to Nancy when he descends the same stairs both knees bend fine. See more »

Quotes

Loretta Sykes: What do you want with all your killing?
Garth: Same damn thing you want with all your marching. Only history proves my way works.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to edit the rape and castration scenes. All 15-rated UK DVD releases feature the heavily edited US TV version which completely removes these sequences as well as extensively cutting bad language and most of the violence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Terence Young: Bond Vivant (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Good Christian People
Written by Mack Rice and Bettye Crutcher
Sung by The Staple Singers
See more »

User Reviews

 
Inferior production about racism with lots of violence, rape and unpleasant issues
13 August 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Hard-edge social drama centers around racial conflicts and is one of the most strange cinematic forays in this theme. The film begins with a bill captioning : ¨Drive carefully you are in Wallace County¨. This is the tale of a sheriff (Lee Marvin) in an US Southern town and a rich owner (Richard Burton) who protects the black men. Marvin receives a huge amount of hostility from the non-tolerant white establishment making his job very hard and every around has to decide the values really lie. The Ku Klux Klan (comes from Greek, Ku Klus that means band or circle and Klan that means family) pursues and mistreats the black people and the sheriff attempting to keep peace on racial tensions. When a young woman has been violently raped (Linda Evans), the white men immediately declare the culpability an African-American named Garth (O.J.Simson). He flees to the backwoods and wishes revenge. Meanwhile the Klansmen form some lynching party hunts and pursue him. The young on the run because the violent group seek to destroy him. But the racist posse kidnaps a beautiful African-American (Lola Falana) and rape her.

This is a horrifying story of racial violence and xenophobia with countless shots of violation , burning crosses and frequent bad taste. Unfortunately, this is another example of a serious movie about xenophobia and racism in which white roles predominate and African-American characters provide background. Terence Young treads a brutal, gory path in this low-powered look at warped , evil white inhabitants of an American town , and the comparatively clean role played by Richard Burton. Big-name cast is wasted as Cameron Mitchell,Linda Evans, Luciana Paluzzi, David Huddleston as the Mayor, they only partially shine. Rumors circulated about Lee Marvin and Richard Burton , both of whom utterly drunk during the shooting. Even the all star cast can't save this movie because is a nightime Soaper and an exploitation story. Lousy cinematography by Lloyd Ahern and Aldo Tonti, as is necessary an urgent remastering. Furthermore notorious conflicts among producers, director, screenwriters (Sam Fuller, Millard Kauffman) and actors made a real flop. Mid-budget production, and the producers would like to thank the citizens of Oroville for their enthusiastic help and cooperation in the making of the film. The picture belongs a period in which made stories is similar style concerning on racial problems , such as ¨Hurry Sundown¨(1967, by Otto Preminger with Michael Caine, John Philip Law, Jane Fonda), ¨The liberation of L.B. Jones¨(70, by William Wyler with Lee J Cobb, Roscoe Lee Browne and again Lola Falana), ¨Tick, Tick¨ (70 by Ralph Nelson with George Kennedy, Jim Brown), and the Oscarized ¨In the heat of the night¨(by Norman Jewison with Sidney Poitier). And in the 8os stands out ¨Missisipi Burning¨ (by Alan Parker with Willem Defoe and Gene Hackman). Rating : 4,5, below average.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1974 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Klansman See more »

Filming Locations:

Oroville, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Atlanta Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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