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Racial Violence In 'The Intruder' At BAMcinématek's Cinema Of The Civil Rights Movement

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by Tambay A. Obenson
August 13, 2013 2:03 PM
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Starting today, Tuesday, August 13 through Wednesday, August 28BAMcinématek presents A Time for Burning: Cinema of the Civil Rights Movement, a 40-film series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, culled from 28 private film and television archives, collectors, studios, and the New York Public Library.

I highlighted the series' opening night film, promising to highlight a few others of note. 

Here's another memorable film from the lineup.

Known primarily at the time as a B-movie maestro, Roger Corman took a rather serious look at racial integration in the South, in a film that starred a very young William Shatner, early in his career, years before Star Trek fame.

The film, titled The Intruder (also known as Shame, and I Hate Your Guts!), released in 1962, was a critical darling, winning an award at the Venice Film Festival; but it's also notorious for being Corman's first commercial flop, thanks in large part to its controversial subject matter. It especially wasn't embraced in the southern USA, where the racism that the film attacked was still quite prominent at the time of its release.

It was later released in Europe where it fared better than in the US (no surprise there), and thanks to its international success, and eventual home video release years later, the film can now claim profitability.

However, it's worth noting that its lackluster box office disappointed and deterred Corman from making similar overt *message* movies. So, who knows, if it had done well, Corman's career may have taken an entirely different path altogether... or maybe not.

The story centers around "the machinations of a racist named Adam Cramer (portrayed by Shatner), who arrives in the fictitious small southern town of Caxton in order to incite townspeople to racial violence against the town's Black minority and court-ordered school integration."

It'll screen on Tuesday, August 20, at 9:30pm, as part of BAMcinématek's A Time for Burning: Cinema of the Civil Rights Movement.

Ticket information HERE.

Below, watch this great 10-minute video which features Corman and Shatner, as both gentlemen remember The Intruder, recalling its production, distribution, and shelf life. It's absolutely worth watching/listening to:

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