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directed by Clarence Brown
USA 1949

 

A brilliantly accomplished "racial bias" cycle film of the 1940s. The earnest "social justice" melodrama is one of the best of that genre. It's adapted by writer Ben Maddow from a book by William Faulkner. It's set in a rural southern city (most of it shot in Faulkner's hometown of Oxford, Mississippi). This amazingly uncanny early reaction to southern racism is told in a lucid and straightforward manner; it avoids clichés in its subtle presentation of its miscarriage of justice theme. Under the steadying helm of Clarence Brown, a southerner, the familiar narrative is given a fresh face. Brown's low-key direction tastefully covers a series of ugly events that pits a white mob incited to lynch an innocent black man.

Lucas Beauchamp (Juano Hernandez) plays an "uppity" black landowner, resented by many of the racist white locals for refusing to act like a subjected black, who is arrested for shooting a white man in his back. Lucas asks white teenager Chick Mallison (Claude Jarman, Jr.), someone he befriended over a hunting adventure on his property, to get his uncle, the lawyer John Gavin Stevens (David Brian), to take the case. The lawyer's job is made even more difficult by Lucas acting in a "stubborn and insufferable" way by not telling him all that happened and the murder victim's twin brother Crawford Gowrie (Charles Kemper) inciting the mob gathering in front of the jailhouse to lynch the black man.

Excerpt of review from Dennis Schwartz for Ozus' World Movie Reviews located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 10 October 1949 (Oxford, Mississippi)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:51
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 25

 

Comments

An overlooked classic based on William Faulkner novel, Intruder in the Dust was released before its time. The film had the first mainstream role for a 48-year-old Juano Hernandez (Stars in My Crown, The Breaking Point), for which he nominated for a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer despite having small roles in Oscar Micheaux productions since 1932. The film reunites Claude Jarman Jr. with The Yearling director Clarence Brown and also stars David Brian (The Damned Don't Cry) and Elizabeth Patterson, remembered to many as Mrs. Trumbull in I Love Lucy. There are some parallels with Robert Mulligan's To Kill a Mockingbird () released 13 years later, making this film ahead of its time.

The remastered transfer from Warner Archive on this made-on-demand disc looks excellent most of the time. There are some specs, but they are minimal. The contrast is good and even the night scenes look good. The mono soundtrack is decent. There are no extras and even this theatrical trailer is not included. Despite the lack of extras, we still highly recommend this release.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menu
 

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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