The Intruder (1962)

the intruder poster 1962 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice looking, underseen picture

Lack of resolution is frustrating but also unnerving

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Intruder

Studio:  Pathe-American Distribution Co.

Genre(s):  Drama/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  May 14, 1962

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Just a nice friendly drive with my friends…um…yeah…

Adam Cramer (William Shatner) comes to Caxton on the eve of school integration to rouse the people to fight back. As the people begin to take sides, Tom McDaniel (Frank Maxwell) realizes to his surprise that he is for integration despite his teenage daughter Ella (Beverly Lunsford) attending class with the African-American students and objections from his wife (Katherine Smith).  Cramer tries to incite riot but also makes his moves on the wife (Jeanne Cooper) of his next door neighbor Sam Griffin (Leo Gordon). When the anger begins to boil over, Cramer has to make some desperate attempts to gain the power he seeks.


Sure, I’ll go alone into a room with you…what could happen?

Directed by Roger Corman, The Intruder was also known as Shame, The Stranger, and (my personal favorite) I Hate Your Guts!  It was met with so-so reviews but has since become a cult classic partially due to William Shatner’s involvement. The Intruder is also one of the few Corman films that didn’t make a profit.

The movie is rather surprising challenging for when it was made. As the filmmakers were making the film, they faced opposition from the southern towns where they were shooting when people learned about the plot. The idea of doing a low-budget movie on the evil of racism seems a strange choice, and Corman was disappointed when the movie didn’t really succeed since he really tried with it. He put some blame on William Shatner, but I feel Shatner does play a sufficient slimy character. I rather think that people didn’t want to go see a movie about issues that they face every day (and might want to forget).


I pledge I will be the biggest jerk in this town!

Corman is always known for his low-budget approach, but he does have a skill at making a movie look good. He knows what shots are interesting and he does it here. The movie today might seem a bit “after-school special” (ok, it is a bit dirtier than that), but the shooting quality is much better.

What is odd is that in reality, no one in the film is very likable. Shatner obviously is the most hated character in the film, but even his opposing character McDaniel admits that he doesn’t believe in integration (until a minister is killed and he sees the evil of everyone around him). His daughter is willing to sell out a poor kid to protect her father and only comes forward after Griffin forces her. Griffin himself is a jerk to his wife and really just wants to nail Cramer for driving her off rather than help the African-American characters. In the end, no one pays for the minister’s death, the beating of McDaniel, and everyone just seems to walk away shaking their heads saying “that was crazy”…no one is held accountable for except Cramer. It is a bit easy and a bit scary.


Hey guys, lets let this kid go and all go home…we’ll laugh about this tomorrow.

The Intruder is an interesting period piece. I admire that it was made and I like its style. I wish the film had a bit more substance and a bit more resolution. There is a bit of an unsettling nature about it and despite being a “real world” movie, it does have a sense of The Twilight Zone for what its author Charles Beaumont was well known. Corman might get a bit of a bad rep for just pumping out films, but you can tell he tried in this one.  If you want some more backstory on the movie check out his documentary Corman’s World:  Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel which has some interesting stories about its making.  If you’ve never seen The Intruder, I recommend checking it out.


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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