Intruder in the Dust (1949)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama


Intruder in the Dust (1949) Poster

In 1940s Mississippi, two teenage boys and an elderly woman combine forces to prevent a miscarriage of justice and clear a black man of a murder charge.


7.6/10
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  • Intruder in the Dust (1949)
  • Intruder in the Dust (1949)
  • Will Geer and Porter Hall in Intruder in the Dust (1949)
  • Intruder in the Dust (1949)
  • Intruder in the Dust (1949)

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19 May 2006 | melbjr
8
| INTRUDER IN THE DUST captures Faulkner at his best.
As a fan of Wm. Faulkner since college, I was especially pleased to see Intruder In the Dust and for other reasons. My grandfather, also named Clarence Brown as was the director, grew up in the Oxford area having been born near there in 1888. We attended a week long family reunion at Oxford in July, 1964 a mere 15 years after filming the movie. It still looked mostly like it does in the film but was going thru a period of civil rights upheaval then as the site of Ole Miss. My recollection is of its being a nice little college town that summer but I was just an 18 year old college sophomore and white. I was just then beginning to see the injustice of segregation and prejudice but still had a long way to go. Anyhow, the movie is well worth watching but the filmmakers must have had to walk a tight rope to get it done there and I would love to know more about that story.

Now days, Oxford is a larger, more modern college town with all the ills that go along with such things and I hope to return again to see how it must have changed socially in the last 40 plus years. Juano Hernandez should certainly have been nominated for an Oscar that year but Hollywood was still to bigoted itself to let that happen. Other Faulkner stories have been filmed so look for them and compare. One of the best was a PBS treatment of The Barn Burner from about 1985 or so starring Tommy Lee Jones. It really captured the intensity of rural Southern whites that Faulkner wrote so incisively about so often.

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