The Intruder

William Shatner having uncanny intimations of the Vulcan salute in The Intruder (dir. Roger Corman, 1962).

William Shatner gets through his performance as Adam Cramer, a racist agitator who tries to stir up unrest over integration in a small southern town, without lapsing into Shatnerian histrionics once. Instead, he lapses into it about three times. Still, that's pretty good! He's really pretty good! The whole movie is pretty good. It was filmed on the lowest of budgets, using only a small handful of professional actors: the rest were actual townspeople, many of whom had no idea what kind of movie they were appearing in, and who might have helped the angry mob scenes turn real if they found out. Roger Corman took the first financial loss (only a slight one) of his career with this film, but didn't regret it a bit--it was a labor of love, and it deserves to be seen, as dated and stagey as some of its dramatic elements now seem.

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