Intruder in the Dust (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

Intruder in the Dust (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Intruder in the Dust is one of the best of Hollywood's postwar "racial tolerance" cycle--a cycle that would come to an abrupt end in the politically paranoid 1950s. Based on a novel by William Faulkner, the film takes place in a small Mississippi town (it was filmed on location in and around Oxford, MS). Juano Hernandez plays an African-American landowner who is arrested on a murder charge. Resentful of Hernandez' industriousness, the white townsfolk are eager to see him hang. David Brian, the attorney uncle of a young white boy (Claude Jarman Jr.) who has befriended Hernandez, agrees to take the accused man's case. His job is complicated by the lynch-mob mentality fomented by the dead man's brother (Charles Kemper) and Hernandez' refusal to reveal the name of the man he suspects as the killer. The hostile atmosphere reaches a fever pitch, but justice is ultimately served. Intruder in the Dust stands out among other films of its period with its refusal to stoop to any form of condescension towards its black characters or to rationalize the behavior of the bigots. Though produced by MGM, the film wisely displays none of that studio's patented glossiness, opting instead for a dusty, sun-scorched, fleabitten veneer that enhances the film's basic realism.

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Juano Hernandez
as Lucas Beauchamp
David Brian
as John Gavin Stevens
Claude Jarman Jr.
as Chick Mallison
Porter Hall
as Nub Gowrie
Elizabeth Patterson
as Miss Habersham
Charles Kemper
as Crawford Gowrie
Will Geer
as Sheriff Hampton
David Clarke
as Vinson Gowrie
Lela Bliss
as Mrs. Mallison
Harry Hayden
as Mr. Mallison
Harry Antrim
as Mr. Tubbs
Dan White
as Will Legate
R.X. Williams
as Mr. Lilley
Edmund Lowe
as The Gowrie Twin
Ephraim Lowe
as The Gowrie Twin
Julia S. Marshbanks
as Molly Beauchamp
Jack Odom
as Truck Driver
John Chapin Morgan
as Black Convict
James Kirkwood
as Black Convict
Ben Hilbun
as Attendant
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Critic Reviews for Intruder in the Dust

All Critics (7)

Intruder in the Dust is a dynamic move, one of the most sincere ever to be mode in Hollywood.

October 30, 2019 | Full Review…

Powerhouse mix of racial drama and mystery, vividly shot on location in Mississippi.

August 2, 2013 | Full Review…

Paula Deen apologists, take note: This MGM adaptation of Faulkner's novel demonstrates that the N-word was recognized as ugly and hurtful even in 1949 -- even in Mississippi, where it certainly was heard with some frequency.

July 12, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Denis' film -- which may be her most intricately constructed and intensely beautiful to date -- is one that transcends words and stories, a movie to be felt rather than rationalized.

March 16, 2006 | Full Review…

A brilliantly accomplished "racial bias" cycle film of the 1940s.

February 5, 2005 | Rating: A | Full Review…

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