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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Fifty years ago, Hollywood came to Southeast Missouri

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blair Moran, pictured left in this screen capture from "The Intruder" with a young William Shatner, was among the local residents cast in supporting roles for the movie shot on location in Southeast Missouri. It was released for the first time in 1962.
SIKESTON -- Before William Shatner explored the universe as Captain Kirk, he stirred up racial hatred as "The Intruder."

Directed by Roger Corman, "The Intruder" was shot about 50 years ago in black-and-white over a three-week period on location in Southeast Missouri on a $80,000 budget.

One of the reasons Corman was able to do the movie so cheaply was that only a handful of professional actors were hired with locals filling out the cast.

Blair Moran of Sikeston landed a speaking role in one of the movie's early scenes alongside two of the stars -- Shatner, as racist Adam Cramer, and Beverly Lunsford, who played a high-school girl seduced by Cramer and later convinced by him to falsely accuse a black teenager of attempted rape.

"Most of it was filmed in Charleston, some in Sikeston and there were scenes in East Prairie," Moran said. "This was at the start of the civil rights movement when that movie was made. It was so racial they wouldn't play it in Charleston."

The story takes place in the fictional deep-south town of Caxton. Cramer arrives on a bus and introduces himself around town as a "social reformer" but soon reveals his real agenda: to rally the town against the recently court-ordered school integration.

Moran plays a boy having a soda at the counter in a diner not long after Cramer arrives.

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