Many locals were cast as extras, but none were destined for stardom; their “authentic” faces appear hostile and grotesque in the stark lighting of ace cinematographer Robert Surtees, a three-time Oscar winner whose impressive later credits would include “Ben-Hur,” “The Graduate” and “The Last Picture Show.”
Of course, Oxford now embraces its connection to the movie. On Oct. 2, 2009, a 60th-anniversary screening of “Intruder in the Dust” took place at the Lyric. Claude Jarman Jr., the film’s Nashville-born star (discovered by Hollywood for “The Yearling”), attended.
“Intruder in the Dust” was directed by MGM stalwart Clarence Brown, a perhaps unlikely choice for such gritty material: He was better known for his work with the studio’s most glamorous beauties, including Greta Garbo (“Anna