The Outsider. 1961. USA. Directed by Delbert Mann. Screenplay by Stewart Stern. With Tony Curtis, James Franciscus, Bruce Bennett. 35mm. 108 min.
Directed by Delbert Mann (Marty) and written by Stewart Stern (Rebel without a Cause), The Outsider was Hollywood’s first attempt to tell the story of Ira Hayes, an Akimel O’odham Native American who joined the US Marines during World War II and was one of the six men seen in Joe Rosenthal’s instantly iconic photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. Equipped with an unfortunate prosthetic nose, Curtis puts his own outsider energy into his portrayal of Hayes in what was, for its time, a daringly revisionist look at recent American history. Beset by PSTD and alcoholism, Hayes returns to a postwar world where racism remains in force.