A college professor begins to suspect that a student's accidental death was tied to his refusal to take part in a traditional "hazing" and was no accident.



(story) (as Herbert Margolis), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Dr. Stephen Brice
Tracy Norman
Ky Walker
Robert Sherman ...
Tod Palmer
Margaret Field ...
Julie Brice
James Dobson ...
Bartholomew 'Beanie' Brown
Douglas Kennedy ...
Dean Oliver Harland Mayberry
Robert Carson ...
Detective Jesse Hopkins
Virginia Mullen ...
Mrs. Palmer
Prof. Bixby
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
A. Cameron Grant ...
Prof. Edwards


A college professor begins to suspect that a student's accidental death was tied to his refusal to take part in a traditional "hazing" and was no accident.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

professor | death | college | hazing | puppy | See All (8) »


KISS by KISS...It's today's most shocking scandal! See more »




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Release Date:

11 January 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tall Lie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Russell Johnson. See more »

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User Reviews

college hazing in the 50s is the least of many issues
18 December 2001 | by (Santa Cruz,CA) – See all my reviews

Paul Heinreid was moved enough by this script and recent college deaths due to hazing that he produced, starred and directed this B picture. It's surprisingly good, not only for the snapshot of the early 50s, but also for some of the supporting players. This film introduced a gorgeous Vera Miles in her first big role(The Searchers,Psycho and tons of tv work came later) - also Russell Johnson, later in This Island Earth and Gilligan's Island, practicing his sneer. Robert Johnson also debuts, altho he had better claim to fame as a writer for classic tv like Rawhide, The Invaders, Kung Fu and MacGuyver among many others. (I had to look that up here, but I recognize the face). For its time, this was a fairly advanced social picture when the genre wasn't doing well against monsters, Westerns and the 50s gimmicks of 3-D, Cinemascope and the like. It even manages to sneak in some anti-Semitism and homoerotic tension during some of the college "boys" hazing(back when "boys" were in their 20s). Johnson is particularly interested in a hairy,wet barechested Sherman during opening credits, proving to be a sadist in the making thruout. However, Heinreid is clearly 'the star', trying to ease his accent into the dream of 50s suburbia, with a wife in pleated skirts, slippers and martinis. His trademark staring into the corner of the room with honor and morality (aka Casablanca, Now Voyager,etc.)comes into play thruout. In the plot, a young man going thru a grueling hazing balks at the last step, which involves a horrible cruelty to an animal. For this, he is hounded out of school and to his death. Heinreid, the good chemistry professor, finds out the death wasn't accidental and starts digging, unearthing more than his marriage or social position can shoulder. I saw this once on 16MM ,remember many key scenes and would recommend a viewing to recall how much the 50s were hiding and what they couldn't hide. Three and a half to four stars of five. - MDM

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