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Cipher in the Snow (1974)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama | October 1974 (USA)
Asking to leave a school bus, Cliff, a young teenager, collapses and dies in the snow near the roadside. His math teacher is asked to notify the parents and then write a short obituary. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Robert Bridges
Bruce Kimball
Jacqueline Mayo
...
Peggy, school secretary
Walter Stocker
Mary Cox
Larry Watts
Martha Henstrom
Kirk Hutchings
Ronald Jenkins ...
Bus Driver
Court LeRoy
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Storyline

Asking to leave a school bus, Cliff, a young teenager, collapses and dies in the snow near the roadside. His math teacher is asked to notify the parents and then write a short obituary. This task is difficult, for although he was Cliff's favorite teacher and had the most interaction of any at the school, he barely knew him. In unraveling the mystery of the untimely death, he finds that Cliff was shy, lonely, and ostracized, being slowly reduced to nothing, a zero (cipher). He vows to not let this happen to others. Written by Brian Greenhalgh

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Plot Keywords:

teacher | obituary | teenager | shy | bully | See All (8) »

Genres:

Short | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated

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October 1974 (USA)  »

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Trivia

CIPHER IN THE SNOW was adopted by the NEA and was used as an initiation to grade school kids in the '70s as part of the standard curriculum. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Field Is White (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cipher in the Snow, an excellent movie
4 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember being shown this movie in 4th or 5th grade in the mid 70's. I remember several in the class breaking down in tears but the reaction of some in our class was equally telling. Those were the kids that joked and actually laughed during the tragic scene in the movie. That is no lie. The movie stunned me and sickened my stomach. Exactly what the movie was trying to convey was being exhibit in real-time in front of me by some of my peers. You could say that those that laughed nervously and joked were afraid of showing their true emotion at the poignant content. For some however, they were showing their true feelings. They were the ones responsible for the harsh treatment, bullying and teasing that went on at our school. There were adults who turned their heads and ignored it. I knew well enough to stay away from the really bad ones. Years later, one of the bad seeds that I knew from that time in elementary school went on to become a convicted murderer.

Some are so hardened, even by 4th or 5th grade that they have no compassion, no soul. It is sad.......


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