IMDb > Cipher in the Snow (1974)

Cipher in the Snow (1974) More at IMDbPro »


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Carol Lynn Pearson (screenplay)
Jean Mizer (story)
View company contact information for Cipher in the Snow on IMDbPro.
Asking to leave a school bus, Cliff, a young teenager, collapses and dies in the snow near the roadside... See more » | Add synopsis »
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It molded me; along w/ a mystery short where juvi hoods rip up a poetry book! See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Keith J. Atkinson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean Mizer  story
Carol Lynn Pearson  screenplay

Produced by
Douglas G. Johnson .... associate producer
Judge Whitaker .... producer (as Wetzel O. Whitaker)
Cinematography by
Reed Smoot 
Ted Van Horn 
W. Grant Williams  (as Grant Williams)
Film Editing by
Peter G. Czerny 
Casting by
Paul Sharp 
Art Direction by
Douglas G. Johnson 
Art Department
Jerome Brad Halgren .... props
Gordon Thibault .... set construction
Sound Department
Stephen R.E. Aubery .... sound mixer
Sharrol Felt .... sound
Donald W. Fisk .... sound
Jerry Wickard .... sound
Editorial Department
Dennis Lisonbee .... music editor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:21 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Field Is White (2002) (V)See more »


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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
It molded me; along w/ a mystery short where juvi hoods rip up a poetry book!, 21 July 2008
Author: Lesha Holland ( from Sham Diego, California

Wow; You could'a knocked me over with a feather when I stumbled across this listing--This site never ceases to amaze me!

I, too, was profoundly affected upon first viewing this obscure (or so I thought) short subject. I don't remember the year, just that I was attending a "progressive" elementary school (Murdock, La Mesa/Spring Valley, CA). I'm 40 years old now, and like the other "comment-ers" I still think back to this one every now and again; I've even gone so far as to ask several of my film-dork friends over the years about it, to no avail.

Perhaps one of you "Cipher" fans can help me unearth details on another educational short from roughly the same period. Sadly, the title must've been stored in one of the many brain cells i've subsequently destroyed, but here's what I remember:

I guess that the overriding theme of the film is "group-think" and/or the evils of juvenile-onset Sociopathy: We meet a kindly, committed male educator; His favorite thing, other than helping to mold young minds, is his first-edition, autographed (i think) collection of e.e. cummings poetry. Through a series of events I no longer remember (could it have been some sort of 'initiation'?) a small group of his students break in or something and end up tearing up this Prized Possession... All flippancy aside, I really do look back on this as the first introduction to the concept of empathy.

Can anyone help me to identify the film? PLEASE respond here, or by e-mail, as i can't figure out how to join in any reindeer-messageboard-games!

2012 UPDATE: "The Boy Who Liked Deer" was its name!!! Thank you so much for e-mailing me the title of the lost short I just described, 2 different people whose names I forget! You've made it possible for me to find it on You Tube and add it to my YT page/playlists. Thank you!

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