A girl known for spinning fanciful stories witnesses a murder outside of her schoolroom window. Because of her reputation, no one believes her. What's worse, she realizes that the murderer saw her watching.

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(teleplay) (as Milton Gelman), (novel)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Host
Robin Morgan ...
Sarah Gross
Mary Jackson ...
Mrs. Gross
...
The Tall Dark Man
Joseph Latham ...
Mr. Grayson (as Joe Latham)
Al Checco ...
Smith
...
Miss Milford
Charles Gaines ...
Mr. Mulligan
Margaretta Warwick ...
Miss Everett
Anita Bayless ...
Miss Appleby
Ben Yaffee ...
Mr. Gross
Truman Smith ...
Rowland Rath
Billy Buckley ...
Walter
Sandy Horn ...
Rosalind
Denise Alexander ...
Jeannie
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Storyline

A girl known for spinning fanciful stories witnesses a murder outside of her schoolroom window. Because of her reputation, no one believes her. What's worse, she realizes that the murderer saw her watching.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

25 April 1955 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Connections

References The Jack Benny Program (1950) See more »

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Spine-chilling TV suspense--57 years ago!
27 August 2012 | by (New York City, USA) – See all my reviews

How strange it is that of the movies and TV shows I saw in my childhood (the 1950s), the ones I remember the most vividly are the musicals and the scary ones. Among the latter, I've never forgotten "The Tall Dark Man", a presentation of the 60-minute "Robert Montgomery Presents" anthology series. It gave me nightmares for weeks, and I still recall scenes from it and the reason why I watched it. "I Remember Mama" was one of my and my older sister's favorite shows of that era, and we especially liked the child actress Robin Morgan who played the youngest child of that Norwegian-American family. She must have been the reason why we tuned into "Robert Montgomery Presents" that night, and our parents must have been away that evening (leaving us with our grandmother) or they most certainly would have shut off the TV had they known what kind of program we were watching (heck, I still hadn't forgiven them for not allowing me to see Marilyn Monroe in "Niagara" 3 years earlier; yes, the previews for "Niagara" were indeed lurid but then so was the ahead-of-its-time movie!). Anyway, in "The Tall Dark Man" young Ms. Morgan portrayed (and quite convincingly, too) a grade school youngster ridiculed by her classmates for constantly spinning wild stories from her overactive imagination. One day, she dozes off during a boring class, and when she wakes up, she peers out the window next to her desk and sees in the distance a murder being committed by a "tall dark man". Naturally, her teacher and students don't believe a word she says and--though I can't recall the plotting at this point (probably she forgot something when school is out and goes back into the now darkened building to retrieve it) finds herself locked into the school along with the murderer who had seen her spying on him when he committed the murder. His homicidal pursuit of the terrified girl, through corridors and empty classrooms plunged into darkness, was the most frightening thing I'd ever seen in my young life, and while my sister urged me to turn off the TV, I persisted in watching the program to the bitter end if only to see whether the poor girl survived this nerve-shattering ordeal. 20-plus years later, when I was similarly scared out of my wits when I saw the now-classic "Halloween", that film evoked memories of "The Tall Dark Man" and I figured its writer/director John Carpenter must have also been inspired by this now-forgotten TV program of so many years back. With Hollywood currently losing millions by unnecessarily making lousy remakes of movies barely 20 years old, why doesn't some young talented filmmaker scour the archives and do a feature-length theatrical-film version of "The Tall Dark Man"? Without any gore, please. The original was terrifying enough without one drop of blood. One more question: I don't recall whether this program was telecast live or was taped. Even if it was "live", a kinescope might well still be in existence. Does anyone know where I might find a copy of it? Many thanks!


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