18 user 9 critic

Tall Story (1960)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Sport | 6 April 1960 (USA)
A young insecure college sportsman is in trouble. He wants to marry his very straightforward girlfriend, also a student, but has no money. When he is offered a bribe to fix a game, he is torn even more about the matter.


Joshua Logan


Julius J. Epstein (screenplay), Howard Lindsay (stage play) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Anthony Perkins ... Ray Blent
Jane Fonda ... June Ryder
Ray Walston ... Prof. Leo Sullivan
Marc Connelly ... Prof. Charles Osman
Anne Jackson ... Myra Sullivan
Murray Hamilton ... Coach Sandy Hardy
Bob Wright Bob Wright ... President Harmon Nagel
Bart Burns ... District Attorney Davis
Karl Lukas ... 1st Detective
Elizabeth Patterson ... Connie
Tom Laughlin ... Fred Jensen
Barbara Darrow ... Frieda Jensen


June Ryder is a new student at Custer College, which is most renowned for its boys basketball team, although it also has a high academic standing that can rival that of any of the more famous colleges on the west coast. June's reason for being there: to become a "Mrs.", most specifically Mrs. Ray Blent, he a science major and the star player on the basketball team. Ray is not naturally gifted as a basketball player, but uses science to be able to figure out how to play the perfect game. Ray's interest in basketball is just a byproduct of his primary interest in the sciences and learning in general. June doesn't care who knows what she's doing except Ray. All of June's activities at the college are in this singular goal, which first entails Ray even noticing her and knowing who she is. She discovers that the way to do it is not through the traditional means of the beauty parlor or the kitchen, but rather the classroom. Three people who do know what June is up to are new Ethics ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He makes the great ones! Sayonara! Bus Stop! Picnic! South Pacific! See more »


Comedy | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The first of five films (not counting documentaries) in which Robert Redford and Jane Fonda were cast together as actors, although in this film, differently from the other four films, Redford was uncredited and Fonda received star billing. See more »


The flag in the Custer College gymnasium has 48 stars. See more »


Reporter Jenkins: [Visiting the team during practice] Sandy was telling me you've got a scientific approach to shooting baskets. My readers would like to hear about that.
Ray Blent: Well, uh, it's just a system... which involves a combination of the energy of the throw... to the incidence of concussion... against the backboard.
Ray Blent: [calls to another player] Don, give me that ball, will you?
Ray Blent: [Demonstrates his "scientific" approach by taking a shot at the basket... and misses]
See more »


References North by Northwest (1959) See more »


Song of the Volga Boatmen
[Sung with added lyrics as the bonfire is being prepared]
See more »

User Reviews

A pleasant anachronism
7 October 2017 | by AnnieLolaSee all my reviews

I was surprised to see that the play on which this is based is from 1959 and not 1939; it has so much of the flavor of 30s college flicks. Just imagine it with a cast from a quarter-century earlier and it makes for a more comfortable fit. Who would you cast in the principal roles? The contemporary young 30s actors to play Tall Naive Guys could be say, Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, even musical comedy hoofers such as Ray Bolger or Buddy Ebsen for a different flavor. For the go-getter girl June (who needn't be tall) the possibilities are broader. Ginger Rogers? Early Betty Grable or Lucille Ball? Toby Wing? One could amass quite a list of potential Junes...

Let me confess that I didn't get to see this all the way through, but from what I saw I found it rather weird to find all these young people existing in a 1960 world devoid of young peoples' music, i.e. rock 'n' roll, doo-wop etc. When the couples are out spooning under the moon they're even singing "Cuddle Up A Little Closer, Lovey Mine", published in 1908 (the same year the director, Joshua Logan, was born). Granted this song had been revived to considerable success in the 40s during wartime and was still popular in the 50s, but it just didn't seem credible to me.

However, once one accepts that "Tall Story" is set in a time and place all its own it's a perfectly enjoyable trifle. Perkins is likably boyish, callow and gawky, and a trifle awkward to be convincing as an athlete, but one can swallow that with the rest of it-- remember, Willing Suspension of Disbelief. So we can buy Fonda's character being so besotted with the guy and pulling every string to land him. She of course is a thorough charmer, which is fun to watch from the perspective of the present day, looking back on her life and career.

This is a quite watchable piece of filmmaking, and a definite curiosity. Just put your brain in neutral and let it roll by.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Russian | Yiddish

Release Date:

6 April 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Way the Ball Bounces See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mansfield Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed