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Tall Lie, The
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A student who refuses to kill a dog as part of his Hell Night fraternity initiation is later hounded to his death, prompting college professor Paul Henreid to push for reforms. Henreid also produced and directed this hard-hitting expose on college hazing, which features early performances from Russell (Gilligan's Island) Johnson and Vera (Psycho) Miles.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.25 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Director : Paul Henreid
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 33 minutes
- Release date : January 13, 2015
- Actors : Paul Henreid, Robert Sherman, Russell Johnson, Margaret Field, Kathleen Hughes
- Studio : Kit Parker Films
- ASIN : B00OHLR53S
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #79,476 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Most of the college-set films I have seen from the 1940's and early 1950's tend to be either musicals or funny "hi-jinks" satires. In comparison, THE TALL LIE/FOR MEN ONLY is deadly serious. Director Paul Henried plays a crusading professor who investigates the scandal. His path is complicated at every turn by an administration that wants to look the other way, and by an attractive coed who has designs on him.
Films released near the end of the 1950's would explore more tawdry scholastic situations, such as TEA AND SYMPATHY, THE STRANGE ONE, and even Roger Corman's SORORITY GIRL. Paul Heinried's THE TALL LIE seems far ahead of its time, coming in 1952 (which means it was actually filmed in 1951). Heinried had previously directed the women-in-prison film SO YOUNG, SO BAD. As a director, he never shied away from tackling difficult issues. The death of the puppy isn't actually shown, but it remains shocking.
THE TALL LIE isn't a masterpiece, but it is a surprisingly valid expose. Kudos to VCI for releasing this thought-to-be-lost motion picture.
This interesting and entertaining drama deals with college fraternities and their hazing practices. Apparently, back when the picture was made, hazing was being blamed for a number of deaths on college campuses around the United States, and THE TALL LIE was meant to expose these practices.
Henreid also stars in the movie, playing a respected college professor who takes on a fraternity that has inadvertently caused the death of one of his prize students. The young man had refused to kill a dog during a “Hell Night” initiation and, ever since, the fraternity members had been going after him; sullying his reputation and trying to drive him out of school. Once Henreid takes up the fight, the fraternity turns on him also.
The movie introduces several performers who would become well known to audiences in the future. They include Russell Johnson (GILLIGAN'S ISLAND), actresses Vera Miles (PSYCHO) and my friend and former publicity client, Kathleen Hughes (IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE), who was later publicized as “Universal Pictures’ answer to Marilyn Monroe”. Indeed, Kathy’s resemblance to MM is quite remarkable.
Also in the cast, playing Henreid’s wife, is Margaret Field, actress Sally Field’s mother.
THE TALL LIE is available on DVD from VCI Entertainment.
© Michael B. Druxman