In this short film from 1955, a high school teacher in Kansas is wrongly accused of being a communist. Despite the fact that he’s a Methodist Sunday School teacher, he made the mistake of assigning a book that was included on a list of subversive literature and, as a result, the entire town is turning against him! While this short film might not win any points for subtlety (or good acting), it is an effective look at paranoia and how rumors get started. I especially liked the shot of the spinning phone.
So, why am I sharing this in October? Because this film was directed by Herk Harvey. In the 50s and 60s, Harvey directed a countless number of short films. Some of them were educational. Some of them were industrial. Some of them, like this one, were specifically made to be shown to civic groups. However, horror fans will always know Harvery as the director of one of the most important horror films ever made, Carnival of Souls!
I’ll be sharing Carnival of Souls later this week. For now, enjoy The Sound of a Stone!