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The Ring of Truth


A tortured story about a father's coercion to get his daughter to testify against her beloved in a homicide by vehicle case.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 26, 1974
  • Repeat - March 29, 1974
  • Repeat - December 16, 1978





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34 Responses to Episode 0021

First of all, Agnes Moorehead's character of Endora on "Bewitched" was so unpleasant that it's hard to remember that she was quite a versatile actress, playing a young student in this episode (although Moorehead's age was 73). This is one that surely sparked a lot of debate. Drunk driving is nasty, and it's hard to argue that he didn't deserve punishment for it; nonetheless, slavish devotion to "truth" that even as a boy I would have had a hard time accepting. (Young Andy says that Superman lies every time he says he ISN'T Clark Kent. And if Superman can lie...) Morality play; no supernatural elements.


As out of place as Agnes Morehead may have seemed in this episode considering her voice and age; I can't imaging anyone else pulling this off. She was perfect; the age in her voice actually made her character more interesting. Her father, a self righteous professor was also a great character. This is a very good episode that holds you captive until the end. Agnes Morehead was great in all of her rolls. The most memorable was Return of the Moresbeys CBS RMT and The Invaders Twilight Zone. I like the turn of events at the end of this episode as I am sure everyone will.


Quite honestly, it kind of creeped me out hearing Agnes try to portray someone 50 years younger than herself. I would rather she go out on a classic note, portraying an elderly, but graceful woman. Here, she sounds... well... like an old lady trying to sound like a young girl. When she calls him, 'Daddy,' it sounds so pathetic. Seriously. As for the story, there wasn't anything to attach yourself to as a "cause." You can't root for the guy, because he commmitted a crime and wanted to hide it. You can't root for "daddy," because he had an alterior motive. He hated the boy and didn't want him with his daughter. You might feel sorry for Agnes, but that voice... just ruined it for me.


Moorehead is a consummate radio actress, and even though she is not entirely convincing as a 20-something young woman here, the character that she portrays definitely does not sound as if it is voiced by a 73 year old. In fact, her character doesn't seem to be any older than the male counterpart who plays her fiancee--and the actor playing Moorehead's father seems to be much older. It all works if you just take some liberties with the script; imagine Moorehead's character (and her finacee) to be around 40, and her father to be around 60-65 (he uses a cane in the last scene, after all, and there is a reference to him being in college 40 years earlier. Not a stretch of the mind at all.


The amazing thing is that she died just 3 months after this episode of uterine cancer. She sounds so alive here. Weird.


This play is dominated by three characters: A professor, his daughter, and her fiance. The professor has written a book about ethics and specifically, about always telling the truth. However, he learns that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.


Clever and interesting. What price to absolute truth?


A father destroys his daugter's relationship with a man by forcing her to offer testimony against him in a vehicular homicide case. Several lives are ruined.

Brad Eli

A man debates the nature of truth with his father-in-law to be, a successful professor who has published several books. The professor is adamant that the truth must always be told while the young man believes that on occasion the truth may be blurred. After getting into a car accident with his fiancé, the three are confronted with a test of their theories on truth. A good episode with a twist of irony at the end.

Dwarde Malcolm

Lorna should have lied; however, if she did, there would have been no story.


The best part of this recording for me, was the Nixon news update.


Agreed. The more things change, the more they remain the same, it seems. :-)


I love Agnes Moorehead's voice on this show, although she sounds like she hasn't been in college for several decades.

Gina Schackel

An interesting and ironic twist at the end of the story. The Nixon update was interesting to hear as well.


This is an interesting episode wherein Agnes Moorehead hardly sounded like a young dubutante. She was already well beyond senior citizen status when this episode was recorded. Still, she played the role as convincingly as possible. I have to admit that I predicted that the old man's truth dictum would come back to haunt him in the end. The father was right to teach his daughter to tell the truth but he should not have been a hypocrite. All humans are fallible. Claims to the contrary will always cause trouble. If Lorna had lied about her drunken fiance, his drinking would probably eventually cause harm to someone else. How ironic that the person who built a career upon the existential value of truth is found to have been the most hypocritical of all.

James Matthews

This was well written and well acted, yet the moral conflict at the basis of the story is almost absurdly trite.

Bill King

this story had great potential with it's allegory but one leaves with truth being a nuisance than something to cherish, casting was good except moorehead, her crackling voice was awful portraying a late 20s to 30 year old..someone should have been truthful about that before production began...perjury is somehow portrayed as justified when someone is killed by reckless behavior

Brian Collins

@James, that was Marian Seldes in "The Return of the Moresbys." Agnes Moorehead's only other CBSRMT role was much more age-appropriate than here: the 77-year-old boardinghouse owner in "The Old Ones Are Hard to Kill."


I agree that Agnes sounds too old to portray a 20-something woman in this episode. but it is a good episode nonetheless. I really like the news on water gate at the end of this episode. I was only 3 years old at the time it was happening but I remember the hearings on TV.


I have listened to this episode half a dozen times in the last 15 yr. A very thoughtful and nostalgic story. Marvelous acting and great story. For my part, I am simply happy to hear Moorehead act. Kramer and Martin are among my favorites.

Dave Mills

As an addendum, I meant to mention Ortega among the favorites.

Dave Mills

This is a strange episode. SPOILERS : For some reason, we're supposed to sympathize with a guy who drives drunk, kills a woman, and then expects his fiancée to lie for him. I don't get it. The guy was a jerk who didn't take responsibility for his actions. Instead, he blamed his poor fiancé, who almost went nutty. The revenge extracted against the father at the end seemed contrived


I felt the same way. Also, the way he positively answered at her wanting to finish her PhD was disgusting.


I found it believably enjoyable. The boyfriend was a jerk. Hated the father. Bad news from the beginning. The father was "reading his mail" is why. I still think lying would have destroyed Lorna and Mark. When you are young, you don't understand the choices you are making for a lifetime. How could love ask someone ask someone to do that? What next? Then what if Mark decided to dump her at the altar, and she had lied for him? I bet she'd feel far worse.


Fun episode, and I love love love that the news and commercials havne't been edited out.


Why do they pick older women to play young girls in this series? I loved Agnes Moorehead as Endora, but in this episode of CBSRMT she is MUCH too old for the role she is trying to play. The character is supposed to be a young girl, (or at least, I thought so), but she sounds almost old enough to be his mother, lol! I also thought the soap opera morality play was kind of ho-hum. Not my favorite episode, but it's not one of the worst either.


I did like the ending. I thought it was a very interesting twist. What her father taught her about "truth" worked against him in the end. I didn't like her boyfriend, who was a jerk, but somehow her father comes across as a self righteous old jerk too.


A woman is somehow to blame for telling the truth when her abusive boyfriend recklessly kills a woman while driving drunk. I can't even fathom how anyone could argue that she should have lied for him. The story treats the victim like she has no value, and bizarrely, allows blame to fall on the woman who tells the truth. The professors lies don't justify the boyfriend's reckless, drunk driving. This was awful.


Great episode. Commercials included. And talk about a slow news day.


A good morality show that shows those who act moral may not be so when the shoe is on the other foot. The practice what you preach isn't always so cut and dried. Good twist in the end. I truly enjoyed the commercials and the news! Back when news was news and not a fashion show. From the definition for an impeachment why the heck was Clinton not impeached! Talk about undermining!


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ stars for GOOD. Let me start off by saying, “Sensational!” An outstanding performance by the unforgettable Agnes Moorehead. She was 73 years old when she played this role and she pulled it off for playing Lorna Kitteridge; the young girl stuck with a choice between telling the stark truth for her father or telling a white lie for her boyfriend. Mandel Kramer (as Mark Cramer) was excellent as the worried, yet smart fiancé. Santos Ortega (as Professor Jon Kitteridge) was terrific as the egotistical and demanding villain. Ian Martin (as Harold Pryor and Sergeant McKeon) was wonderful in his roles, so was Dan Ocko (as the Judge and the Prison Guard). Another thing that was sensational was our Host. In E.G. Marshall’s Prologue, he jumps right in on what this episode is about: Truth. In ACT-1, introduce 2 of our main characters in New England. Afterwards, our leading lady’s stuck with a dilemma where she’s cornered herself in a triangle. In ACT-2, quoting Bible verse John 8:32 on truth, but the truth made the killer go to Prison rather than go free. In ACT-3, a year has passed and our 3 main characters’ lives are ruined. After the finale, where another murder has been committed and the truth got uglier, E.G. Marshall finishes the scene off by quoting Supreme Court jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. In the Epilogue, quoting about truth again from Samuel Butler. Our Host’s narrations and quotations on truth were insightful. The variety of music that CBSRMT used in this dramatic tale were useful where everything was building up from one conflict to another. Sound effects of the car engine, tableware clinking, guests murmuring, washing dishes, pounding of a drinking glass, tires screech, running over the victim (at the 12:46 mark), footsteps on the road, doors, Judge’s gavel, people murmuring in the court room, doorbell ringing, telephone, folding the letter, and the cane in the skirmish fight were useful. The reason why I didn’t rate this 5 stars for Excellent, is because of the Script. Henry Slesar wrote a terrific Drama-Mystery like he always did for CBSRMT. But 3 things come to mind about this episode. NUMBER ONE: The Climax in this story was there, but the Resolution was missing. The villain’s life is ruined again, so is the girl’s boyfriend, but what about the girl herself? Where is Lorna Kitteridge going to go after she tells the entire world the complete truth? NUMBER TWO: If the story went the other way where Lorna Kitteridge lies for her boyfriend, would the Judge or someone in the court room catch her in the act and have her arrested for perjury? But if that happened, then the episode would be over and there would be no 3rd Act. NUMBER THREE: The victim who got hit by the car: Mrs. Mulger. Who was she really? And what was the main reason why she was on the middle of the road at night? There are so many questions in this mystery tale that CBSRMT fans could ponder for hours. I like the episode’s title, but another way to name it would be “Daughter’s Deadlock” because she was literally in a deadlock; a tough situation where no progress can be made when choosing which person to please (her father or her boyfriend). Fans of Agnes Moorehead would love her performances in this and in #0001-THE OLD ONES ARE HARD TO KILL (also written by Henry Slesar). SPECIAL BONES: This episode has commercials of Budweiser, ShopRite, Kellogg’s Special K cereal, Suburban Savings, Prize Drawings from Himan Brown, “Rambling With Roberts” hosted by Peter Roberts, “Memory Lane” hosted by Joe Franklin, CBS News about Richard Nixon, and the 1974 AMC Matador vehicle. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


A story where we're supposed to feel bad for an misogynist asshole.


This episode is a masterpiece. Listen to it!


Eh, this was okay. The premise of "truth hurts" didn't need nearly an hour-long parable to develop. What's really bugging me is that we're supposed to believe that this professor had a long, rich career in academe based off one book. No. Maybe he could have landed an assistant prof job, but he'd have never gotten tenure, not had a career-long relationship with a publisher, not had a career at all if he hadn't continued to publish and present.... Anyway, others have pointed out that blaming the young woman for the jerk fiance's reckless vehicular manslaughter is unwarranted and all this was a very long way to go to just get around to "the old man who sat piously on his perch of truth shouldn't have been so self righteous considering his own dishonesty." That's a very thin point to spend close to an hour making.


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