Open main menu

The Silence is a 1975 made-for-TV movie about James Pelosi, a West Point cadet who was charged in 1971 with cheating on an exam.[1] He remained at West Point but was subjected to "The Silence" – a policy that ostracized cadets who broke the Honor Code.

The Silence
Written byStanley R. Greenberg
Directed byJoseph Hardy
StarringRichard Thomas
Cliff Gorman
George Hearn
Music byMaurice Jarre
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Edgar J. Scherick
Producer(s)Bridget Potter
Robert Greenhut (associate producer)
CinematographyJack Priestley
Editor(s)Alan Heim
Running time74 min.
Production company(s)Palomar Pictures
Original networkNBC
Original releaseNovember 6, 1975

At the time, West Point's "Honor Instruction" stated that a cadet who broke the Honor Code and did not leave the Academy "will not be allowed to have roommates. He will eat at a separate table. He will be addressed only on official business and then as Mister."[1]

This TV dramatization does not judge Pelosi's guilt or innocence. Rather, it depicts his version of the incident and the systematic ostracism that followed his decision not to resign from the Academy. Pelosi stuck out "the silence" for 19 months, until his graduation from West Point in 1973.[1]

Scriptwriter Stanley R. Greenberg based the drama on interviews he had with Pelosi.[1]

"The silence" was abolished by the Corps of Cadets in 1973. Many attribute that decision to Pelosi's experience.[1]

The movie was first shown on NBC on November 6, 1975.[1]


Actor Role
Richard Thomas Cadet James Pelosi
George Hearn Captain Nichols
Percy Granger Captain Harris
John Kellogg Court President
Cliff Gorman Stanley R. Greenberg


  1. ^ a b c d e f TV Guide, November 1–7, 1975, pg A-55