Synopsis from the Original Pressbook
Student 198200624 was officially designated 'missing' from Willard College for Men.
Jake Willkie (JOHN BECK) was not upset by the official inquiry, but he was mournful. Paxton Quigley (CHRISTOPHER JONES), alias 198200624, their revered fraternity bother and stellar performer with the coeds, slipped from the heights when he fell in love with Tobey Clinton (YVETTE MIMIEUX) from nearly Fulton College for Women.
On Labor Day, Tobey's parents drop in for a surprise visit. While Tobey and her mother scream at each other in the bedroom, Mr. Clinton shares a fifth of gin with Quigley and dourly wonders what kind of man Quig is. The Tobey lets herself get carted home.
Autumn. At sight of Tobey, Quigley knows that he's in love. But Quigley resents being tested by her.
A few days later, en route to see Tobey, he is flagged down by a fantastically beautiful female in paint-spattered Levis. Eulice (JUDY PACE) is her name. She is an art major. Being Negro had not greatly enhanced her appreciation of human comedy. She asks him to model for her and he eagerly agrees.
Quig didn't intend to see Eulice again once the painting was completed. Eulice, however, tracks him down and her voltage over the phone has him soon sneaking around corners to date her.
Stealth was necessary because the Fulton-Willard complex was on the small cozy side, and Quigley was still much in love with Tobey.
One day he was almost spotted in Eulice's dorm by a girl he knew from Tobey's. He jumps a hedge and lands in the middle of a botanical experiment facing a demure, censorious botanist in knee socks named Jan (MAGGEE THRETT).
But Quigley is showing the wear and tear, he'd found out he was still in love with Tobey. The prospect of losing her is unbearable to contemplate. He is still cold with fear when he seeks Tobey. But he follows docilely when she leads him to the attic. There she presents him with a large painting she'd bought at the student art show. It is unmistakably a vivid portrait of Paxton Quigley: signed "Eulice".
Jan steps out of the shadows. She's seen the painting , too. Eulice, of course, the only one able to muster a smile also appears.
So the Quig is made prisoner in the attic. Yet, to go free, all Quigley has to do is to tell Tobey why he did her like he did. But Quigley won't tell her, because he can't.
His desperate alternative is to go on a hunger strike. Soon he is weak from malnutrition and confinement. Eulice and Jan weaken in will, but Tobey is still determined to let him rot.
A self-appointed dorm snoop finally reports to Mrs. Nazarin (NAN MARTIN) the assistant dean of women, that Tobey, Eulice and Jan are conspiring to keep some carnivorous animal in the attic.
Mrs. Nazarin recalls that missing Willard student, 198200624, had a girl friend named Tobey. Shortly she is assuring Tobey that she isn't looking for a martyr -- just an explanation. Mrs. Narazin suggests she hopes they can smuggle 198200624 out of Fulton and back to Willard undetected.
Disillusioned and admitting defeat, Tobey agrees to leave the attic door open in the middle of the night if Quigley will not involve Eulice and Jan. He agrees. Weak and unsteady he reaches the door. He wants to see Tobey, but instead he collapses -- right in front of the door. Quigley's removed is no longer undetected. Tobey, Eulice and Jan are on the carpet at Fulton. Fulton's administration decides for itself that the only palatable explanation for Quigley's presence in the attic is that he hid himself there. Tobey accepts this exoneration of herself, but she can no longer stay at Fulton. Nazarin gives her a lift to the bus station. It is Eulice, however, who takes Quigley to the station to see Tobey, who takes one final look at Quigley. He is pathetic. Silently, he slowly extends a hand. She stops and a slight smile creeps across her face.
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