Silent Night, Lonely Night
In December 1969, NBC broadcast Silent Night, Lonely Night, featuring scenes shot around the Town of Amherst and the Amherst College campus the previous winter. A TV movie adaptation of Robert Anderson’s 1959 Broadway play of the same name, and starring Lloyd Bridges and Shirley Jones, Silent Night, Lonely Night tells the story of a man and woman who are, as the trope goes, thrown together by circumstance. The movie, which earned an Emmy nomination for Jones, also starred Cloris Leachman as a flirty local and a young Jeff Bridges as the Lloyd Bridges character in a flashback.
Watch the movie for glimpses of the College back in the day, as when Jones drives through the main entrance to “Parkness School for Boys”—actually the gate to Pratt Field with an ersatz Parkness plaque. Viewers can also spot Edward Renton Leadbetter, a microbiologist who taught at the College from 1959 to 1977 and died in 2015. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Leadbetter played a bit part in the movie, as Mac the cab driver.
Silent Night, Lonely Night used to make the run of Christmastime broadcasts, and can still be found online and on DVD. Do you remember it being filmed on campus? If so, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.