Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Adapted for television by Robert Hartung from the play by Barrie Stavus, Lamp at Midnight deals with the 16th-century conflict between the Catholic Church and Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei. After exhaustive research, Galileo (played by Melvyn Douglas) concludes that the Aristotelean concept of the Universe is incorrect. It is Galileo's contention--like Copernicus before him--that Earth is not the center of the universe, but merely another planet, revolving around the sun. This theory is considered heresy by the Church, and before long Galileo is dragged before Cardinal Bellarmin (George Voskovec), leader of the dreaded Court of the Inquisition. Also in the cast of this impressively mounted production are David Wayne, Kim Hunter, Hurd Hatfield, and, as Pope Urban VIII, Michael Hordern. Originally telecast April 27, 1966, the videotaped Lamp at Midnight was the final presentation of Hallmark Hall of Fame's 15th season.
astronomy, Cardinal, Catholicism, conflict, heretic, Italian [nationality]