The Neon Ceiling is a 1971 American television film starring Gig Young and Lee Grant that aired on NBC Monday Night at the Movies. It was written by Carol Sobieski and directed by Frank Pierson. The film score was composed by Billy Goldenberg.


An unhappy housewife takes her precocious teenage daughter and leaves their suburban home in the middle of the night, stopping at a lonely diner in the California desert when her 1960 Ford Galaxie runs into car trouble. She runs up against, and eventually befriends, the diner's owner, a gruff, beer-drinking mechanic and artist whose life's work are the neon sculptures he creates and attaches to the ceiling.



Lee Grant was set to appear in a TV film of The Price with George C. Scott when Universal sent her the script. "The moment I read that script I was hooked and couldn't let it go", she said. "It's a real departure from what is normally seen on TV."[1]


The Los Angeles Times called it "an extraordinary experience... a work of art."[2]

For her performance, Lee Grant won the 1971 Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (she was also nominated in the same category for an episode of Columbo.)


  1. ^ Norma, L. B. (Feb 7, 1971). "Sparkling script lures lee grant to TV movie". Chicago Tribune. ProQuest 169106335.
  2. ^ Smith, C. (Feb 9, 1971). "'The neon ceiling' a TV high point". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 156606701.