Taglines: Three people. Two love stories. One decade. No limits.
Pumped up with energy to spare in its first half, this is an otherwise routine drama about a love triangle set in the turbulent late ’60s on the Harvard campus. Harvard takes a remote backseat though, as Leo (Brad Davis) chases after Jessica (Karen Allen) while buddy Nick (Jameson Parker) also nurses a crush on her.
Leo is in journalism, or wants to be, Jessica paints but she is leaning toward law school, and Nick is a solid, steady pre-med student. Their relationship takes a serious turn when Leo’s number comes up on the Vietnam draft. Nick makes his feelings known to Jessica and whether it seems like a good idea or not, she suggests that the three of them move in together.
A Small Circle of Friends is a 1980 American drama film by United Artists starring Brad Davis, Karen Allen, Shelley Long, Jameson Parker, Peter Mark, and an uncredited Craig Richard Nelson, who played Bell in The Paper Chase, another film set at Harvard.
Some outdoor riot sequences were filmed some 37 miles south of Cambridge at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts after Harvard declined to allow the filming on their campus. Other scenes were filmed at MIT and other local colleges. It was Rob Cohen’s only film as director not to be released by either Universal Studios or Columbia Pictures until 2012’s Alex Cross.
A Small Circle of Friends (1980)
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Starring: Brad Davis, Karen Allen, Jameson Parker, Shelley Long, John Friedrich, Gary Springer, Craig Richard Nelson, Nan Martin
Screenplay by: Ezra Sacks
Production Design by: Joel Schiller
Cinematography by: Michael C. Butler
Film Editing by: Randy Roberts
Costume Design by: Linda Serijan
Set Decoration by: Rick Simpson
Music by: Jim Steinman
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: March 12, 1980