Spider-Man (1977 film)
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Australian theatrical release poster
|Directed by||E. W. Swackhamer|
Charles W. Fries|
Daniel R. Goodman
Edward J. Montagne
|Written by||Alvin Boretz|
by Stan Lee
|Music by||Johnnie Spence|
|Edited by||Aaron Stell|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures Television|
Spider-Man is a 1977 American made-for-television superhero film that had a theatrical release abroad, which serves as the pilot to the 1978 television series titled The Amazing Spider-Man. It was directed by E. W. Swackhamer, written by Alvin Boretz and stars Nicholas Hammond as the titular character, David White, Michael Pataki, Jeff Donnell and Thayer David.
Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond), a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, is bitten by a radioactive spider and discovers he has gained superpowers, such as super-strength, agility and the ability to climb sheer walls and ceilings. When a mysterious Guru (Thayer David) places people under mind-control - including a doctor and lawyer - to rob banks and threatens to have ten New Yorkers commit suicide at his command unless the city pays him $50 million, Peter becomes the costumed hero Spider-Man to stop the crook's fiendish scheme. Things take a bad turn when the villain hypnotizes Peter Parker and his friend Judy into being some of the ten people to jump off a building on command. With some luck, Peter is able to break free and then stop the Guru in his tracks.
- Nicholas Hammond – Peter Parker / Spider-Man
- David White – J. Jonah Jameson
- Michael Pataki – Captain Barbera
- Hilly Hicks – Joe "Robbie" Robertson
- Lisa Eilbacher – Judy Tyler
- Jeff Donnell – Aunt May Parker
- Robert Hastings – Monahan
- Ivor Francis – Professor Noah Tyler
- Thayer David – Edward Byron
The famed sequence in which Spider-Man crawls across an office ceiling and jumps to the wall was accomplished using a complex set of rigging and cables hidden in tracks in the ceiling. Stunt grips lifted stuntman/stunt coordinator Fred Waugh to the ceiling, and he then scuttled down the hallway using a slider track while the wire pressure pulled him upwards. The scene in which Spider-Man swings from building-to-building was extremely expensive and dangerous, and required two days of rigging; to avoid having to repeat this, the stunt was filmed from multiple camera angles to create extra footage which could be used in future episodes of the TV series.
Release and reception
The film premiered on CBS on September 14, 1977. It received a 17.8 rating with a 30 share, making it the highest performing CBS production for the entire year. Overseas, the film was theatrically released. It received a VHS release in 1980.
- Mangels, Andy (October 2010). "Spinning the Story of the Amazing Spider-Man". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 44–48.