Spider-Man (1977 film)

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Not to be confused with the 2002 film of the same name.
Poster of The Amazing Spider-Man.jpg
United Kingdom theatrical release poster
Directed by E. W. Swackhamer
Produced by Edward J. Montagne
Written by Alvin Boretz
Based on Spider-Man by
Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Starring Nicholas Hammond
Lisa Eilbacher
Cinematography Fred Jackman
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Spider-Man is a 1977 American live-action made-for-television superhero film, which serves as the pilot to the 1978 television series titled, The Amazing Spider-Man. It was directed by E. W. Swackhamer and stars Nicholas Hammond 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 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 into being one of the ten people to jump off a building on command.[1]



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.[2] 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.[2]


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.[2] Overseas, the film was theatrically released. It received a VHS release in 1980.


  1. ^ Marty McKee; Big A; Kevin Gillease. ""The Amazing Spider-Man" Pilot (1977) - Plot Summary". IMDb. IMDb. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Mangels, Andy (October 2010). "Spinning the Story of the Amazing Spider-Man". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 44–48. 

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