The Slender Thread
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|The Slender Thread|
1965 Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Sydney Pollack|
|Produced by||Stephen Alexander|
|Written by||Shana Alexander
H. M. Wynant
|Music by||Quincy Jones|
|Edited by||Thomas Stanford|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (1965, original)
Olive Films (2011, DVD)
|Box office||$1.5 million (rentals)|
Poitier portrays Alan, a college student who is volunteering at Seattle's then-new Crisis Clinic, a crisis call center. Shortly after beginning his night shift, Alan receives a call from a woman named Inga (Bancroft) who says she has just taken a lethal dose of pills and wants to talk to someone before she dies. The story line follows the efforts of Alan, a psychiatrist (Telly Savalas) and a detective (Ed Asner) to locate Inga and her husband (Steven Hill). Various flashback scenes depict the events that led Inga to make the attempt on her life.
The film was inspired by a Life magazine article by Shana Alexander about actual events and partially shot on location in Seattle, Washington. The film offers an opening tracking shot of aerial Seattle circa 1965.
This movie is noted for the physical tracing of the call to find Inga (Bancroft) before she dies. Throughout the movie, the call is traced by hand through several electro-mechanical telephone central office switches which leads to the hotel where Inga was staying (originally the Hyatt House, now demolished) near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.
Poitier portrays Alan, a Seattle college student who is volunteering at Seattle's then-new Crisis Clinic, a crisis call center. Shortly after beginning his night shift, Alan receives a call from a woman named Inga (Bancroft) -- the wife of a fisherman (Steven Hill) who has put out to sea earlier that day—who says she has just taken a lethal dose of pills and wants to talk to someone before she dies, but refuses to reveal her location. As the circumstances that have led to her suicide attempt are revealed through flashbacks, the story line follows the efforts of Alan, a psychiatrist (Telly Savalas) and a detective (Ed Asner) to locate both the woman and her husband.
- Sidney Poitier - Alan Newell
- Anne Bancroft - Inga Dyson
- Telly Savalas - Dr. Joe Coburn
- Steven Hill - Mark Dyson
- Edward Asner - Det. Judd Ridley
- Indus Arthur - Marian
- Paul Newlan - Sgt. Harry Ward
- Dabney Coleman - Charlie
- H. M. Wynant - Doctor Morris (as H. N. Wynant)
- Robert F. Hoy - Patrolman Steve Peters (as Robert Hoy)
- Greg Jarvis - Christopher 'Chris' Dyson
- Jason Wingreen - Medical technician
- Marjorie Nelson - Mrs. Thomas
- Steven Marlo - Arthur Foss
- Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Hal Pereira, Jack Poplin, Robert R. Benton, Joseph Kish)
- Best Costume Design, Black-and White (Edith Head)
The film received indifferent reviews and did poor business at the box office upon release.