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The Slender Thread (1965)

A college volunteer at the crisis phone gets a call from a suicide caller.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alan Newell
...
Inga Dyson
...
Dr. Joe Coburn
...
Mark Dyson
...
Det. Judd Ridley
Indus Arthur ...
Marian
Paul Newlan ...
Sgt. Harry Ward
...
Charlie
...
Doctor Morris (as H.N. Wynant)
...
Patrolman Steve Peters (as Robert Hoy)
Greg Jarvis ...
Chris Dyson
...
Medical Technician
Marjorie Nelson ...
Mrs. Thomas
...
Arthur Foss
Thomas Hill ...
Liquor Salesman
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Storyline

Alan is a Seattle college student volunteering at a crisis center. One night when at the clinic alone, a woman calls up the number and tells Alan that she needs to talk to someone. She informs Alan she took a load of pills, and he secretly tries to get help. During this time, he learns more about the woman, her family life, and why she wants to die. Can Alan get the cavalry to save her in time before it's too late? Written by Pat McCurry <ccgrad97@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 March 1966 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Con la vida en un hilo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although top-billed, Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft don't appear on screen together in a single scene. Bancroft later repeated this odd accomplishment when she and Anthony Hopkins co-starred, but played no scenes together, in 84 Charing Cross Road. See more »

Goofs

After Inga attempts suicide by drowning herself in the bay, she arrives at hospital with perfectly styled hair. See more »

Quotes

Mark Dyson: [to Inga] Do you think that not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth?
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Connections

Referenced in Coffee House Rendezvous (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Preludium
Written and Produced by Quincy Jones
Performed by Quincy Jones
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User Reviews

 
The Slender Thread
1 May 2007 | by (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this movie some years ago and it stayed with me. When it popped up again on TCM I made it a point to record it so I could pay closer attention to it. I hate to say that I was a little disappointed. Some of the more obvious and unavoidable problems you can chalk up to the age of the movie. 1965 was rife with mop-haired nerds and white-booted chicks doing the jerk-agogo or whatever the hell we did back then. The whining, blues tainted horns of the Quincy Jones score seems dated as well.

A young wife, played to perfection by Anne Bancroft, has a dark secret. When her husband discovers her indiscretion, she begins to retreat into her own, dark, guilt-filled space. As time goes by, her husband becomes distant and judgmental while she plunges deeper and deeper into depression. She loses all hope of reconstructing her life, checks into a motel and chucks down a cocktail of pills.

This is when the movie gets interesting. She calls in to a crisis hot-line because she has no one else to talk to and doesn't want to die alone. As luck would have it, she reaches a student volunteer played by Sidney Poitier. The rest of the story is a frantic search to find her before the pills do the business. As she babbles on the phone, we are treated to flashback after flashback telling us her story.

The movie is a bumpy ride. While the director concentrates on those tense scenes where the rescue team is trying to trace the victim, we find our muscles tensing and our eyes tearing, wishing they knew what we know. At other times, we get to know the players oh so much more than we need to. There is a scene where we get to watch Anne Bancroft staring into a pool for what seems like forever. Very arty - but very boring. This is not an action flick, and I don't want to sound impatient, but a little less art and a little more action wouldn't hurt.

Anne Bancroft plays her part to perfection. At times she is seductive, confused, disturbed, and profoundly sad. She hit almost every emotion in the book, and hit the mark every time. On the other hand, Sidney Poitier seems to be angry, explosive, almost seething in his emotional display. I know it's heresy, but I just didn't think he was very good. I could envision any number of actors that would have been more believable. I don't know how much to blame him as opposed to Sidney Pollack who directed. It all depends on who had control, but the end result was disappointing. I accidentally gave this movie a 6. On reflection, I think I'll jack that up to an 8. Sidney Poitier aside, it was still a good movie.


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