IMDb > Hanging by a Thread (1979) (TV)

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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Adrian Spies (written by)
View company contact information for Hanging by a Thread on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 May 1979 (USA) See more »
A group of old friends on an outing re-live various traumas and tragedies via flashback whilst trapped high above a ravine in a disabled cable-car. See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Not as Campy as Earthquake, but with Patty Duke Astin, it was a lark See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)
Sam Groom ... Paul Craig

Patty Duke ... Sue Grainger (as Patty Duke Astin)

Joyce Bulifant ... Anita Minton
Oliver Clark ... Eddie Minton

Bert Convy ... Alan Durant
Burr DeBenning ... Jim Grainger
Peter Donat ... Mr. Durant

Donna Mills ... Ellen Craig

Cameron Mitchell ... Lawton

Roger Perry ... Mitchell
Michael Sharrett ... Tommy Craig
Ted Gehring ... Jim Croft
Lonny Chapman ... Charles Minton
Jacquelyn Hyde ... Mrs. Durant
Brendon Boone ... Marty

Steven Marlo ... Turk (as Steve Marlow)
Elizabeth Rogers ... Maggie Porter

Paul Fix ... Rogers
Deanna Lund ... Mrs. Martin
Randy Gray ... Alan Durant-age 10
James W. Gavin ... Les Fielding
Doug Llewelyn ... Bobby Graham
Bill Marlowe ... Burton
Larry Berman ... Pierce
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Paul Carr
Rande Volpert

Directed by
Georg Fenady 
Writing credits
Adrian Spies (written by)

Produced by
Irwin Allen .... producer
Original Music by
Richard LaSalle  (as Richard La Salle)
Cinematography by
John M. Nickolaus Jr. (director of photography) (as John M. Nickolaus)
Film Editing by
Jamie Caylor 
Casting by
Jack Baur 
Art Direction by
Duane Alt 
Set Decoration by
Gary Moreno 
Costume Design by
Paul Zastupnevich 
Makeup Department
Jan Cook .... hair stylist (as Janice Cook)
Stephen Elsbree .... hair stylist (as Stephen A. Elsbree)
Stephen Gautier .... makeup artist
Chuck House .... makeup artist (as Charles House)
Production Management
Floyd Joyer .... unit production manager
George E. Swink .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terry Croghan .... second assistant director (as Terrance Croghan)
Jack Oliver .... first assistant director
Art Department
Brook Simons .... assistant art director (as Phil Bennett)
Sound Department
Gene Eliot .... sound effects editor
Marvin I. Kosberg .... sound effects editor (as Marvin Kosberg)
Sid Lubow .... sound effects editor
Allan R. Potter .... sound effects editor
Bill Rivol .... sound effects editor
Don Rush .... sound mixer
Josef von Stroheim .... sound effects editor (as Joe von Stroheim)
Jerry Jacobson .... adr editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Anthony Milch .... music editor (as Tony Milch)
Other crew
Tony Habeeb .... publicist
Norman Katkov .... story editor
Herman Rush .... program consultant
Art Volpert .... executive assistant to producer
Arthur Weiss .... production executive
Arthur Weiss .... story editor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Burbank Studios, The  production services and equipment provided by (as The Burbank Studios, Burbank, California)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
190 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Not as Campy as Earthquake, but with Patty Duke Astin, it was a lark, 17 May 2002
Author: richard.fuller1

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A group of old friends on an outing are trapped in a skylift. Sam Groom loved Donna Mills, but now she was with Burt Convy. Patty Duke Astin and Burr Debenning were a couple, Joyce Bullifant and Oliver Clark were a couple. Groom is quickly established as our anti-hero, with Convy snipping at him. Every disagreement between these two men is because Convy got MIlls and Groom didn't.

Debenning is severely injured, burned, trying to get the lift to move. This now gives us the gut wrenching, angst ridden Duke Astin performance, as she tells the story how she, Debenning, Clark and Convy knew how the man Bullifant had loved, really died. Oh, the betrayal, the lies, the deception. Can you ever forgive me?

This was just one of several seventies performances that Duke Astin gave as the Academy award winning actress who was now available for television, and like all the rest, she poured all the emotion she could manage into it. The rest of the cast is merely seventies names and faces, with the possible exceptions of Clark and Debenning. Oliver Clark did do other things and will be recognizeable if you watched alot of seventies tv, but Debenning is the face without a name. YOu may recognize him, but you won't know from what.

This thing was shown in two nights, more than necessary. Definitely watch it edited. I am surprised to see Doug Llewellyn somewhere in the cast, and that this cast is so big, as anything that could remotely hold your attention, and that isn't saying much, takes place on that skylift.

But if you just want to see some tame, empty 1970's television that will leave you exactly the same after you see it that you were before you saw it, Hanging by a Thread is the film for you.

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