28 user 4 critic

Sweet Hostage (1975)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | TV Movie 10 October 1975
An escaped mental patient kidnaps an illiterate teenage farm girl and takes her to his mountain hide-away, where they soon become friends and, eventually, lovers.


Lee Philips


Edward Hume (teleplay), Nathaniel Benchley (novel)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Linda Blair ... Doris Mae Withers
Martin Sheen ... Leonard Hatch
Jeanne Cooper ... Mrs. Withers
Lee de Broux ... Sheriff Emmet (as Lee DeBroux) (as Lee Debroux)
Bert Remsen ... Mr. Withers
Dehl Berti ... Harry Fox
Al Hopson Al Hopson ... Mr. Smathers
William Sterchi ... Hank Smathers (as Bill Sterchi)
Roberto Valentino De Leon Roberto Valentino De Leon ... Juan
Michael Eiland Michael Eiland ... Tom Martinez (as Michael C. Eiland)
Mary Michael Carnes Mary Michael Carnes ... Dry Goods Clerk
Don Hann Don Hann ... Liquor Store Proprietor
Ross Elder Ross Elder ... Hospital Attendant
Chris Williams Chris Williams ... Man in Bungalow


An escaped mental patient kidnaps an illiterate teenage farm girl and takes her to his mountain hide-away, where they soon become friends and, eventually, lovers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He captured a girl... but unleashed a woman. See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film has endured criticism from contemporary and modern-day audiences for its portrayal and alleged glamorization of Stockholm syndrome, ephebophilia, domestic abuse, and kidnapping of a teen-aged girl. Others have argued that the "kidnapping" was more of a "rescue" for Doris Withers and that she was better off with Leonard Hatch who, despite kidnapping her, went to great lengths, to educate her, guide her, and (for the most part) remained respectful of his boundaries with her in contrast to her life on a dirt farm with abusive parents who overwork and overbear her with hard labor. As well as for allowing her to not peruse an education. See more »


When Leonard leaves the cabin to go into to town to do the shopping, he leaves the shopping list on the table. Later, in the store, he is seen reading from the list. See more »


Hospital Attendant: Oh, Excuse me, Mr. Kahn, Luncheon is served
Leonard Hatch: In Xanadu did I, a stately pleasure dome did decree. And there, from force of habit, I only dine with royalty.
Hospital Attendant: Your Majesty, your knights await.
Leonard Hatch: And my days, as well.
See more »


References Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »


Strangers on a Carousel
Music by George Barrie ASCAP
Lyrics by Bob Larimer ASCAP
Sung by Stephen Schwartz (as Steven Michael Schwartz)
See more »

User Reviews

The Sweetest, Saddest Love Story Ever!
5 August 1999 | by Roxy64See all my reviews

I saw this movie for the first time as a young teenager and fell "in love" with Martin Sheen. The story was excellent and touching. I loved the "exchanges" between the characters and no matter how many times I saw it, I still cried! This is still probably my all-time favorite movie. It's the one that I will always scan the TV guide for to see if it's playing somewhere! A must see movie for romantics at heart, Martin Sheen or Linda Blair fans.

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Release Date:

10 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Welcome to Xanadu See more »

Filming Locations:

Taos, New Mexico, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brut Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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