DirectorLee Philips ScreenplayEdward Hume CountryUnited States
Release dateOctober 10, 1975 WriterEdward Hume (teleplay), Nathaniel Benchley (novel) CastLinda Blair (Doris Mae Withers), Martin Sheen (Leonard Hatch), Jeanne Cooper (Mrs. Withers), Lee de Broux (Sheriff Emmet), Bert Remsen (Mr. Withers), Dehl Berti (Harry Fox) Similar moviesMartin Sheen appears in Sweet Hostage and In the Custody of Strangers
TaglineWas it a kidnapping... or a rescue?
Sweet hostage preview clip
Sweet Hostage is a 1975 American made-for-television romantic drama film based on the novel Welcome to Xanadu by Nathaniel Benchley. The film stars Linda Blair and Martin Sheen. It was filmed in Taos County, New Mexico. It was featured in ABC's Friday Night Movie series. Film and television critic Leonard Maltin rated the movie as "Average" in his biennial ratings guide TV Movies. In his capsule review, Maltin said the performances by Sheen and Blair almost made this talky adaptation of the Nathaniel Benchley novel worthwhile. The film was only a moderate success in the Nielsen ratings, and failed to generate the type of provocative press which was then-standard for a Linda Blair movie.
Leonard Hatch (Martin Sheen), a fugitive mental patient, kidnaps Doris Mae Withers (Linda Blair), a semi-illiterate farm girl, and takes her away to his remote mountain cabin. There the poetic Leonard becomes her teacher, friend, and lover.
Linda Blair as Doris Mae Withers
Martin Sheen as Leonard Hatch
Jeanne Cooper as Mrs. Withers
Lee de Broux as Sheriff Emmet
Bert Remsen as Mr. Withers
Dehl Berti as Harry Fox
Al Hopson as Mr. Smathers
William Sterchi as Hank Smathers
Roberto Valentino De Leon as Juan
Michael Eiland as Tom Martinez
Mary Michael Carnes as dry goods clerk
Don Hann as liquor store proprietor
Ross Elder as hospital attendant
Chris Williams as man in bungalow
Sweet Hostage was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on November 2nd, 2011, as a Region 1 MOD DVD made available through Warner Archive.