WriterShana Alexander, David Rayfiel, Stirling Silliphant Release dateDecember 23, 1965 (1965-12-23) ScreenplayStirling Silliphant, Shana Alexander, David Rayfiel CastSidney Poitier (Alan Newell), Anne Bancroft (Inga Dyson), Telly Savalas (Dr. Joe Coburn), Steven Hill (Mark Dyson), Ed Asner (Det. Judd Ridley) Similar moviesThe Voyeur, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Margaret, The Piano Teacher, Notes on a Scandal, Cracks
The slender thread 1965
The Slender Thread is a 1965 film starring Anne Bancroft and Sidney Poitier. It was the first feature-length film directed by Academy Award-winning director, producer and actor Sydney Pollack.
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
The film was nominated for two Oscars:
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.