The Slender Thread

1965, Movie, NR, 98 mins

Review

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Based on an actual incident, this film has Poitier as a volunteer at a medical clinic who receives a call from distraught Bancroft, a married woman driven to take an overdose of sleeping pills. While Bancroft relates the events leading to her attempted suicide (mainly the treatment she has received as a result of her husband's discovery that he is not the natural father of their son), an intensive search throughout Seattle is made to locate the woman. Several flashbacks are inserted depicting Bancroft's life while a patient, yet equally tormented, Poitier struggles to hold the woman on the phone. Eventually police sergeant Newlan is able to trace the call to the proper hotel room and reaches Bancroft just as she collapses. This was director Pollack's directorial debut in filmmaking--he had a background of extensive work in television productions. He managed a taut drama revolving around the phone call, and added much realism through the photography of Seattle and the excellent performances of the men in search of the dying woman. Poitier and Bancroft contribute to the suspense through their poignant performances. Bancroft conveys much of her inner turmoil through the sound of her voice. Nominated by the Academy for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. leave a comment

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