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In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.

The Slender Thread (1965)
The first seven or eight minutes of The Slender Thread are packed with lots of mid-sixties Seattle scenery shot in beautiful black and white. Intermixed with airborne shots of the Seattle Center and the Ballard Locks is the introduction of the film's main characters. The most notable are Sidney Poitier as a UW student named Alan Newell who volunteers at a suicide crisis clinic and Inga Dyson, an unhappy housewife portrayed by Anne Bancroft. Based on a Life Magazine article about the Seattle Crisis Clinic, this is a fictional account of a woman's emotional problems that lead up to her suicide attempt and the efforts of the suicide hotline to save her life. The film is told through flashbacks with a few documentary touches. It is a fairly engrossing, though somewhat typical, drama highlighted by Bancroft's performance and the abundance of vintage Seattle footage. Inga Dyson lives in the Sunset Hill neighborhood with a view of Shilshole Bay Marina. She is having marital troubles, plus she is suffering from depression. Feeling helpless she takes an overdose of pills in an anonymous Sea-Tac motel room. She calls the crisis line where Poitier does his best to both keep her conscious and track her down. Too bad they didn't have caller ID back in 1965. Local legend Quincy Jones also supplies the film's jazzy soundtrack. One scene takes place at a rock and roll nightclub. Unfortunately this scene was shot in Southern California and the filmmakers use an L.A. band called Sons of Adam instead of one of the northwest's many excellent rock bands. Never released on DVD you can rent the videotape from Scarecrow's Classic Drama section.
--Spenser Hoyt

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