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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Slender Thread [Blu-ray]


(Sydney Pollack, 1965)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Athene Productions

Video: Olive Films



Region: All (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:38:26.901

Disc Size: 17,914,377,595 bytes

Feature Size: 17,854,064,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 16th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 928 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 928 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None





Description: Sydney Pollack's feature-film debut deals with a woman, played by Anne Bancroft (The Graduate), who takes an overdose of prescription pills and calls a crisis clinic for help. Sidney Poitier (In the Heat of the Night), plays a college volunteer who tries to keep the suicidal woman on the line while asking the police to trace the call. Stirling Silliphant (The Towering Inferno) wrote the screenplay based upon an actual incident reported in Time Magazine. The Slender Thread boasts a strong supporting cast featuring Telly Savalas, Steven Hill, Ed Asner and Dabney Coleman, with a rousing score by Quincy Jones (The Getaway) and great black-and-white cinematography by Loyal Griggs (Shane).



The Film:

Set in Seattle's Crisis Clinic, the movie sets up a dramatic situation at the outset with a suicidal woman (Anne Bancroft) calling into the clinic after taking an overdose of barbiturates. Her call is received by Alan Newell (Sidney Poitier), a student volunteer at the center who is majoring in psychology. As the clinic staff races against time to trace the call and rescue the distraught woman, Alan tries to keep her talking and in the process learns of the events leading up to her decision to kill herself. Alternating between flashbacks and the stressful situation at the crisis clinic, The Slender Thread works best as a dramatic showcase for the performances of Anne Bancroft as the suicidal Mrs. Dyson and Sidney Poitier as her lifeline to survival.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

"The Slender Thread," which represents a first production effort for Stephen Alexander and the movie directorial debut of Sydney Pollack, who previously has labored in television, was inspired by a factual story by Mrs. Alexander, a staff writer for Life Magazine. Out of her case history of one would-be suicide, which dramatized the work of the clinic established last year, Stirling Silliphant has written a grim story that may pose questions but one whose decent intent cannot be argued.

The gnawing doubt lies in the fact that the final act of suicide is, in many cases, entered into without fanfare or discussion with some friend. The clinic's people work on the theory that many do seek someone in whom to confide, simply to talk. That is the basis for this fiction based on fact. On this premise, we have Sidney Poitier, a college student majoring in psychology and working in the clinic for credits in his course, receiving a phone call from Anne Bancroft, as a housewife who has taken an overdose of barbiturates.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Slender Thread is given the much-deserved Blu-ray treatment from Olive Films. Typically - only single-layered and contrast has a few fluctuations but generally the image is quite strong. Probably only restoration would give this a more robust video quality - I doubt that dual-layering would benefit the visuals extensively. There is some depth exported and film-like textures. The resulting 1080P transferred image is quite pleasing. The Blu-ray and contrast layering improved the presentation over DVD and the end result is a solid presentation. I was extremely happy with my Home theater viewing - Kudos to the film.















Audio :

Quincy Jones score sounds wonderfully supportive via the DTS-HD Master mono track at a modest 928 kbps. Moments are surprisingly crisp at times. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Again, again,. again, no supplements - a truly bare-bones disc for a film that really deserves some discussion or even a commentary.



I'm a huge fan of Anne Bancroft and I thought she was great in The Slender Thread but this is almost a one-man show with Poitier practically giving a thespian clinic. While the performances are a hefty chunk of the value here - this is also a suspenseful, humanity oiled, Stirling Silliphant story. Pollack brings it all together and the Olive Blu-ray produces a winning presentation. A great film and the best way to see it in your Home theater - absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 10th, 2012

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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