The Slender Thread

Synopsis: Alan is a Seattle college student volunteering at a crisis center. One night when at the clinic alone, a woman calls up the number and tells Alan that she needs to talk to someone. She informs Alan she took a load of pills, and he secretly tries to get help. During this time, he learns more about the woman, her family life, and why she wants to die. Can Alan get the cavalry to save her in time before it's too late?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Sydney Pollack
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations.
98 min


You need a hand,

Mr. Newell?

A head, Dr. Coburn.

I have finals tomorrow.

You should have

called in

And asked

for a substitute.

I thought of that

all the way over here.

Is it quiet up there?

Listen, I'd like

to steal an evening

and spend it with my son.

Will you be

all right alone?

Let's see.

I left a number

with Marion,

But if you don't

have to call...

You have a good time.





Eight. Ten.

Ten enough?


And 12.

I wrote a number down

for Dr. Coburn.

It's right

by the phone.


Not a creature


Let me know how

you like the coffee.

It's a new brand.

Good night.

Good night.



Crisis Clinic.

Newell speaking.

Newell, huh?

What have you got

against barbers?

It depends

on the haircut.

Well, I'm a barber.

Your name, please.


Rudy Leachman.

Your age, please,

Mr. Leachman.

Ah, come on.

What's age got

to do with it?

I bet you're one

of those guys who think

barbers got pension plans.


Would you hold the phone

a moment please?

Mac, where you going?

There are some

things you ought

to learn about barbers.

Crisis Clinic.

Newell speaking.

I have to talk

to somebody.

You know, there are

11,000 barbers

in this country?

Hold the phone

a moment, please.

Well, I'm one

of the best.

Cutting hair

is an art.


That's right. I said an art.

I suppose you think

barbers never shut up.

Well, it's

a two-way street.

I'm going to have to

call you back.

I've got somebody

on the other line.

Would you please

give me a number?

You ought to

hear the things

people say.

They ought to be


Hold the phone

a minute.

Wait a minute. I stood

next to my chair


I'm here now.

You can talk to me

if you like.

What did you say

your name was?



Alan Newell.

May I ask

who's calling, please?

Does it make

any difference?

You know my name.

Why shouldn't

I know yours?

Now, what do I call you?



Not you. Me.

Just call me stupid.

Why, miss?


I planned everything

except the car keys.

What if they

don't find them?

It's a brand-new car.

Maybe there's something

I can do about that.

I could mail them,

I suppose,

But I don't have a stamp,

And I can't go out now,

even if I did.

I want Mark

to have them.

How old are you?

I'm just trying

to get a picture.

You know, it makes it easier

if I can kind of

see the person.

I'm 30.

An old 30.

Look, miss...


Why can't we be


And I call you missus

but Mrs. what?

Ah, you're well trained,

aren't you?

I beg your pardon?


to disturbed people.

Are you disturbed?


Why don't you say

something, mac?

Not anymore.

That's good.

Very simple cure,

Mr. Newell.

Just hold out one hand

and pour yourself

the right kind of pills,

Then open your mouth

and swallow.

Hey, speak,

will you?

Ain't you got

no point of view?

Do I understand

that you're

Thinking of taking


You do not

understand me.

Well, I'm glad of that.

I am not thinking

of taking barbiturates.

I have taken barbiturates.

I am checking out,

Mr. Newell.

Except for

these damn keys.

I don't know

what to do about them.

I could have them

picked up.

Good night, Mr. Newell.

I mean, goodbye.



I want to talk

to you.

I mean, I need

to talk to you.

Didn't you need

to talk to somebody

just a moment ago?


Now I need

to talk to somebody.

What kind of psychology

is that?

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Shana Alexander

Shana Alexander (October 6, 1925 – June 23, 2005) was an American journalist. Although she became the first woman staff writer and columnist for Life magazine, she was best known for her participation in the "Point-Counterpoint" debate segments of 60 Minutes with conservative James J. Kilpatrick. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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