Spider-Man (1977 film)

1977 film directed by E.W. Swackhamer

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Spider-Man
Poster of The Amazing Spider-Man.jpg
Australian theatrical release poster
Directed byE. W. Swackhamer
Written byAlvin Boretz
Based on
Produced byCharles W. Fries
Daniel R. Goodman
Edward J. Montagne
StarringNicholas Hammond
David White
Michael Pataki
Lisa Eilbacher
CinematographyFred Jackman, Jr.
Edited byAaron Stell
Music byJohnnie Spence
Production
companies
Danchuck Productions
Marvel Television
Distributed byColumbia Pictures Television
Release date
  • September 14, 1977 (1977-09-14)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$9 million[1]

Spider-Man is a 1977 American made-for-television superhero film that had a theatrical release outside the US, which serves as the pilot to the 1978 television series titled The Amazing Spider-Man. It was directed by E. W. Swackhamer, written by Alvin Boretz and stars Nicholas Hammond as the titular character, David White, Michael Pataki, Jeff Donnell and Thayer David.

It is the first Spider-Man film by Columbia Pictures. Two sequels, Spider-Man Strikes Back and Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge, were released in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

Plot

Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond), a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, is bitten by a radioactive spider and discovers he has gained superpowers, such as super-strength, agility and the ability to climb sheer walls and ceilings. When a mysterious Guru (Thayer David) places people under mind-control - including a doctor and lawyer - to rob banks and threatens to have ten New Yorkers commit suicide at his command unless the city pays him $50 million, Peter becomes the costumed hero Spider-Man to stop the crook's fiendish scheme. Things take a bad turn when the villain hypnotizes Peter Parker and his friend Judy into being some of the ten people to jump off a building on command. With some luck, Peter is able to break free and then stop the Guru in his tracks.[2]

Cast

Production

The famed sequence[according to whom?] in which Spider-Man crawls across an office ceiling and jumps to the wall was accomplished using a complex set of rigging and cables hidden in tracks in the ceiling. Stunt grips lifted stuntman/stunt coordinator Fred Waugh to the ceiling, and he then scuttled down the hallway using a slider track while the wire pressure pulled him upwards.[3] The scene in which Spider-Man swings from building-to-building was extremely expensive and dangerous, and required two days of rigging; to avoid having to repeat this, the stunt was filmed from multiple camera angles to create extra footage which could be used in future episodes of the TV series.[3][4]

Release and reception

The film premiered on CBS on September 14, 1977. It received a 17.8 rating with a 30 share, making it the highest performing CBS production for the entire year.[3] Overseas, the film was theatrically released and distributed by Columbia Pictures.[5] In the UK particularly, Spider-Man received both a standalone release and a reissue as the first film in a double-bill with Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. It received a VHS / Laserdisc release as a straight-to-video film in 1980.[6][7][8][9]

Sequels

Spider-Man Strikes Back, a composite of the two-parter episode "Deadly Dust" of the contemporary television show The Amazing Spider-Man, screened in European theatres on 21 December 1978. After that a second sequel named Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge was also made and released in Europe and Australia.

References

  1. ^ Hofius, Jason (2010). Age Of TV Heroes: The Live-Action Adventures Of Your Favorite Comic Book Characters. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 978-1605490106.
  2. ^ The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television, 2d ed. page 41
  3. ^ a b c Mangels, Andy (October 2010). "Spinning the Story of the Amazing Spider-Man". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 44–48.
  4. ^ Moore, Trent (May 24, 2017). "The original, 1977 Spider-Man movie suit is hitting the auction block". SYFY WIRE.
  5. ^ Rowan, Terry (2016). Character-Based Film Series Part 3. Lulu.com. p. 177. ISBN 9781365021312 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Awfully Good: The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)". www.joblo.com. April 30, 2014.
  7. ^ DeCandido, Keith R. A. (August 24, 2017). "With Great Power Comes Great Boredom — Spider-Man (1977) and Dr. Strange (1978)". Tor.com.
  8. ^ "The 6 Weirdest Versions of SPIDER-MAN We've Ever Seen on Screen". Nerdist.
  9. ^ "Every Spider-Man Movie Ever, Ranked". CBR. July 16, 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-07-19.

External links

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