The link between life and death is The Slender Thread A man dedicated to saving lives. A woman determined to end hers. They're linked by The Slender Thread of the telephone line. Oscar. winners Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft headline a dramatic tour de force in director Sydney Pollack's debut film. Poitier is Alan, a student volunteer for a Seattle crisis hot line. He arrives there hoping for a quiet night of study. But then comes a phone call from a desperate woman (Bancroft) who's intentionally O.D.'d... and who refuses to reveal her name or location. As Alan cajoles, commands and pleads to keep her on the line, the race to save a life is underway.