"Master of disaster" Irwin Allen was so confident of his talents in 1979 that he actually thought he could stretch out a suspense tale for a full 200 minutes. Originally telecast in two parts, Allen's Hanging by a Thread concerns a group of friends and tourists, trapped in a sightseeing tram that dangles precariously over a yawning chasm. You might start yawning as well during the film's entirely dispensable flashback sequences. The "suspense" scenes themselves aren't bad, permitting an all-star cast (Sam Groom, Patty Duke Astin, Joyce Bulifant, Donna Mills, Burt Convy et. al.) to alternate between screaming and looking terrified. Hanging by a Thread was first broadcast on May 8 and 9, 1979.
by Hal Erickson synopsis