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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
Danchuck Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures Television (United States)
Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 14, 1977 (1977-09-14)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$9 million

Spider-Man is a 1977 American television superhero film that aired on CBS and had a theatrical release outside the US, which serves as the pilot to the 1977 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.


This article needs an improved plot summary. Please help improve the plot summary. (June 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Peter Parker, 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 places people under mind-control - including a doctor and lawyer - to rob banks, Peter becomes the costumed hero Spider-Man to stop the crook's fiendish scheme. The Guru then announces that he will hypnotize ten New Yorkers, chosen at random, into committing suicide unless the city pays him $50 million, which becomes a Daily Bugle headline "Are You One of the Ten People?". The situation becomes even worse when Peter Parker and his friend Judy are hypnotized into being two of the people to defenestrate themselves from the Empire State Building by week's end. With some luck, Peter is able to break free of the hypnosis and then stop the Guru in his tracks.[1]



The sequence 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.[2] 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.[2][3]

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.[2] Overseas, the film was theatrically released and distributed by Columbia Pictures.[4] 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.[5][6][7][8]

The film grossed $9 million at the overseas box office.[9]


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. A second sequel named Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge was also made and released in Europe and Australia.


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television, 2d ed. page 41
  2. ^ a b c Mangels, Andy (October 2010). "Spinning the Story of the Amazing Spider-Man". Back Issue! (44). TwoMorrows Publishing: 44–48.
  3. ^ Moore, Trent (May 24, 2017). "The original, 1977 Spider-Man movie suit is hitting the auction block". SYFY WIRE. Archived from the original on October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Rowan, Terry (2016). Based+Film+Series+Part+3&pg=PP1 Character-Based Film Series Part 3. p. 177. ISBN 9781365021312 – via Google Books. ((cite book)): Check |url= value (help)
  5. ^ "Awfully Good: The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)". April 30, 2014.
  6. ^ DeCandido, Keith R. A. (August 24, 2017). "With Great Power Comes Great Boredom — Spider-Man (1977) and Dr. Strange (1978)".
  7. ^ "The 6 Weirdest Versions of SPIDER-MAN We've Ever Seen on Screen". Nerdist.
  8. ^ "Every Spider-Man Movie Ever, Ranked". CBR. July 16, 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-07-19.
  9. ^ Hofius, Jason (2010). Age Of TV Heroes: The Live-Action Adventures Of Your Favorite Comic Book Characters. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 978-1605490106.