The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)

I can tell you exactly where a five-year-old me was on the night of September 14, 1977.

Watching this movie on CBS.

I wasn’t alone, as it was the highest performing CBS production for the entire year and played as a theatrical movie in Europe, often in a double bill with Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

Directed by E. W. Swackhamer (Vampire) and written by Alvin Boretz, this TV movie has Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker, who becomes Spider-Man when he’s bitten by a radioactive spider.

His first villain isn’t Doctor Octopus or the Green Goblin, but instead The Guru (Thayer David), who is mind-controlling people to rob banks and threatens to cause ten people to commit suicide unless he’s paid $50 million. The real drama happens when Peter becomes one of the people under the villain’s thrall.

It’s just sort of like the comic and not really filled with action, but it does have the wild stunt of Spider-Man climbing an actual building in New York City and swinging on a web, which wasn’t CGI back in 1977 and blew all of our minds.

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