Sweet Hostage

Sweet Hostage is a 1975 American made-for-television drama film based on the novel Welcome to Xanadu by Nathaniel Benchley.[1] The film stars Linda Blair and Martin Sheen.[2] It was filmed in Taos County, New Mexico. It was featured in ABC's Friday Night Movie series.[3] Film and television critic Leonard Maltin rated the movie as "Average" in his biennial ratings guide TV Movies. In his capsule review, Maltin said "the performances by Sheen and Blair almost made this talky adaptation of the Nathaniel Benchley novel worthwhile". The film was only a moderate success in the Nielsen ratings, and failed to generate the type of provocative press which was then-standard for a Linda Blair movie.

Sweet Hostage
Film poster
Written byEdward Hume
Nathaniel Benchley
Antonio Calderón
William Douglas Lansford
Directed byLee Philips
StarringLinda Blair
Martin Sheen
Jeanne Cooper
Theme music composerLuchi De Jesus
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)George Barrie
Producer(s)Sidney Balkin
Richard Lyons
Production location(s)Taos, New Mexico
CinematographyRichard Glouner
Editor(s)George Jay Nicholson
Running time93 minutes
Production company(s)Brut Productions
Original networkABC
Original releaseOctober 10, 1975


In this made-for-television drama, a 31 year old fugitive mental patient kidnaps an illiterate, underage girl from a nearby farm and forces her to go to a lonely mountain cabin. There he teaches her to read and, ultimately, she succumbs to Stockholm Syndrome.


  • Linda Blair as Doris Mae Withers
  • Martin Sheen as Leonard Hatch
  • Jeanne Cooper as Mrs. Withers
  • Lee de Broux as Sheriff Emmet
  • Bert Remsen as Mr. Withers
  • Dehl Berti as Harry Fox
  • Al Hopson as Mr. Smathers
  • William Sterchi as Hank Smathers
  • Roberto Valentino De Leon as Juan
  • Michael Eiland as Tom Martinez
  • Mary Michael Carnes as dry goods clerk
  • Don Hann as liquor store proprietor
  • Ross Elder as hospital attendant
  • Chris Williams as man in bungalow


Sweet Hostage was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on November 2nd, 2011, as a Region 1 MOD DVD made available through Warner Archive.

See also


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