The fight on the cliff between Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood at the end of the film was filmed on a cliff called Palisade Head in Silver Bay, Minnesota overlooking Lake Superior. In the story, it was supposed to be The Atlantic Ocean but a suitable rock face overlook could not be found, and after numerous weekend scouts all over the country, Silver Bay, Minnesota was chosen. For the angles looking down at the water, numerous power boats were used to churn up the water right before cameras were rolled to simulate the ocean waves. The cliff was 180 feet above the water, but the top ten feet of the cliff was manufactured. It was created on top of the actual cliff out of wood and plaster and coated with a rubber material so that the actors could roll around on it and fight as needed. The stunt riggers were hidden inside the fake cliff, controlling safety cables connected to the actors when they were hanging off the side of the cliff and then Culkin's character is dropped.
Due to the James Bulger case, this movie was not given a theatrical release in the UK. Instead, it went straight-to-video in 1995. The video was given an 18 certificate, with edits made to the scene in which Henry (Macaulay Culkin) deliberately drops a mannequin over an overpass and causes a car pile-up, as the BBFC feared that children would try to imitate the stunt. The 2002 DVD was passed uncut with an 18 certificate.
In 1988, Michael Klesic was cast in the role of Henry Evans. The film was soon after put on hold due to a lack of funding. A couple of years later, Jesse Bradford was cast as Henry since the original child actors had grown too old for their roles. The project was shelved again and again, the actors out-grew their characters. Finally, the project was once again re-cast and finally shot and released in 1993.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Both Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood were trained by stunt coordinator Jack Gill and rehearsed for six weeks prior to shooting of the climactic scene so that they could be comfortable and act while hanging from a cliff 180 feet above water. When Henry (Culkin) was dropped by his mother (Wendy Crewson), a shot of Culkin himself and not a stunt double falling away from the camera on the actual cliff was required. After discussions with Culkin and his parents, he agreed to do a 30-foot fall on a cable on the actual cliff, 180 feet above the freezing lake, but he wanted one thing in return for this act of bravery: a BB gun. Culkin performed the cable fall perfectly and was given his BB gun.