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The Climb (1997)

 -  Drama  -  18 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 319 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

John Langer, a crusty old civic engineer, has an arsenal full of memories. With irreverent wit, he rattles on, in his irascible humorous style, burning his spicy stories into the ... See full summary »



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Title: The Climb (1997)

The Climb (1997) on IMDb 6.9/10

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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Langer
Earl Himes
Jack McLaskin
Seth Smith ...
Andy Sweeney
Ruth Langer (as Sarah G. Buxton)
Leslie Himes
Matthew Ness ...
Wayne Barto
Michael Saccente ...
Ed Langer
Tina Regtien ...
Eileen Barto
Oliver Hodges ...
Tommy Sweeney
Michael Galvin ...
Father Cronin
Nigel Godfrey ...
Langer's Doctor
Dave Perrett ...
Joe Grace
Peter Rowley ...
Rules Rhodes


John Langer, a crusty old civic engineer, has an arsenal full of memories. With irreverent wit, he rattles on, in his irascible humorous style, burning his spicy stories into the imagination of a young neighbor kid, Danny Himes. Danny is a gifted, spirited athlete with something to prove. Worldly, old man Langer has turned his back on proving anything at all. It's post WWII. Danny's father, Earl, did not serve in the military and is considered a coward. Danny excels to overcome his father's reputation while Earl is actually more a man than the town knows. "You don't smoke, you don't drink, and you don't screw. What kind of man are you anyway?" old man Langer asks Danny. The more appropriate question is: "What kind of men are they?" Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

old man | neighbor | coward | rifle | dying | See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

18 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hero's Climb  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


When he first talks with Andy Sweeney at the WBBG radio antenna, Danny protests (at around 09 mins) "Yeah, but the last couple of years guys try it the day the kid from Hamilton fell." Hamilton is an urban neighborhood located in northeastern Baltimore City, which is in turn located in Baltimore County in Maryland. See more »


As Danny is in his pajamas lying on his bed (at around 32 mins) he has no abrasion over his left eyebrow, but when a gunshot awakens him (at 14:02 and throughout the rest of that scene) he does have abrasions over his left eyebrow. Similarly, when Danny and Wayne hide behind a tree as the Sweeney brothers ride by on their bikes, Danny has no abrasions (at around 7 mins), but after being chased by Andy Sweeney and falling, Danny does have the abrasions over his left eyebrow (at around 29 mins), but we know they are from his fall. See more »


Chuck Langer: You can have one if you want.
Danny Himes: What?
Chuck Langer: A beer, I don't give a good Goddamn.
Danny Himes: Ah no, it's okay. I don't drink.
Chuck Langer: You don't drink, you don't screw. Hell, what kind of a man are you?
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Movie, Stunned at the Attack
17 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm very sorry Mr. Jacobs found this movie so dismal, and incorrect. I for one found it very much a portrayal of what life was like in the late 50's and early 60's, at least for me, and my brother. Of course, we can't really speak to what Baltimore looked like since we lived in Philadelphia, but I really didn't tune this in because I expected it to be a documentary of Maryland landscape in '58 or '59, so maybe I missed something. England never much looked like what we saw in Sweeney Todd either, but what can you say?

As for the plot, I was thrilled. The story line has been described at length by others, so I won't waste the space on that. I did find a couple of scenes so riveting that I'll never lose them. The first was John Hurt describing the effect of absolute exhaustion and searing heat being assuaged by a Argentine lady sliding an ice cold beer across the bar to him. Having worked many an hour in the sun out near Barstow, CA in the summer, I could truly understand and appreciate the imagery of that dialogue with no extra effort at all.

The next was the scene where Strathairn's character has had enough of the neighborhood drunk firing his weapon into the sky in the middle of the night and walks across the street and clocks him good. A good man, pushed to the limit, can't take any more and does something about it. Well acted, and very tense exchange between the two men. And Mr. Jacobs? You think that 13 years was enough time that everyone would have forgotten a "draft dodger" and let it go? Think again. It damn sure would have been a roadblock for the little boy to play on the VFW sponsored baseball team.

My favorite scene of this movie though, with no doubt, was watching the look on the kids face when the apparatus Hurt designed begins to haul his little body up the inside of the tower in a flash. Man that was something, you could almost feel the wind in your own hair and watch the ground recede below you.

We had a similar dare target where I grew up. A huge natural gas line spanned a river, and the dare was to walk across it without using your hands to hold on to the guy wires. Up to the time we moved from there (1967) no one ever had. Maybe that's why this one resonated so deeply with me.

I thought it was wonderful, with just enough surprises and laughter to make it not too heavy, which it damn sure could have been.

I think this is one of those hidden gems that make you just delighted you stumbled across. I'm glad I saw this, and have it in my DVD library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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