6.9/10
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11 user 6 critic

The Climb (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama | 18 February 1999 (USA)
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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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

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Plot Keywords:

neighbor | old man | coward | rifle | dying | See All (25) »

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »
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18 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hero's Climb  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When he first talks with Andy Sweeney at the WBBL 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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?
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User Reviews

1950s American characters, well acted
1 December 2004 | by (Milwaukee, Wis. USA) – See all my reviews

While some aspects of the plot of "The Climb" may be predictable, this is a character film and the characters are well drawn and well acted. The lead actor, the young Gregory Smith, is especially excellent in the role of a seemingly typical youth of 1959, eager to display his courage in a typical escapade of boys his age: the climbing of a decommissioned radio tower to compete with other kids in the Baltimore neighborhood where the story is set. He is complemented by veteran actor John Hurt as a crusty old neighbor who seeks solace in drink until Gregory's "12-year-old" character comes into his life via an arrow through his window! The two become pals of sorts as Hurt helps young Gregory in his aim to be the first kid to climb the rusty tower, slated for demolition soon. This time-is-of-the-essence element moves the story along as it is also part of Hurt's dying character. This is what keeps the vignettes of 50s America and side lines of the peripheral characters in proper scope and duration. Perhaps the most multilevel performance is that of Gregory's father played by David Stratharin, a man of evident decentness in his portrayal, and, one would think from this, in his personal life as well.

Gregory Smith went on to other films, and is perhaps best known in the TV series "Everwood", but he is at his most attractive and engaging in this role in "The Climb." Dave Stratharin has done many fine performances as his page on this site makes clear, but this is one of his most nuanced roles as others have noted. We could have done without the boobs scene between Hurt's daughter-in-law and the priest, but I suppose it was supposed to lighten up a rather sober story line, and with its omission, this is a also a good film for kids. This flick is neither high drama nor a laugh fest, and it may not be a classic, but it is thoroughly enjoyable as the rich character study it is.


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