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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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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Details

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18 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Hero's Climb  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around nine minutes) When he first talks with Andy Sweeney at the WBBL radio antenna, Danny protests "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

When Ruth turns on the radio in her bedroom (at around 23 mins) it begins to play immediately, not taking time to warm up like a tube radio from that period would. Either the radio is solid state or, more likely, this reveals the music being added in after the scene. See more »

Quotes

Danny Himes: Great, so um, maybe you wouldn't mind coming and showing 'em babies to my entire 6th grade class.
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User Reviews

 
Well Acted but Totally Predictable
7 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

Some fine performances grace this completely predictable drama of a young boy who wants to climb a soon-to-be-demolished local radio tower to prove his bravery and counteract the undercurrent of shame thrown at his father by the community for not being in either WWII or the Korean War.

The boy befriends an adult neighbor's crotchety father, who is dying of lung cancer but helps the boy try to realize his dream. When a crisis looms in the film's climax, the boy finds out how brave his father really is.

As the gruff-but-only-on-the-outside dying man, John Hurt flirts dangerously with hamminess, but still holds your attention in the film's showiest role. The boy is very good, but David Strathairn as the father gives the best performance. It's a typical Strathairn role - the seeming milquetoast who isn't one in the end - but his acting lifts the role out of the commonplace by giving us the reserves of strength and shades of character within an "ordinary" man. Few actors can portray simple goodness and decency as well as Strathairn can, and still make the characters seem human and interesting.

As for the film, you've seen this kind of story many times before - usually on TV.


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