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Cliffhanger (1993)

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A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains.

Director:

Renny Harlin

Writers:

John Long (premise), Michael France (screen story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,907 ( 616)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Stallone ... Gabe Walker
John Lithgow ... Qualen
Michael Rooker ... Hal Tucker
Janine Turner ... Jessie Deighan
Rex Linn ... Richard Travers
Caroline Goodall ... Kristel
Leon ... Kynette
Craig Fairbrass ... Delmar
Gregory Scott Cummins ... Ryan
Denis Forest ... Heldon
Michelle Joyner ... Sarah
Max Perlich ... Evan
Paul Winfield ... Walter Wright
Ralph Waite ... Frank
Trey Brownell Trey Brownell ... Brett
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Storyline

Whilst crossing a ledge, 4000 feet above the earth, Gabe's friend's equipment fails to work and she slips out of his hand, falling to the ground. Almost a year later, Gabe is asked to go back to the same mountain range and rescue a group of 'stranded' people. The only catch is that these so called 'stranded' people are in fact looking for three boxes filled with $100,000,000 and they need a mountain ranger to lead them to them!! Written by Michael Feller <Reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hang on! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Riesgo total See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,458,022, 31 May 1993, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$84,049,211

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$171,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints) (Europe)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints) (USA)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tri-Star Pictures and Carolco Pictures were forced to pay out an additional seven hundred fifty thousand dollars to three separate writers, who were all claiming credit for the story. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 35 mins) When Gabe falls into the water he performs a variety of moves including removing his shirts and taunting Travers. After he emerges with help from Hal, Gabe is fine and the movie goes on. This could not happen. The temperature of the water should have put him into shock and stiffened all his limbs shortly after he fell in. Not to mention, even if Hal were to take him out, Gabe's core body temperature would have dropped to the point of a hypothermia scare. See more »

Quotes

Qualen: You want to kill me, don't you, Tucker? Well, get a number and get in line.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The following was edited for an R rating:
  • On the plane shootout an agent is shot twice in the chest, in the NC-17 work print it shows a second or so more of him feeling the impacts in slow-motion.
  • Another agent is shot in the head, blood and brain matter splats on the wall behind him but in the R rated version you only briefly see the aftermath of him falling back.
  • When the co-pilot is shot in the NC-17 work print you see a different angle of blood and brains splattering on the window with him slumping back in the chair in slow-motion in the R rated version the scene is considerably shorter and just shows the pistol put to his head and fired.
  • When the co-pilot is shot in the R rated version you see him wriggling about and then falling backwards out of the plane with some bloody wounds on his back, in the work print you can clearly see multiple bloody bullet holes appearing in slow-motion as he is being shot by the agent.
  • When Brett is shot in the R rated version you see two bloody bullet hits on his back before he falls to the ground. In the work print he takes two bloody bullet hits in the back and then there is another shot of 3 more coming out of his chest and as he falls to the ground you can see another shot of him from behind taking another 3 hits before hitting the ground.
  • In the R rated version Evan is fired upon and doesn't appear to be hit until Frank finds him later. In the work print Kynette forces Travers shoot at Evan you then see Evan take a bullet through the shoulder in slow-motion which explains why he appears to have been shot when Frank finds him later on.
  • The fight between Gabe and Kynette has been shortened for the R rated version which misses shots of Gabe and Jessie being beaten further after Kynette asks for the *third* time where the money is (this is missing in the R rated version which leads to a continuity error as he said he would ask three times)The impaling of Kynette has been shortened, in the work print there is more focus on Kynette's eyes going back into his head and Gabe gritting his teeth holding Kynette up on the stalagmite as he is dying before finally dropping him.
  • When Hal and Delmar fight the R rated version has removed a shot of Delmar kicking Hal hard in the kidneys and saying "Tell me how are we feeling so far?" as opposed to the R rated version "Tell me do you like soccer" they have been edited together and this now explains why Delmar appears out of breath when he asks the soccer question.
  • When Hal shoots Delmar with the shotgun in the work print you see Craig Fairbrass get shot with a large splatter of blood behind him and a bloody shotgun wound to his chest as he dives off the mountain. The R rated version shows a different angle with a stuntman falling off the mountain. Additionally the work print shows Delmar's body slamming into the rocks below where as the R rated version cuts away just before.
  • When Qualen shoots Kristel in the work print all three bloody bullet impacts are shown, in the R rated version it cuts away after the first shot to show Traver's reaction.
  • The Gabe and Travers fight has been edited (this might not be censorship, apparently the filmmakers decided it would be better to have Gabe shoot Traver's with his piton gun before falling under the ice as per the R rated version) in the work print Gabe shoots Traver's once with the piton gun and Traver's gets up and tries to shoot Gabe through the ice and is then shot by Hal three times with a shotgun before falling under the ice (this explains why Hal appears with a shotgun in the R rated version).
  • The ending fight with Gabe and Qualen has been shortened so kidney punches, an arm break and a longer shot of a terrified Qualen crashing to his death in the helicopter were taken out.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Bushwhacked (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Need Some?
Written by Matt Mercado
Performed by Mind Bomb
Courtesy of Mercury Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Cliffhanger A Decent Action Crime Adventure With Some Flaws
28 June 2009 | by tburke85See all my reviews

Cliffhanger is a decent action crime adventure with some flaws from director Renny Harlin whose admirable in making this movie about an expert climber who finds himself taken hostage with a fellow friend by a gang of dangerous criminals on the search for suit cases full of stolen cash in the Rocky Mountains. Sylvester Stallone is impressive as Gabe Walker the expert climber especially in the action/fight sequences but some of them definitely border on the line of unrealistic. For the sake of the film though I willing to suspend my disbelief. The rest of the cast including John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, Rex Linn, Caroline Goodall, and Leon are respectable as the supporting characters in the movie. The action/fight sequences are well executed but as mentioned before some aren't very realistic no matter how tough you are. The climbing sequences however are very well done because instead of doing the whole film in a studio somewhere the locations they chose felt very real and the Ariel views of the mountain ranges are marvelous adding a touch of reality to the movie. The deaths are inventive while others are sort of predictable. The villains are solid but it would've been better if they had focused on a more central one instead of having many of them. The pacing of the movie was a little slow but the good outweighs the bad in this one. If you're a big fan of Harlins or Stallone's than chances are you'll enjoy this one too. Overall Cliffhanger has character development with enough action, drama, some suspense, excitement, thrills, and good performances by the cast who make this movie worth the time to watch.


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