Cliffhanger (1993)

R | 118 mins | Adventure | 28 May 1993

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HISTORY

End credits state: “This motion picture is dedicated to the memory of Fadl Kassar and Wolfgang Gullich." Gullich died of injuries from an automobile accident shortly after filming was completed. Fadl Kassar was the father of executive producer Mario Kassar, who died during production.
       Acknowledgments include: “This motion picture was made with the help of: The Mayor and Citizens of Cortina D’Ampezzo; S.M.A. #572, by kind permission of the Italian Air Force General Staff; Si Ringrazia Alitalia per la disponsibilita del Nuovo Centro Direzionale”; “Special thanks to Alitalia for the use of their new business center; Cinecitta® Studio Facilities Production Equipment”; “The producers gratefully acknowledge: Complete Film Corporation and Martin Fink; Black Diamond Equipment Ltd.; Mountain Set Construction, Cortina D’Ampezzo, Trento Disaggi, S.A.S.; Pacific Bell; The Rocky Mountain National Parks and Chief Park Ranger Joe Evans; Snowcats supplied by Kassbohrer; Ute Mountain Ute Tribe for allowing filming at the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation; Fiscal representative in Italy—N. Filmaudit Srl”; “The Black Diamond harness used in this motion picture was altered in order to create the accident depicted.”; “Basketball footage courtesy of the NCAA”; and, “Filmed on location in Cortina D’Ampezzo and Rome, Italy and Durango, Colorado.” End credits also state: “Read the Jove book,” referring to the 1993 novelization by Jeff Rovin; “Now available: Cliffhanger video games from Sony Imagesoft for all Nintendo and Sega Systems”; and, “Now listen to the Cinema Sound Audio Cassette.”
       On 10 Sep 1991, DV announced that Carolco Pictures acquired the Cliffhanger screenplay from TriStar Pictures script reader Michael France, who was writing under the pseudonym “Jay Garrick.” According to the 24 Feb 1992 Var, Carolco purchased ... More Less

End credits state: “This motion picture is dedicated to the memory of Fadl Kassar and Wolfgang Gullich." Gullich died of injuries from an automobile accident shortly after filming was completed. Fadl Kassar was the father of executive producer Mario Kassar, who died during production.
       Acknowledgments include: “This motion picture was made with the help of: The Mayor and Citizens of Cortina D’Ampezzo; S.M.A. #572, by kind permission of the Italian Air Force General Staff; Si Ringrazia Alitalia per la disponsibilita del Nuovo Centro Direzionale”; “Special thanks to Alitalia for the use of their new business center; Cinecitta® Studio Facilities Production Equipment”; “The producers gratefully acknowledge: Complete Film Corporation and Martin Fink; Black Diamond Equipment Ltd.; Mountain Set Construction, Cortina D’Ampezzo, Trento Disaggi, S.A.S.; Pacific Bell; The Rocky Mountain National Parks and Chief Park Ranger Joe Evans; Snowcats supplied by Kassbohrer; Ute Mountain Ute Tribe for allowing filming at the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation; Fiscal representative in Italy—N. Filmaudit Srl”; “The Black Diamond harness used in this motion picture was altered in order to create the accident depicted.”; “Basketball footage courtesy of the NCAA”; and, “Filmed on location in Cortina D’Ampezzo and Rome, Italy and Durango, Colorado.” End credits also state: “Read the Jove book,” referring to the 1993 novelization by Jeff Rovin; “Now available: Cliffhanger video games from Sony Imagesoft for all Nintendo and Sega Systems”; and, “Now listen to the Cinema Sound Audio Cassette.”
       On 10 Sep 1991, DV announced that Carolco Pictures acquired the Cliffhanger screenplay from TriStar Pictures script reader Michael France, who was writing under the pseudonym “Jay Garrick.” According to the 24 Feb 1992 Var, Carolco purchased the property for roughly $900,000. The project re-teamed director Renny Harlin with actor Sylvester Stallone shortly after the two had begun preparations on the hurricane thriller Gale Force, which ultimately was not produced.
       Although a 22 Nov 1991 Screen International brief reported that Sam Neill had been cast as a park ranger opposite Stallone, the role of “Hal Tucker” was played by Michael Rooker. A 26 May 1992 DV news item referred to Donald Sutherland as Stallone’s “co-star,” but his involvement was not mentioned in other contemporary sources and he does not appear in the final film.
       With production already underway, the 3 Jun 1992 HR reported that Carolco secured financing from Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland N.V., marking the company’s first bank backing deal since it underwent a heavy debt restructuring program in Nov 1991. An additional $16.7 million in equity investments were covered by the Japanese electronics corporation, Pioneer; the French pay-television network, Le Studio Canal+; and the Italian media conglomerate, Rizzoli Coniere della Sera Group. Roughly $28 million was provided by TriStar Pictures in exchange for all theatrical, home video, and television rights in North America, as well as theatrical distribution rights in several key foreign markets, including France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. As a result, Carolco did not expect to see returns on the picture’s earnings until distributors in those territories recouped all expenses and fees. In the event that the picture earned a profit, Carolco laid claim to 42% of all net revenues, with Pioneer, Canal+, and Rizzoli collecting 24%, 29% and 5%, respectively.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, filmmakers scouted mountain ranges in Spain, Austria, New Zealand, France, Germany, Canada, and the U.S. before deciding to shoot in Italy. Photography took place in Cortina, Italy, from 11 Apr—2 Jun 1992. The crew then moved to Cinecitta Studios in Rome until filming was completed on 19 Aug 1992.
       Problems arose throughout production that delayed shooting and caused several million dollars in budget overruns. A 21 Jul 1992 LAT news item stated that Stallone lacerated his hand performing a helicopter-climbing stunt, but quickly returned to work after receiving stitches. The following day, however, HR reported that the wound had become infected, prompting filmmakers to rearrange the schedule so they could continue shooting scenes that did not include Stallone. A few weeks later, the 3 Aug 1992 HR reported that five gunmen stole $180,000 from the film’s Cinecitta production office. A DV article that same day estimated the figure at $250,000. According to the 26 May 1992 DV, equipment was lost after it slid down the Cortina mountainside. On 2 Oct 1992, DV reported that a fire broke out at Boss Films facilities in Venice, CA, during production of the picture’s final visual effects sequence, which featured a model helicopter exploding into a mock foam cliff. The blaze damaged a camera and property totaling $700,000.
       Consequently, the 23 Nov 1992 Var claimed that production costs had well exceeded the original $47 million budget, ultimately totaling $73 million with interest. Although Carolco and the Completion Bond Company, Inc., invested an additional $12 million for unexpected costs, weather problems in Cortina cost the production fourteen days of filming and another $8 million. Credit Lyonnais, which held 91% of all foreign presales, agreed to provide an additional $6 million if their share of incoming returns was raised to 100%. The 16 Dec 1991 Var estimated that below-the-line expenses alone totaled $25 million, while Stallone forfeited $2 million of his $15 million salary in order to complete the film’s key stunt sequence. Although Carolco expected to recoup $5—$7 million from weather insurance, the 17 May 1993 Var claimed that the company had yet to provide proof by submitting weather reports to the insurer, Albert G. Ruben & Company. In a 24 Feb 1993 LADN news item, Harlin denied these reports’ figures, citing a total cost of “much closer to $50 million.”
       Before production began, the 28 Apr 1992 DV reported that co-producer David Rotman filed suit against Carolco when the company, financially strained after settling a copyright dispute over the screenplay, asked Rotman to accept a salary substantially lower than the $400,000 sum that was originally promised. At the end of the year, the 17 Dec 1992 HR stated that the case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
       On 11 Apr 1993, LAT announced that Stallone had won an arbitration hearing to share screenwriting credit with Michael France, since he, as reported by LADN, had rewritten the screenplay eight times. In response, Stallone published a statement in the 25 Apr 1993 LAT, denying personal responsibility for the petition and claiming that the action was brought forth on his behalf by Renny Harlin, producer Alan Marshall, and executive producer Mario Kassar. However, the issue of France’s authorship was contested when independent producers Gene Patrick Hines and James R. Zatalokin approached Carolco with evidence that the film’s story idea had actually come from mountain-climbing expert and author John Long. Hines reportedly hired Long to develop a treatment for a “mountain-climbing thriller,” which was eventually sent to TriStar where France worked as a script reader. Long left the project, at which point France completed several more treatments with Hines before writing the screenplay on his own. Carolco filed a lawsuit seeking the $262,000 that had been paid to France, plus $750,000 in breach of contract and fraud-related damages. Hines and Zatalokin were awarded a $400,000 producer’s fee and co-producing credits. During the arbitration process, the 19 Feb 1993 DV stated that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) sought a federal court order prohibiting distribution of the film until a final story screen credit had been determined. The WGA decided to issue the “rarely used” credit line reading, “Based upon a premise by John Long."
       According to the 17 May 1993 Var, the film premiered 13 May 1993 at the Cannes Film Festival. A 23 May 1993 Var news item reported that a “world premiere” benefit in Mougins, France, raised more than $800,000 for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and the 14 Jun 1993 issue of People stated that another premiere was held at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA.
       Cliffhanger was a box-office success, earning $20.4 million during the 1993 Memorial Day weekend, according to the 7 Jun 1993 LAT. More than a year later, the 4 Oct 1994 DV reported a total worldwide gross of over $200 million. In the wake of the film’s success, TriStar considered producing a sequel, while Hines and Zatolokin filed separate lawsuits against Michael France and Carolco Pictures seeking additional compensation and a portion of the film’s profits. The outcome of the lawsuits could not be determined.
       On 14 May 2009, DV announced that Neal Moritz’s Original Films and StudioCanal planned a Cliffhanger “reboot” featuring a team of young mountain climbers. Although filming was scheduled to begin in 2010, production did not move ahead at that time. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Sep 1991
p. 1, 22.
Daily Variety
26 May 1992.
---
Daily Variety
2 Oct 1992.
---
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1992.
---
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1992.
---
Daily Variety
19 Feb 1993.
---
Daily Variety
4 Oct 1994.
---
Daily Variety
14 May 2009
p. 4, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 1992
p. 4, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1992
p. 6, 29.
Los Angeles Daily News
24 Feb 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 Jul 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Apr 1993
p. 27, 29.
Los Angeles Times
25 Apr 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 May 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
7 Jun 1993
Section F, p. 1, 7.
New York Times
28 May 1993
Section C, p. 1.
People
14 Jun 1993.
---
Screen International
22 Nov 1991.
---
Variety
16 Dec 1991.
---
Variety
24 Feb 1992.
---
Variety
23 Nov 1992
p. 5, 62.
Variety
17 May 1993
p. 1, 120.
Variety
24 May 1993
p. 44.
Variety
24 May 1993.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Mario Kassar presents
A Carolco/Le Studio Canal+/Pioneer production in association with RCS Video
A Renny Harlin film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir, 2d unit
DGA trainee, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Co-exec prod
WRITERS
Scr story by
Based on a premise by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
"B" cam/Steadicam® op
1st asst "A" cam
1st asst "B" cam
2d asst "A" cam
2d asst "B" cam
Video playback op
Key dolly grip
Key grip
Best boy grip
Rigging grip
Gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Best boy elec
Generator op
Generator op
Crane op
Crane op
Crane op
Underwater photog
Cam loader
Stills photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Steadicam® op, 2d unit
Cam tech, 2d unit
Video playback op, 2d unit
Video playback op, 2d unit
Gaffer, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Best boy grip, 2d unit
Key grip-Italy, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Cam op, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Supv aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Aerial rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Dir of photog, Aerial unit
Cam op, Aerial unit
1st asst cam, Aerial unit
2d asst cam, Aerial unit
Stills photog, Aerial unit
2d asst cam, Aerial unit
Video tech, Aerial unit
Astrovision tech, Aerial unit
Translights and photo backings by
Cams and lenses supplied by
Cranes by
Spec lights by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Storyboards/Conceptual artist
Storyboards
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Post prod coord
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Draftsman
Draftsman
Set dresser
Prop master
Stand-by dresser
Stand-by painter
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Asst prop master
Const coord
Painter
Painter
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Scaffolder
Scaffolder
Prop master, 2d unit
Props asst, 2d unit
Props asst, 2d unit
Painter/Laborer, 2d unit
Painter/Laborer, 2d unit
Aircraft painter, Aerial unit
Aircraft painter, Aerial unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
Mr. Stallone's costumer
Ward supv, 2d unit
MUSIC
Mus comp
Synthesizers performed by
Synthesizers performed by
Synthesizers prod and rec by
Mus coord for Contemporary Media Music Productions
Orch
Mus cond by
Scoring mixer
Mus performed by
Rec and mixed at
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd des and supv
Sd des and supv
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd dept eng
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Sd eff supv
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Addl audio
Addl audio
Addl audio
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
ADR mixer
ADR rec
ADR rec at
Sd ed
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff prod
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff coord
Visual eff ed
Asst coord spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff, 2d unit
Spec eff, 2d unit
Spec eff, 2d unit
Spec eff climber, 2d unit
Spec eff laborer, 2d unit
Spec eff laborer, 2d unit
Visual eff coord
Spec visual eff in 65mm by
Visual eff prod supv, Boss Film Studios
Visual eff art dir, Boss Film Studios
Visual eff line prod, Boss Film Studios
Post prod supv, Boss Film Studios
Model shop supv, Boss Film Studios
Matte dept supv, Boss Film Studios
Digital eff supv, Boss Film Studios
Opt supv, Boss Film Studios
Spec eff foreman, Boss Film Studios
Rotoscope supv, Boss Film Studios
Tech supv, Boss Film Studios
Chief eng, Boss Film Studios
Stills photog, Boss Film Studios
Visual eff dir of photog, Italy plate crew
Cam tech, Italy plate crew
Mechanical tech elevator rig, Italy plate crew
Motion control eng, Italy plate crew
Visual eff coord, Italy plate crew
Visual eff ed, Italy plate crew
Opt cam op, Italy plate crew
Opt cam op, Italy plate crew
Opt line-up, Italy plate crew
Opt line-up, Italy plate crew
Opt coord, Italy plate crew
Film processing, Italy plate crew
Film processing, Italy plate crew
CGI project supv, Italy plate crew
CGI coord, Italy plate crew
CGI digital anim, Italy plate crew
CGI digital anim, Italy plate crew
CGI digital anim, Italy plate crew
CGI digital anim, Italy plate crew
CGI digital anim, Italy plate crew
CGI digital anim, Italy plate crew
Software eng, Italy plate crew
Digital cam supv, Italy plate crew
Digital cam op, Italy plate crew
Matte cam, Italy plate crew
Matte painter, Italy plate crew
Matte artist trainee, Italy plate crew
Matte cam trainee, Italy plate crew
Anim cam, Italy plate crew
Power visualization system, Italy plate crew
Key gaffer, Italy plate crew
Key grip, Italy plate crew
Grip, Italy plate crew
Chief modelmaker, Italy plate crew
Chief modelmaker, Italy plate crew
Cliff leadman
Painter
Helicopter mechanism
Puppet sculptor
Model shop coord
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Eff tech
Asst eff tech
Des eng
Electronics eng
Project eng
Shop foreman
Cam equip coord
Cam equip asst
Addl visual and digital eff by
Addl visual and digital eff by, V.C.E. Inc.
Digital eff supv, V.C.E. Inc.
Prod coord, V.C.E. Inc.
Admin, V.C.E. Inc.
V.C.E. opt, V.C.E. Inc.
V.C.E. opt, V.C.E. Inc.
V.C.E. opt, V.C.E. Inc.
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff and video display graphics by, Vid
Addl visual eff
Visual eff prod, Pacific Data Images, Inc.
Digital opt supv, Pacific Data Images, Inc.
Asst anim, Pacific Data Images, Inc.
Scanning tech, Pacific Data Images, Inc.
Digital film opticals provided by
Digital film services provided by
Jetstar model seq
Front projection
Consultant
Zoptic op
Projector op
Rear projection
Rear projection
Rear projection
8x10 and 4x5 plate photog
Addl 4x5 photog
Addl 4x5 photog
Title des
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Mr. Stallone's makeup
Key hairstylist
Mr. Stallone's hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
Spec makeup eff
Makeup artist, 2d unit
Makeup artist, 2d unit
Addl makeup artist, 2d unit
Hairstylist, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Aerial unit coord by
Unit mgr
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Projectionist
Projectionist
Weapons asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Prod assoc to Mr. Harlin
Asst to Mr. Harlin
Asst to Mr. Harlin
Asst to Mr. Marshall
Asst to Mr. Marshall
Asst to Mr. Kassar
Asst to Mr. Stallone
Asst to Mr. Stallone
Security coord for Mr. Stallone
Prod liaison-Los Angeles
Prod liaison-Italy
Studio liaison
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod secy
Prod secy
Casting asst
Accountant
Accountant
Accountant
Accountant
Accountant
Mr. Stallone's trainer
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Mr. Harlin's driver
Mr. Marshall's driver
Mr. Stallone's driver
Mr. Stallone's driver
Driver
Driver
Snowcat driver
Truck mechanic
Local labor relations
International pub
Communications supv
Paramedic
Paramedic
Special medical services
Catering
Supv chef
Caterer
Caterer
Craft service
Craft service
Prod supv, 2d unit
Prod coord, 2d unit
Scr supv, 2d unit
Loc mgr, 2d unit
Loc mgr, 2d unit
Loc mgr, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Transportation capt, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Driver, 2d unit
Cashier, 2d unit
Doctor, 2d unit
Doctor, 2d unit
Doctor, 2d unit
Safety officer, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Climber, Mountain climbing unit
Tech adv, Mountain climbing unit
Chief tent rigger, Mountain climbing unit
Tent crew, Mountain climbing unit
Tent crew, Mountain climbing unit
Tent crew, Mountain climbing unit
Wolf trainer, Mountain climbing unit
Guide, Mountain climbing unit
Guide, Mountain climbing unit
Caterer, Mountain climbing unit
Caterer, Mountain climbing unit
Coord, Aerial unit
Asst aerial coord, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Pilot, Aerial unit
Chief safety eng, Aerial unit
Safety eng, Aerial unit
Safety eng, Aerial unit
Helicopter mechanic, Aerial unit
Helicopter mechanic, Aerial unit
Helicopter mechanic, Aerial unit
Helicopter mechanic, Aerial unit
Helicopter mechanic, Aerial unit
Helicopter mechanic, Aerial unit
Fuel truck driver, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airplane mech, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Airplane mechanic, Aerial unit
Asst to the aerial coord, Aerial unit
Prod asst, Aerial unit
Cam truck driver, Aerial unit
Airplanes, helicopters and gyro sphere provided by
Airplanes, helicopters and gyro sphere provided by
Driver, Aerial unit
Asst to Ms. Somers, Italy plate crew
Completion guaranty and related services provided
[Completion guaranty ad related services provided
Prod insurance provided by
Prod insurance provided by, Albert G. Ruben & Comp
Prod insurance provided by, Albert G. Ruben & Comp
Prod insurance provided by, Albert G. Ruben & Comp
STAND INS
Mr. Stallone's stunt double
Mr. Stallone's stunt double
Mr. Stallone's climbing double
Climbing double
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Air-to-air transfer performed by
Climbing coord
Stunt coord, 2d unit
Stunt rigger, Aerial unit
Parachute rigger, Aerial unit
Safety parachutist, Aerial coord
Safety parachutist, Aerial coord
Sky diver, Aerial unit
Sky diver, Aerial unit
Sky diver, Aerial unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Do You Need Some?," written by Matt Mercado, performed by Mind Bomb, courtesy of Mercury Records.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 May 1993
Premiere Information:
Cannes Film Festival premiere: 13 May 1993
Los Angeles and New York openings: 28 May 1993
Production Date:
11 April--19 August 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Cliffhanger, BV
Copyright Date:
2 June 1993
Copyright Number:
PA612873
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording Dolby Stereo SR™ in selected theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
118
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
France, Italy, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31997
SYNOPSIS

Four thousand feet above the ground, rock climbing rangers Gabe Walker and Jessie Deighan stage an aerial rescue of their friend Hal Tucker, and his girl friend, Sarah. Although Gabe assures Sarah that the tethers are safe, her strap slips loose, forcing him to slide out on the line to grab hold of her arm. She loses her grip, however, and plummets to her death in the ravine below. After an eight-month absence, Gabe returns to the mountains outside Denver, Colorado, and reunites with Jessie, who resents him for disappearing after Sarah’s funeral. Jessie insists he did everything he could to save Sarah, but Gabe remains plagued by guilt and plans to leave town permanently. Meanwhile, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent Matheson accompanies U.S. Treasury worker Rich Travers onboard an armored airplane transporting $100 million in newly-minted $1,000 bills. In the air, Travers shoots Matheson and hijacks the plane before zip lining into an adjacent jet, captained by Eric Qualen, a former military intelligence officer-turned international espionage agent. Matheson revives and shoots at Qualen’s jet before the suitcases of cash can be successfully transported. When a bomb detonates in the treasury airplane, the cases fall to the ground and Qualen’s plane crashes in the snowy peaks. Most of the hijackers survive, and Qualen’s associate, Kristel, issues a false radio distress call to the ranger station. When Hal decides to climb into the stormy mountains alone, Jessie begs Gabe to help. Still bitter about Sarah’s death, Hal resists the partnership, but the two men continue up the mountain to the crash site. When they arrive, Qualen’s men hold Gabe and Hal at gunpoint as they follow a tracking device ... +


Four thousand feet above the ground, rock climbing rangers Gabe Walker and Jessie Deighan stage an aerial rescue of their friend Hal Tucker, and his girl friend, Sarah. Although Gabe assures Sarah that the tethers are safe, her strap slips loose, forcing him to slide out on the line to grab hold of her arm. She loses her grip, however, and plummets to her death in the ravine below. After an eight-month absence, Gabe returns to the mountains outside Denver, Colorado, and reunites with Jessie, who resents him for disappearing after Sarah’s funeral. Jessie insists he did everything he could to save Sarah, but Gabe remains plagued by guilt and plans to leave town permanently. Meanwhile, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent Matheson accompanies U.S. Treasury worker Rich Travers onboard an armored airplane transporting $100 million in newly-minted $1,000 bills. In the air, Travers shoots Matheson and hijacks the plane before zip lining into an adjacent jet, captained by Eric Qualen, a former military intelligence officer-turned international espionage agent. Matheson revives and shoots at Qualen’s jet before the suitcases of cash can be successfully transported. When a bomb detonates in the treasury airplane, the cases fall to the ground and Qualen’s plane crashes in the snowy peaks. Most of the hijackers survive, and Qualen’s associate, Kristel, issues a false radio distress call to the ranger station. When Hal decides to climb into the stormy mountains alone, Jessie begs Gabe to help. Still bitter about Sarah’s death, Hal resists the partnership, but the two men continue up the mountain to the crash site. When they arrive, Qualen’s men hold Gabe and Hal at gunpoint as they follow a tracking device to the money’s probable location. Once there, Gabe discards his coat and climbs to a summit where he discovers one of the suitcases. Before he can retrieve the cash, however, Qualen decides to kill him and orders his men to pull down his rope. Panicking, Gabe cuts himself free and uses the suitcase to shield himself from the smugglers’ gunfire, which triggers an avalanche. When the snow settles, Qualen instructs Hal to radio Jessie claiming that the distress call was a hoax. As the party continues their journey to the next suitcase, Gabe climbs the mountainside toward the nearest shelter site. There, he finds Jessie, who has come in search of Hal. Pulling on a thermal shirt, Gabe explains the situation and rushes to the second suitcase before Qualen gets there. Filling his backpack with the cash, he leaves behind a single bill inscribed: “Want to trade?” Using night-vision goggles, one of Qualen’s men shoots at Gabe and Jessie as they flee into the trees. He engages Gabe in a fistfight, but slides down a steep slope and plummets over the mountain’s edge. In the morning, Hal leads Qualen toward the final suitcase, located on “the Tower,” the same peak where Sarah died. On the way, they encounter two young paragliders who got caught in the storm. Qualen’s men murder one, but the other escapes by jumping over a cliff and paragliding to safety. Shortly after, another ranger named Frank finds him suspended from a tree with severe gunshot wounds. As Qualen’s party reaches the Tower summit, Jessie and Gabe climb upward through a bat-infested tunnel and breach the surface. Qualen’s henchman, Kynette, chases Gabe back down into the cave and beats him up, but Gabe impales Kynette with a stalactite. Outside, Hal calls Kynette’s radio to tell Gabe and Jessie that Qualen plans to detonate a bomb overhead. Heeding the warning, the climbers narrowly escape by rappelling down the side of the cliff. When the rope breaks and Jessie nearly falls, Gabe pulls her to safety. Meanwhile, Kristel releases a flare and feigns injury, tricking Frank into landing his helicopter to help her. Although Hal attempts to stop them, Delmar shoots Frank dead. While crossing a bridge, Gabe trips a wire that sets off a bomb and destroys their only way across a deep ravine. On the summit, Travis attempts to hijack the mission, but Qualen shoots Kristel and is now the only remaining person able to pilot the helicopter. Growing impatient with the mission, Delmar takes Hal to a clearing and nearly kicks him over the mountainside, but Hal grabs Delmar’s rifle and shoots him. Meanwhile, Gabe finds the money on a northern slope and decides to attach the suitcase tracking device to a rabbit. Frustrated, Travis radios Qualen to inform him of Gabe’s ruse, and the open signal is picked up by three FBI and U.S. Treasury agents who have flown over the mountain to investigate the missing money. Travis pursues Gabe as he jumps off a cliff and into a frozen lake. Gabe becomes trapped under the surface, but just as Travis is about to shoot him through the ice, Hal kills him from behind. At higher altitudes, Qualen takes Jessie hostage in the helicopter and radios Gabe to meet him at the highest peak, where he agrees to look for the money. Once Qualen releases Jessie, Gabe throws the bag of money at the helicopter blades and rigs the suspension cable to a metal ladder attached to the cliff. As Qualen attempts to fly away, the helicopter dislodges the ladder and loses power, leaving it suspended upside-down. Gabe and Qualen fight on the underside of the helicopter until the ladder breaks, causing Qualen to fall with the helicopter and die in a fiery explosion. Gabe climbs back up the cliff to Jessie and Hal, who radio the FBI for help. +

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Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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