Cliffhanger (1993)

"Hang on!"

After a few comedy flops Sylvester Stallone's A-list status was hanging on his next project. Luckily Cliffhanger proved to be a fantastic return to form.

In this commentary we discuss this Renny Harlin directed movie, from 1993, written by John Long, Michael France, and Stallone himself. Co-starring John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, and Rex Linn, and with stellar visual effects from Boss Film Studios.

On this track we cover:
- The demise of the classic action movie
- What happend to the old action stars?
- Visual effects on the cusp of the digital revolution
- The story of Carolco
- Mountain climbing films


Download the mp3 file here. Link.

Subscribe to the commentary podcast in iTunes. Link.


Participants: David Bjerre and Dennis Rosenfeld.
Day of recording: March 29th, 2012.
Version: Bluray or NTSC DVD
Movie runtime: 1:53:00


Stallone. Back in his element.

The bad guys. Oh, and Michael Rooker.

1) Stallone in the studio. Helicopter sweeps through the frame, to reveal: 2) Stallone's double on a real mountain.

Joyner, Rooker, and Stallone in the studio.

Stallone's double, Rooker, and Joyner on location.

The famous aerial stunt.

A less than convincing model.

Artificial sense of height. There's a Wal-Mart just below the cliff.

Studio cliff, with front projection background.

Matte painted cliff.

The fake-looking ice-bridge set.

Model cliff, model chopper, Stallone puppet, CGI rotor.


Cinefex No. 54, May 1993, article by Debra Kaufman

Making a Movie Out of a Mountain, by Bill Stall. Link.

Going Over The Edge with Sylvester Stallone, by Dirck Halstea. Link.


Bluray/DVD special features.


The real story behind Cliffhanger. Link.

About Carolco Pictures. Link 1. Link 2. Link 3.

The story of Gale Force. Link.

Michael Rooker interview. Link.

IMDb. Link.

Wikipedia. Link.