Cliffhanger (1993)

When a mid-air heist is fumbled and three suitcases stacked with $100million plummet to the Rocky mountains, two experienced climbers are called upon to answer a rescue call from the survivors - a group of terrorists led by Qualen (John Lithgow), looking to recover the money.

Our Rating: 8/10
Watchability: 9/10
Contributed By: JT
Tagline: Hang on!

Release Date: 1993-05-28
IMDb icon 6.4/10
  • Country: USA, Italy, France
  • Language: English
  • Runtime: 152
  • Budget: $70,000,000
  • Revenue: $84,049,211
  • Production: Carolco Pictures

So, how does the movie end??

Having already secured two of the three suitcases, and dispatched a few more bad guys, Gabe (Stallone) and Jessie start out after the final $33million. Meanwhile Qualen has rigged a few rope bridges and parts of the mountain to explode - causing avalanches and all kinds of trouble for the climbers.
  Trapped in a bat cave, the black terrorist (from Cool Runnings) finds them, beats up the girl, and then turns on Gabe, working his punches on old Rocky. Noticing a stalactite, Gabe grabs him by the crotch and spears the bad guy's abdomen through the pointy rock. Not a nice way to go, but he deserves it.

The base jumpers are next in Qualen's path - they try to get away but are both shot in the back, although one manages to make it off the cliff. He is caught up in a tree, being munched on by wolves, until Frank in the chopper rescues him and then decides to find out what is going on to his employees.

Frank lands the chopper, with Hal held down so he cannot warn him. He runs over to Krystal, and is shot dead. Travers is losing his nerve, but Qualen still needs him for the tracking device. Aware that he is suddenly expendable, Qualen shoots the only other pilot - his little girlfriend Krystal.
  Travers is scared of the psychopath, so decides to hunt for the final suitcase.

Hal is not needed anymore - so the English guy is told to kill him - quietly.  He does the whole stereotypical English hooligan thing, talking about how he loves ""soccer"" - obviously he's a big fan, but on his last run up to kick poor Hal in the head Hal stabs him in the foot and then throws him over the ledge.

Jessie is sent to find help, but to be fair she didn't do much anyway and was a liability all throughout the movie - she wasn't even a very good climber. Gabe finds the last briefcase of money - stuffs it in his pack, and then ties the tracking device to a rabbit.

Travers finds the rabbit and loses it (mentally, that is - not the rabbit). He radios Qualen, breaking cover and using their real names. Qualen, like the rabbit, is not a happy bunny.

Travers finally finds Gabe. They fight. Gabe falls into a frozen river, wearing only his T-shirt, but he's tough. He follows the current beneath the legs of Travers and then shoots him from beneath the ice. Hal arrives in time to pull his pal from the icy-cold water.

Jessie signals the chopper. She realises that the bald pilot is not her old mentor Frank (that she has seen every day for years) until its too late, but doesn't bother escaping. Qualen radios the climbers and tells him that he'll swap the money for the girl.
  Gabe and Hal make it to the rendez-vous. Gabe negotiates with Qualen, and does a pretty good job - Jessie is dumped off, and then when he returns Gabe tosses the bag into the chopper blades. Qualen is devastated. Hal shoots at the rotator while Gabe attaches a cable from the chopper to a metal ladder nearby.
  The chopper oozes smoke and begins to drop. Gabe loses his grip, falls onto the chopper, and has a good fight with a vengeful Qualen. Just when it seems all is lost, Gabe jumps back onto the vertical mountain side and the chopper falls to earth with Qualen still inside.  The toy chopper in the next scene then explodes into a giant fireball.
  A rope dangles down, and Gabe is hoisted up to safety.  The three of them relax for once, looking off into the distance, waiting for the Feds to do their stuff and pick them up.

Member Comments:
V Julian - "How do we find "Cliffhanger" ending with Stallone and girlfriend in the cave? We saw that ending before we recorded Cliffhanger to watch from beginning the next day. Very disappointed that it ended another way."
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