Sylvester Stallone: 10 Greatest movies of all time

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#5 – Cliffhanger

Original Release Date: Cliffhanger was released on 28 May 1993.

Box Office Earnings: A whopping $70 million budget resulted in a cumulative worldwide gross of $171 million. Stallone proved mountain climbing could be profitable.

Critical Acclaim: Three Oscar nominations for Best Sound, Best Sound Effects, and Best Visual Effects. There were also a few Razzies thrown in there, because haters gonna hate.

About the Role: Gabe (Stallone) is a Ranger tasked with saving his injured friend and his friend’s girlfriend from the top of a mountain after some of her gear breaks. He’s able to catch her hand and hold on. Despite the 3-inch veins bulging from his forearms, he’s unable to hold on as she slips from the glove and falls to her death. His friend blames him, and Gabe is never the same. Less than a year later mercenaries with $100 million in unmarked bills crash a plane into the mountains. Thinking it a random rescue, Gabe is radioed to help. Subsequently there’s BASE jumping, a helicopter, gun fire, money confetti, and a hell of a good time.

Simply the Best: Cliffhanger feels like a back room bet between Sylvester Stallone and a few friends. He says, “What sport do you think is slow and boring?” They reply with either rock climbing or rappelling. He says, “I bet I can crank out a box office hit with those two concepts,” and his friends laugh. The sheer ridiculousness of a mountain ranger being tricked into leading a group of bad guys to suitcases worth $100 million is more profound than any peak traversed in the entire Cliffhanger movie. On top of that, people forget how popular this movie really was. There was a Sega Genesis video game about it! And that’s why Sylvester Stallone, and Cliffhanger, are both so awesome.