Top Five: Cliff Hangings

You’re probably very familiar with the concept of the cliff-hanger, but to clarify, this top five post is concerned with cliff HANGINGS. The word cliff does not preclude non-mountainous surroundings – it could be window ledge or a railing, for example. To qualify as a cliff hanging, the movie character basically just has to be gripping onto something one-handed and dangling for an implausible length of time until they’re rescued. Or alternatively, not rescued. Either will do.

5. The Towering Inferno (1974) – Steve! STEVE! Hold onto him Steve! The Towering Inferno  is basically Titanic plus Die Hard,  and during this helicopter rescue scene the tension reaches its unbearable height. How high, you say? 130 floors high, that’s how high. Little know fact;it wasn’t the raging fire everyone was trying to escape from, it was OJ Simpson.


4. Cliffhanger (1993) – Gabe walker possesses the forearm of a gorilla that’s been juiced up for scientific purposes, but even he can’t bear the unbridled weight of this foolhardy mountaineer. He should have brought some talcum powder with him, his hands always get sweaty in that kind of climbate.

3. North by North West (1959) – Mount Rushmore is an incredible feat of human planning and engineering, but the closer you get, the crappier it looks. Eve Kendall and Roger Thornhill are actually ON it, so the awesome scale of its craftsmanship is entirely lost on them. It’s their own fault to be honest, they shouldn’t have messed with such highbrow criminals…


2. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Luke Skywalker’s his own man; he’d rather die than be forced into working with the sithilian Mafia. For his insolence, Vader hands out swift justice, and leaves Luke precariously dangling from the arse-end of Cloud City. A fall from that height would not be a pleasant Land(o)ing…


1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – ‘Don’t you let go!’ When LOTR fans watch this video, it’s akin to a dormant volcano that all of a sudden erupts in magnanimous plumes of molten magma, except with tears in place of lava. Frodo really went through the ringer in this scene…


  1. Wouldn’t the hilarious scene in “This is the End” apply here? Where Jay attempts to rescue the panicking guy in the sink hole to hell. I’m laughing just thinking about it.

    1. I actually looked ALL over for a good video of that, its one of them where you have to show the clip, but couldn’t find that bit online. Sorry Mike.

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