Cliffhanger script
Cliffhanger (1993)
Synopsis: Outdoor thriller in which a former mountain rescuer is pitted against a group of criminals who have lost their $100 million stash during a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains. After being persuaded to help rescue a group of stranded hikers, he discovers that they are in fact a gang of violent robbers who need help to locate their missing loot.

An unparalleled set of sheer mountains -- part of the Colorado

Rockies. The peaks rise a challenging half mile and more out

of the valley -- wind-whipped snow mists over the mountains

like a low fog. The tranquility is broken as a helicopter

BLASTS into view, fighting the wind as it heads for the center

of it all.

Our CREDITS fly us past and through this magnificent range.

There are sky-piercing peaks that slope up to a narrow, high

pinnacle -- and others that are steel, straight-up approaches

to large plateaus. One of the mountains has a crystal lake on

top -- with a waterfall that drains from it and exits from the

middle of a mountain wall. Nearby, an abandoned cable ladder

is bolted into the same wall, leading to the top.

BACK IN THE HELICOPTER

We can see a man sitting in its doorway, looking out --

INT/EXT HELICOPTER - BINOCULAR POV

The glasses scan systematically, slowly -- to us, it looks

like nothing more than a field of gray and white.

FRANK (O.S.)

Nothing yet.

EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - LONG SHOT

The helicopter now circles this tallest mountain -- "The

Tower", separated from a lower but equally formidable peak by

a chasm of two hundred feet -- that drops 3,500 feet below.

INSIDE HELICOPTER - FRANK AND MAGGIE

Spotter FRANK NEWELL (50s) scans the mountain wall. MAGGIE

DEIGHAN (30s) expertly pilots the helicopter through the storm

winds. Both wear orange jackets identifying themselves as

members of the Rocky Mountain Park Rescue Team.

FRANK:

Wait a minute -- there's Hal.

(beat)

And his date.

BINOCULAR POV - A LEDGE

that's part of the smaller peak. HAL TUCKER (30s) and his

"date", SUSAN COLLINS (20s), are decked out in climbing gear.

Hal's aplomb suggests he's a veteran climber -- Susan's

worried look shows she isn't. Hal and Susan huddle together,

both cold, but okay. Hal has a makeshift splint wrapped

around his lower leg, and a slow burning flare in one hand.

INSIDE HELICOPTER

Frank lowers his glasses -- Maggie struggles with the wind.

MAGGIE:

How do they look?

BINOCULAR POV - HAL AND SUSAN

Hal, now aware of the copter, looks towards it, smiling -- and

starts jerking off the flare.

FRANK (O.S.)

He's signalling "okay."

MAGGIE (O.S.)

Where's Gabe?

The POV dips down -- there's somebody climbing below, in an

orange rescue jacket.

FRANK (O.S.)

Right where he's supposed to be.

CLOSER ON THE CLIMBER

This is GABE WALKER (30s). In spite of the cold and the snow,

he's fearlessly, swiftly scaling the tower without safety

lines, as if he's done it a hundred times. That's because he

has done it a hundred times. This is what Gabe lives for.

ON THE LEDGE:

Gabe, almost there, finds a fingertip-width handhold at arm's

length -- grabbing it, he pulls himself up on the ledge with a

move that's just a little tougher than chinning yourself on a

doorjamb. Winded, Gabe slumps down next to the couple, and

tries to light a cigarette. The lighter only sparks.

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Michael France

Michael France (January 4, 1962 – April 12, 2013) was an American screenwriter. He is best remembered for writing the screenplays for Cliffhanger (1993), the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995), and the comic book films Hulk (2003), The Punisher (2004), and Fantastic Four (2005). more…

All Michael France scripts | Michael France Books

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