11 user 6 critic

The Climb (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama | 18 February 1999 (USA)
Chuck Langer (Sir John Hurt), a crusty old civic engineer, has an arsenal full of memories. With irreverent wit, he rattles on, in his irascible humorous style, burning his spicy stories ... See full summary »


Bob Swaim


Vince McKewin
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Hurt ... Chuck Langer
Gregory Smith ... Danny Himes
David Strathairn ... Earl Himes
Stephen McHattie ... Jack McLaskin
Seth Smith Seth Smith ... Andy Sweeney
Sarah Buxton ... Ruth Langer (as Sarah G. Buxton)
Marla Sokoloff ... Leslie Himes
Matthew Ness Matthew Ness ... Wayne Barto
Michael Saccente Michael Saccente ... Ed Langer
Tina Regtien Tina Regtien ... Eileen Barto
Oliver Hodges Oliver Hodges ... Tommy Sweeney
Michael Galvin ... Father Cronin
Nigel Godfrey ... Langer's Doctor
Dave Perrett Dave Perrett ... Joe Grace
Peter Rowley Peter Rowley ... Rules Rhodes


Chuck Langer (Sir John Hurt), a crusty old civic engineer, has an arsenal full of memories. With irreverent wit, he rattles on, in his irascible humorous style, burning his spicy stories into the imagination of a young neighbor kid, Danny Himes (Gregory Smith). Danny is a gifted, spirited athlete with something to prove. Worldly, old man Langer has turned his back on proving anything at all. It's post World War II. Danny's father, Earl (David Strathairn), did not serve in the military and is considered a coward. Danny excels to overcome his father's reputation while Earl is actually more a man than the town knows. "You don't smoke, you don't drink, and you don't screw. What kind of man are you anyway?" old man Langer asks Danny. The more appropriate question is: "What kind of men are they?"

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

neighbor | old man | coward | rifle | dying | See All (25) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content and some language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site | official site


France | New Zealand | Canada



Release Date:

18 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Hero's Climb See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


(At around nine minutes) When he first talks with Andy Sweeney (Seth Smith) at the WBBL radio antenna, Danny (Gregory Smith) protests "Yeah, but the last couple of years, guys try it the day the kid from Hamilton fell." Hamilton is an urban neighborhood located in northeastern Baltimore City, which is, in turn, located in Baltimore County, Maryland. See more »


When Ruth turns on the radio in her bedroom (at around 23 mins) it begins to play immediately, not taking time to warm up like a tube radio from that period would. Either the radio is solid state or, more likely, this reveals the music being added in after the scene. See more »


Chuck Langer: You can have one if you want.
Danny Himes: What?
Chuck Langer: A beer, I don't give a good Goddamn.
Danny Himes: Ah no, it's okay. I don't drink.
Chuck Langer: You don't drink, you don't screw. Hell, what kind of a man are you?
See more »

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User Reviews

Pleasant Surprise
19 May 2001 | by WNH3See all my reviews

I am in general agreement with my fellow reviewers: despite the predictability of much of the story, the acting was well done overall & the story was plausible. John Hurt is always a pleasure to watch; David Strathairn reminded me a lot of a younger Sam Waterston. I found the climactic rescue scene very unsettling, and that's a tribute to the actors, since they (more than the special effects) conveyed the danger of the situation. I had never heard of this film before I saw it, so I had no big expectations--my formula for being pleasantly surprised.

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