The 9 Best Falls In Film... We Don't Mean Autumn
Ah, Fall. A time for warm fuzzy sweaters, fantasy football, and the brilliance of the leaves changing color. What better way to celebrate the chill in the air and Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING than to reminisce about some of the best falls Hollywood has to offer (see what I did there?).
The Goonies (1985)
Let's set the Wayback Machine to the year 1985, where my 6-year-old self ran screaming from a Jersey Shore cineplex during the childhood classic The Goonies. Let's just say, the reveal of Sloth almost broke my brain. After a bit of convincing from the adults in charge, I was ushered back to my seat and settled in to find young inventor Data played by Ke Huy Quan (plunging toward near-death where rows of jagged rocks waited below. Before I could cover my eyes, he was miraculously saved by The Pinchers Of Peril, a make shift grappling gun consisting of wind-up chattering teeth and a Slinky. I later learned what movie magic was when I attempted a similar feat from the top banister of my stairs (don't try this at home).
A year before my time, Richard Donner made you believe a man could fly with his big screen adaptation of Superman starring Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder. Here we see intrepid reporter Lois Lane falling from a helicopter and plummets to toward the city streets below. That is until The Man of Steel, in all of his green screen glory, swoops out of the night sky and catches her. Superman reassures her with, "Easy, Miss. I've got you," and without missing a beat Lois replies with a charmingly squeaky voiced, "You've got me? Who's got you?" In one of the most spectacular trailer moments of the era, indeed!
Die Hard (1988)
I'm going to dispel any debate right off the bat. I know Die Hard is a Christmas movie so, save your emails. In the final stand-off, the great Alan Rickman takes one of the coolest looking headers ever at the climax of the film. It's probably the only time terrorist Hans Gruber is not being super freaking cool. Fun fact: The stunt team really dropped Rickman from a 40-foot set piece to get the shot according to the Netflix's show The Movies That Made Us.
In one of the most nail-biting scenes the action genre has to offer, Stallone losing his grip on a stranded climber in the opening scene of Cliffhanger has to be in the pantheon of greatest falls ever. So much so, it was parodied in by Jim Carrey and a raccoon in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. I guess it's true when they say that parody is the highest form of flattery.
The Lion King (1994)
Nobody does parental tragedy quite like the good folks at Disney and the Mufasa vs. Scar fight gets it done like no other flick in the Disney Vault. I mean this is the closest we'll ever get to seeing James Earl Jones go toe to toe (paw to paw in this case) with Jeremy Irons on-screen the big screen. In their heyday, I would have put my money on Jones.
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984)
As far as prequels go, George Lucas doesn't have the best track record (I'm taking to you, Star Wars). Though Temple of Doom, for all of its faults, has one of the best damn ways to jump out of a crashing plane and it also brings our buddy Ke Huy Quan back for another round of spills and chills. Man, that poor kid really had bad luck with heights back in the 80s.
The movie that made Leo a household name, gave Cameron self-proclaimed monarch status, and was the impetus for me to dress like the dead frozen corpse of DiCaprio's Jack character for Halloween (much to the dismay of the several girls I knew who went as Rose that year). Yes, I know, ladies. I'm a monster. Love it or hate it, Titanic gave up one of the first real visceral impact falls ever caught on film. Say what you will, James Cameron knows how to make a high fall into a boat propeller look disturbingly accurate.
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983)
Finally, we're going out with a double feature, I give you the falls of both Luke Skywalker (really, with that last name?) and Emperor Palpatine (the best animated lightning in the business). Enjoy!