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The ''Cliffhanger'' trailer

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After pratfalling on his face in two comic failures (Oscar and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot), Sylvester Stallone returns to sure ground in Cliffhanger. To the strains of Wagner, the trailer features no narration, dialogue, or evident story line, just a good guy (Stallone), a bad guy (John Lithgow), a pretty woman (Janine Turner), and plenty of peril: the hero hurtling over a chasm, scrambling down a cliff, hanging from a bridge. ”The slogan we’re using is ‘Hang On,”’ says TriStar senior VP of advertising Bill Loper, ”and that’s what the trailer gets across.”

L.A. Weekly critic Steve Erickson called the clip ”The best piece of American moviemaking” this year. Can the rest of Cliffhanger measure up? The answer arrives May 28.

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