These two films have one thing very much in common: a man on a ledge. And they have one major difference: one of them is not good, and should be ejected.
EJECT! Man on a Ledge (2011; Sam Worthington; directed by Pablo J. Fenves; widely available) “Uninspired acting and preposterous plotlines defuse Man on a Ledge’s mildly intriguing premise” is the summation on RottenTomatoes.com, where this descriptively-titled film (which adds a heist element) managed only a 31% rating but is currently a top DVD rental. Some of the not-so-hot reviews: “The ledge is the movie’s most dynamic performer”; “The solution to ‘now what do we do for 103 minutes?’ is to pile as many silly distractions into the running time as possible”; “Nobody should be this hard up for entertainment”.
PLAY! 14 Hours (1951; Richard Basehart; Barbara Bel Geddes; Paul Douglas; directed by Henry Hathaway; widely available) There is the usual workday hustle and bustle on the streets of Manhattan, mixed with a St. Patrick’s Day spirit, when we hear a woman’s penetrating scream. There’s a man in a white shirt and tie perched precariously on the ledge of a tall building, and he’s looking downward as if he’s preparing to jump. From there, this tense film proceeds to uncover this troubled man’s motives, building sympathy for him along the way. Focusing on the characters and the basic idea of will he or won’t he, the movie will keep you on the edge, too–without overloading you with distractions.