Over the Top (film)

Over the Top

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Menahem Golan
Produced by Menahem Golan
Yoram Globus
Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant
Sylvester Stallone
Story by Gary Conway
David Engelbach
Starring Sylvester Stallone
Robert Loggia
Susan Blakely
Rick Zumwalt
David Mendenhall
Music by Giorgio Moroder
Cinematography David Gurfinkel
Editing by James R. Symons
Don Zimmerman
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (USA)
Cannon Films (non-USA)
Release date(s) February 13, 1987
Running time 93 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25,000,000 (est.)
Box office $16,057,580 (US) [1]

Over the Top is a 1987 action drama film starring Sylvester Stallone. It was produced and directed by Menahem Golan, and its screenplay was written by Stirling Silliphant and Stallone. The original music score was composed by Giorgio Moroder. The main character, played by Stallone, is a long-haul truck driver who tries to win back his alienated son while becoming a champion arm wrestler. The film has been panned by many critics.



Lincoln Hawk is a struggling trucker who arm wrestles on the side to make extra cash while trying to rebuild his life. Hawk's estranged wife Christina, who is very ill, asks that Hawk pick up their son Michael from military school so that the two of them can get to know each other; Hawk had left them 10 years earlier. His controlling grandfather Jason Cutler, a wealthy man who hates Hawk and disapproved of his daughter's relationship with him, believes that Hawk has no right to be in his grandson's life. Mike is very distrusting and bitter towards Hawk initially and treats him with contempt at every turn.

Over the course of a trip from Colorado to California, Mike comes to trust Hawk until learning about his mother's death. Feeling he would have been there with her if not for Hawk, he leaves for his grandfather's estate. An attempt to retrieve Mike ends with Hawk being arrested for trespassing. While in jail Mike visits him, and while he forgives Hawk, he tells him that its best that he remain with his grandfather because he feels like he has a home with him.

After his release, Hawk leaves to compete in the World Arm Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas. His hope is to win the grand prize of $100,000 and an expensive new custom semi-truck and thus start his own trucking company. Hawk is a clear underdog, having a size disadvantage over just about every other participant, including an old rival of Hawk's, Bull Hurley, who is the odds on favorite. When he arrives, he sells his truck for $7000 and places a bet on himself for every cent of the money he earned. Meanwhile, Mike finds all the letters that Hawk had sent over the years and realizes that his grandfather has been hiding the truth about his father. Cutler did everything possible to drive his parents apart and had been intercepting and hiding the regular letters Hawk had written to him.

Cutler meets with Hawk and tells him that he's always been a loser and offers Hawk a way out: a brand new semi and $500,000 on the condition that he turn over custody of Mike and stay out of their lives, but Hawk refuses and leaves. Mike, stunned by his grandfather's deceptions, goes to Las Vegas and finds Hawk. Apologizing for misjudging him, Mike gives Hawk the emotional support he needs to compete and he emerges from the contest victorious over Hurley in the finals. As father and son celebrate their world championship win, Cutler (who had followed Mike to the competition) looks on in silence and with grudging respect for all he sacrificed to get Mike back. A triumphant Hawk and Mike take their new truck and hefty earnings and start their own business as planned.


The military academy scenes, portrayed as being in Colorado, were filmed at Pomona College in Claremont, California during the early summer of 1986. The Kirkeby mansion at 750 Bel Air Road, Los Angeles (also the home of the Clampett family on the CBS comedy "The Beverly Hillbillies") was used to portray the Cutler estate.

Sylvester Stallone was paid $12 million to star in Over The Top.


David Mendenhall won two Razzies, for worst supporting actor and new star. Multi-time world arm wrestling champion and future professional wrestler Scott Norton also makes an appearance.[2]


The film received mixed reviews from Critics. It currently holds a 36% "Rotten" Approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The World Journal Film Reviewer Frank Ochieng Stated "Stallone, for whatever inexplicable reason, continues to pile on the dramatic dribble in yet another pointless movie mishap".

The Film received 3 Nominations at The 8th Golden Raspberry Awards, with David Mendenhall Winning 2 For "Worst Supporting Actor" and "Worst New Star".

Despite this, some ratings have been positive with reviewer Luke Y. Thompson stating that "The world does need at least one film about professional arm-wrestling" and various people praising Stallone's performance in a Dramatical Role as opposed to the action films he usually stars in.


A soundtrack album was released in 1987 to coincide with the release of the movie. It contains music from Frank Stallone, Kenny Loggins (who performs the film's central theme, "Meet Me Half Way"), Eddie Money, and Sammy Hagar. John Wetton, lead singer of the rock group Asia, sang "Winner Takes It All" for the movie, but after performing the song, it was felt that his voice wasn't "mean" enough, so the song was offered to Hagar, whose version, featuring a bass guitar solo from Hagar's then-bandmate Edward Van Halen, ended up being the one on the soundtrack.

The track listing is:

  1. "Winner Takes It All" - Sammy Hagar
  2. "In This Country" - Robin Zander
  3. "Take It Higher" - Larry Greene
  4. "All I Need Is You" - Big Trouble
  5. "Bad Nite" - Frank Stallone
  6. "Meet Me Half Way" - Kenny Loggins
  7. "Gypsy Soul" - Asia
  8. "The Fight (Instrumental)" - Giorgio Moroder
  9. "Mind Over Matter" - Larry Greene
  10. "I Will Be Strong" - Eddie Money

Stallone appears in the video for "Winner Takes It All," wrestling Hagar at the end of the video. Hagar says in his video commentary on the DVD The Long Road to Cabo that he wasn't crazy about the song. Hagar says that Stallone gave him his black cap at the end of the shoot, both signed it, and the cap went to charity, fetching around $10k.


Over the Top was released in 1,758 theaters, with a budget of $25,000,000. Earning an estimated $5,149,200 and getting #4 in the box office.[1]


External links

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