Over the Top

Over the Top

name = Over the Top

caption = original movie poster for "Over the Top"
amg_id = 1:36935
imdb_id = 0093692
director = Menahem Golan
writer = Gary Conway &
David Engelbach (story)
Stirling Silliphant &
Sylvester Stallone (screenplay)
starring = Sylvester Stallone
Robert Loggia
Susan Blakely
Rick Zumwalt
David Mendenhall
music = Giorgio Moroder
producer = Menahem Golan
Yoram Globus
distributor = Warner Bros. Pictures (USA)
Cannon Films (non-USA)
cinematography = David Gurfinkel
editing = James R. Symons
Don Zimmerman
released = February 12, 1987
runtime = 93 min.
language = English
budget = $15,000,000 (est.)
gross = $16,057,580 (USA)

"Over the Top" is a 1987 dramatic/action film starring Sylvester Stallone, produced and directed by Menahem Golan about a long haul truck driver who tries to win back his alienated son while becoming a champion arm wrestler. The screenplay was written by Stirling Silliphant and Sylvester Stallone. The original music score is composed by Giorgio Moroder.

Plot summary

Lincoln Hawk is a struggling trucker who arm wrestles on the side to make extra cash while trying to rebuild his life. Hawk's wife Christina is very ill at the beginning of the film, and asks that Hawk pick their son Michael up from military school so that he may get to know his son since they have been apart since Hawk left them ten years earlier. His father-in-law Jason Cutler is enraged since he feels his daughter was deserted by Hawk, that his daughter and Hawk should never have been married in the first place, and Hawk has no right to be in his grandson's life.

Over the course of a cross country trip, Mike learns to trust his father until finding out that his mother dies while they are on the road. Feeling he would have been there if not for Hawk, he leaves for his grandfather's estate. The film continues with Mike realizing that his grandfather has been hiding the truth about his father - the grandfather did everything possible to drive his parents apart and has been intercepting and hiding the regular letters Hawk had written to his son over the last few years. Eventually, Lincoln competes in the world arm wrestling competition, held at the Las Vegas Hilton. His hope is to win the grand prize of an expensive, new semi-truck and thus be able to start his own independent trucking business. Mike, stunned by his grandfather's deceptions, goes to the Hilton and finds Hawk. Apologizing for misjudging him, Mike gives Hawk the emotional support he needs to compete and he emerges from the contest victorious. As father and son celebrate, Cutler (who had followed Mike to the competition) looks on in silence, realizing he has lost any chance at regaining Mike's love.

Critical Reception

The movie was not well received by critics
Rotten Tomatoes movie rating website
url =http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/over_the_top/
date accessed = June 15, 2007] who the film for poor acting,
Washington Post movie review
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/overthetoppgkempley_a0cabf.htm
author = Rita Kempley
date = February 20, 1987
date accessed = June 15, 2007] Phil Villarreal's ReView
url = http://azstarnet.com/accent/106062
date = 12.09.2005
date accessed = June 15, 2007] and a formulaic plot. Although not highly regarded for its cinematic merits, it has been suggested that "Over The Top" falls into the "so bad it's good" category. Despite its less-than-stellar box-office take, it is one of the more well known Stallone films.who


*The military academy scenes 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 as the home for Jason Cutler and Michael Cutler (Hawk).
*There is some confusion over the actual name of Stallone's character. In the credits, he is listed as Lincoln Hawk. In addition, the door on his original truck says, "Hawk." However, Robert Loggia's character refers to him variously as Hawks and Hawk, as do many members of the supporting cast. Finally, Hawk writes a letter to his wife and addresses it to Christina Hawks.

Toy line

A toy line was released in 1986 by LewCo, based on the film. The line contained figures that you could use to stage your own arm wrestling matches, thanks to a knob on the back. The line was a blend of film characters and real arm-wrestlers, and were endorsed by the International Arm Wrestling Council. The figures are as follows:

*Lincoln Hawk (movie character)
*John "Golden Boy" Brzenk (actual arm wrestler)Fact|date=January 2008
*Johnny "Ice Man" Walker (actual arm wrestler)Fact|date=January 2008
*Johhny Winson Green (All time Great Arm Wrestler, Hall of Fame, 8 time bicep champion, 2 time world arm wrestling champion of the universe, 1 time European Champion, world record holder for longest arm wrestle, 3 hours, 23 minutes and 45 seconds).Fact|date=January 2008
*John Grizzly (movie character)
*Cleve "Armbender" Dean (actual arm wrestler)Fact|date=January 2008
*Bob "Bull" Hurley (movie character played by actual arm wrestler and five time world wrist-wrestling champion Rick Zumwalt) [http://www.armwrestling.com/RickZumWalt.html]

There was also a scaled-down table for the figures to wrestle on, as well as a life-size one for kids to wrestle with. In addition, there was a workout set with a set of small weights with a cord with arm and wrist bands and a 20-inch tall version of the Lincoln Hawk figure.

References in popular culture

*In the 2007 television series Gossip Girl, the supporting character Rufus Humphrey plays in a rock band called Lincoln Hawk.
*On an episode of Cheap Seats where Randy and Jason Sklar covered arm wrestling, at the start of the segment, they reach over the sides of the couch and grab baseball caps, put them on, and turn them around, ala Hawk just before a match in the film.
*An episode of The Simpsons called Simpsons Bible Stories features "Winner Takes It All," a song used in the film, in a training sequence where Bart, as King David, trains for a rematch with Goliath (Nelson). In another nod, at one point in the montage, he's seen arm wrestling one of his sheep.
*On February 16, 2007, Mike Nelson's RiffTrax service released a humorous audio commentary track for this movie.
*An episode of Billy and Mandy, The Grim Reaper challenges a minor character to an arm-wrestling match, turning his cap around and saying "When I turn me hat around, it's like a switch, mon! A switch!". In addition, when Billy sees them, he says "Hey, are you guys playing Over The Top without me?"
*In the episode, "The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn't," of The O.C., Seth Cohen's family is said to have watched Over the Top for "Chrismukkah" one holiday.
*During a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Norm Macdonald ranking out Stallone for his poor career choices while he bleeds to death from a car crash, he saves his most biting insults for Over the Top. He sarcastically claims that Kramer vs. Kramer, another movie that deals with child custody, was not as good as Over the Top because it did not feature arm wrestling.


*Sylvester Stallone - Lincoln Hawk(s)
*Robert Loggia - Jason Cutler
*Susan Blakely - Christina Marie Cutler-Hawk(s)
*Rick Zumwalt - Bob "Bull" Hurley
*David Mendenhall - Michael Cutler/Michael Hawk(s)
*Chris McCarty - Tim Salanger
*Terry Funk - Ruker
*Bruce Way - John Grizzly
*Jimmy Keegan - Richie
*Greg 'Magic' Scwartz - Smasher
*Allan Graf - Collins
*Frank the Tank - Frank Kiefer
*John Braden - Col. Davis
*Randy Raney - Mad Dog Madison
*Paolo Casella - Carl Adams
*Jack Wright - Big Bill Larson
*Sam Scarber - Harry Bosco
*Michael Fox - Jim Olson


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.

*Track listing
# Winner Takes It All - Sammy Hagar
# In This Country - Robin Zander
# Take It Higher - Larry Greene
# All I Need Is You - Big Trouble
# Bad Nite - Frank Stallone
# Meet Me Half Way - Kenny Loggins
# Gypsy Soul - Asia
# The Fight [Instrumental] - Giorgio Moroder
# Mind Over Matter - Larry Greene
# I Will Be Strong - Eddie Money


External links

* [http://www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/over-the-top "Over The Top" in-depth review with animated screenshots]
* [http://pretentioussoup.blogspot.com/2007/02/over-top-flawed-perfection.html Brilliant Movie Review]
* [http://www.virtualtoychest.co.uk/o/overthetop/overthetop.html Over the Top toy line at the Virtual Toy Chest]

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