“Man on a Ledge”, which opened recently, isn’t a film for the vertigo-challenged. Much of the action takes place (in real life – no green screen or computers involved) on a tiny window ledge attached to Manhattan’s Roosevelt Hotel, high above the teeming streets. Elizabeth Banks and Sam Worthington star, but New York City itself plays a leading role.
Sam Worthington: “I actually wanted the film to be in 3-D. But then, when I watched it, I realized you don’t need it. It has this sweeping arc and you get to experience what it felt like up there. (The feeling) – FEAR. Not of falling, but of landing, because you’d go splat. You do hang on for grim life. I always had a palm on the wall somewhere.”
In 1923, comedy master Harold Lloyd, took a similar risk near the top of the International Bank building at Temple and Spring Streets in Los Angeles. LLoyd, who did many of his own stunts, had a double for parts of this, but there was a definite possibility of death or serious injury. You can see his hair-raising work in “Safety Last” on YouTube.