127 hours

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German title 127 hours
Original title 127 hours
127Hours logo.png
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2010
length 94 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
JMK 14
Director Danny Boyle
script Danny Boyle,
Simon Beaufoy
production Danny Boyle,
Christian Colson ,
John Smithson
music AR Rahman
camera Anthony Dod Mantle ,
Enrique Chediak
cut Jon Harris
Aron Ralston at the premiere of 127 Hours

127 Hours is a biographical film from 2010. Directed by Danny Boyle , who also produced the film and collaborated on the script. Leading actor James Franco plays the mountaineer Aron Ralston , who was trapped by a rock in Robbers Roost for more than five days in 2003. The film is based on the autobiographical book Between a Rock and a Hard Place written by Ralston and was adapted for cinema by Boyle and Simon Beaufoy . 127 Hours celebrated its premiere on September 4, 2010.


While climbing a canyon near Canyonlands National Park in Utah , Ralston encounters two women who have difficulty finding their way around. Ralston leads them both through the canyon and is later invited to a party. After the adoption, he continues to run and wants a piece in a column climb. He holds on to a boulder, which then loosens and, after a short fall, traps his right arm on a rock wall . After failing to move the stone, he tries in vain to shred it with his pocket knife . His improvised pulley system has too much power loss due to the use of snap hooks instead of pulleys , and the climbing rope is too elastic. At night, temperatures drop as low as 44  ° F (6.7 ° C). After a day, he realizes that his hand has already died due to a lack of blood circulation. He then tries to amputate the arm with his pocket knife. However, he does not succeed in this because the knife is too blunt to cut through bones.

Soon Ralston begins hallucinating from a lack of water, food and sleep . He reconsiders his life and recalls memories of his friends and family making farewell videos with his camcorder .

After five sleepless days and nights, hypothermic and almost dying of thirst , Ralston sees his future son in a vision. He uses the leverage of the stone and breaks his ulna and radius . Then he cuts through the tissue with the saw of his multifunctional tool and amputates his arm. He rappels down 20 meters before he is finally found by other hikers after a walk and rescued by helicopter.

At the end, the viewer learns that Ralston is still climbing and already has a child, but now always leaves a message about where he is.


The film was shot on an estimated budget of $ 18 million. In the scene at the beginning of the film in which Aron tries to force his way free from the boulder, Boyle let the camera run for 22 minutes, in which Franco tried everything to detach himself from the rock. The original video clips that Aron Ralston shot in the crevice had previously only been shown to his family and close friends. But Ralston made an exception for director Boyle and leading actor Franco and allowed them to watch the videos a few days before filming began, in order to be able to empathize with this hopeless situation.


Visual style

With the exception of the rainy scene, visual effects were largely avoided; the preferred cinematic means are make-up, tracking shots and special props. In order to achieve Boyle's desire to emotionally bind the audience to this trip, a number of measures were taken. For example, it was filmed in 16: 9 (1.77: 1) format and not, as usual, in 21: 9 (2.33: 1). This method is usually only used in television films and series, but has also been used in some Hollywood productions such as Avatar - Aufbruch nach Pandora and Alice in Wonderland . There, too, the aim was to achieve an emotional connection between the audience and the events. This phenomenon is due to the fact that the aspect ratio is closer to the golden ratio . In addition, the film often uses the split-screen technique to make Aron's parallel lines of thought manageable.


After a very quick intro in which Aron crosses the canyon on his mountain bike and jumps several times into a karst cave with water with the two women, the pace of the film slows down more and more. The element of water is repeatedly shown in micrographs before and during the disaster, in order to show Aron's strong desire for fluids. That jump scene does not appear in the original book and was only included for this purpose. Often memories from Aron's childhood and youth are shown, which he comments on through parallel montage. When, over time, he is also no longer mentally up-to-date, Aron has a number of hallucinations , such as that an inflatable Scooby-Doo figure is in the cave, that rider is crossing the crevice in which he is trapped , jump or that it suddenly starts to rain, but then he can break free, stumble to his car and drive to his former girlfriend and ask to be let in, but she does not comply. A raven also appears every morning to symbolize freedom.

Publication and grossing

After its theatrical release in Austria and Germany on February 17, 2011, the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 29 . While there are no extras on the DVD version, apart from the digital copy of the film, there are numerous specials on the Blu-ray version, such as an audio commentary with the baton, omitted scenes, an alternative ending and mini making-ofs . The Blu-ray version also comes with a DVD so that the digital copy can be obtained.

The German-language free TV premiere took place on April 1, 2013 at 8:15 p.m. on the ProSieben channel . The audience rating was 1.97 million, which corresponds to a market share of 5.6%. In Austria, the film was broadcast for the first time on July 28, 2013 on ORF eins on free TV.

The film grossed around $ 61 million in cinemas worldwide, including $ 18 million in the United States.

Awards (selection)

From a total of 84 nominations at 34 awards, the film was awarded in 15 categories.

Oscar 2011
Golden Globe Awards 2011
British Academy Film Awards 2011
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2011
Satellite Awards 2011
  • Nominations for Best Motion Picture Drama for Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson
  • Nomination for Best Director for Danny Boyle
  • Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
  • Nomination for Best Actor for James Franco
  • Nomination for Best Visual Effects for James Winnifrith, Adam Gascoyne and Tim Caplan
  • Nomination in the category Best Score for AR Rahman
  • Nomination in the category Best Film Song for AR Rahman, Rollo Armstrong and Dido (If I Rise)
  • Nomination for Best Sound Mixing for Glenn Freemantle, Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Steven C Laneri and Douglas Cameron
Writers Guild of America Award 2012
  • Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2011


  • Aron Ralston: 127 Hours - In the Canyon: Five days and nights until the most difficult decision of my life . Ullstein, 2011, ISBN 3-5483-7408-5 (German).
  • Aron Ralston: 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place . Pocket-Verlag, 2010, ISBN 1-4516-1770-4 (English).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Certificate of release for 127 hours . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , January 2011 (PDF; test number: 125 996 K).
  2. Age rating for 127 hours . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Finances 127 Hours
  4. Interview with Franco and Boyle
  5. James Franco on "127 Hours"
  6. 127 hours
  7. 127 hours
  8. 127 Hours on Pro 7
  9. 127 Hours ( Memento from July 21, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  10. 127 Hours (2010) - Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 27, 2019 .