127 Hours

Listen Now

In the new film 127 Hours, actor James Franco plays Aron Ralston, the Colorado adventurer who was trapped by a boulder in Utah’s Blue John Canyon. Ralston freed himself after five days by cutting off his right arm. This is shown in gory detail in the movie. But Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle says he didn’t want the self-amputation to dominate the film. He told NPR that it’s really a character study of a young man whom Boyle calls the perfect athletic specimen.

Danny Boyle: “He climbs 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado in winter on his own. He runs utramarathons. Everything he does, he does against he clock to time himself, and you see him at the beginning moving away from people who he doesn’t think he needs. By the end of the film – and what I call the climactic scene of the film – is that after he’s left the canyon, he stumbles across three Dutch people who were a family and they’re – a man and his wife and their child, and this brilliant, resourceful, amazing man has to scream at the top of his voice: I Need Help. And I think that’s a wonderful thing, to get someone like that to go on a journey where they are able to admit that.”

Aron Ralston lives in Boulder. He talks with us about having his story turned into a movie.

Interview produced by David Hill.