'127 Hours': Were you able to watch the amputation scene?

127-hoursA strange phenomenon occurred at the theater when I went to watch 127 Hours yesterday — and I’m not talking about the baffling fact that some steel-stomached moviegoers walked into the film with snacks in-hand, apparently unfazed by reports of audience members fainting at screenings from the gore.

The oddity in question came just as this movie’s protagonist was about to cut off his own arm with the aid of a dull pocket knife. (That’s not really a spoiler, right?) As James Franco (playing trapped adventure junkie Aron Ralston) stuck his finger inside a puncture wound in his arm to begin the horrifying amputation process, I saw a wave of heads in the crowd disappear from my line of sight and settle into the shoulder of the person next to them. My non-scientific estimate — based on my observations from my seat at the back of the theater — would be that roughly one-third of the audience had little interest in seeing the rest of that scene.

The reaction would have come as less of a shock to me had the movie’s graphic scene come without warning, but we knew it was coming and that it was an important part of the story. (Personally, it was also the main reason my morbid curiosity and I bought a ticket.)

Perhaps my fellow audience members’ realistic estimates about their ability to handle the gruesomeness helped prevent any major incident during the screening. (Yes, no one fainted.) While that level of self-awareness should be applauded, I still think they kind of missed out.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Did you go watch 127 Hours this weekend? If so, were you able to watch the amputation scene? And did anyone faint at your screening?

EW Review: ‘127 Hours’

On Twitter @EWSandraG

Comments (192 total) Add your comment
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  • Suzanne

    I highly recommend NOT watching this film. It is horrible and I never want to relive the experience. The beginning of the film was just fine; I was eating my food and enjoying the beautiful scenery. However, the amputation scene destroyed my experience. The woman next to me started shaking and clinging to her husband. I tried to help and calm her down, but instead she vomited all over my brand new dress. I was completely embarrassed and several of the youth even decided to laugh at me. I recommend not going to see this unless you are prepared to be subjected to immense embarrassment or harassment. If I EVER see that woman again I will personally slap her across the face.

    • what?

      LOL. Is it really bad that I find your story funny?

      • Member of The Youth

        I find it even MORE hilarious that she said, “several of the youth”. Soooo, is everyone that is 18 and younger, including myself, part of some sort of alien society? WTFFF?

      • Justin K

        hahaha- “several of the youths”


      • Liz

        @ What- Yes its bad, but I too thought it was funny.

    • Emma

      LOL I also think that’s hilarious. Sorry. Also that’s less of review of the movie and more of a critique of people who lack any sense.

    • jules

      Suzanne, your post is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, right? Because it’s hysterical.
      I commend you. :)

    • hutchy

      Wow, a troll job on the AICN message boards, well done!

    • AcaseofGeo

      Great Job Suzanne! You got my Sunday off to a rollicking funny start! Are you going to buy a new dress (who wears a dress to a movie???) or will you wash the vomit off of it?

      • JayNYC

        That was my very first thought — WHY WERE YOU WEARING A DRESS TO THE MOVIES?!

      • Allison

        Why wouldn’t you wear a dress to a movie? I assume she doesn’t mean an evening gown… although if she does, that would be a little formal.

      • Me

        I agree with Allison–why NOT wear a dress? (assuming it’s not an evening gown.) Fail to see what’s odd about that.

    • The Vister

      This is hilarious! If i were there I would have laughed at you for the rest of the film…I vision a morbidly obese woman with a badly fitting dress…with pieces of popcorn in her hair and the bra she bought at the Renaissance fair. Ha ha ha

      • lydia

        i don’t see how this happening to you has anything to do with how good the film was…

      • calistoga

        @lydia – GET A GRIP!!!

      • karen

        @calistoga – what’s your problem? I don’t believe Lydia said anything that indicated she needed to “get a grip”.

    • filmboymichael

      sounds more like she ruined your popcorn and your feed bag and less about the movie….how dare you judge a movie based on the person next to you….this is an amazing movie and that scene is why the movie got made in the first place….

      • Chris

        You tell her Michael!

    • Amber

      is it wrong that i wanna go see this because of this “review” if its that graphic Im so in hahah.

    • Notafan

      Why go to the movies in a dress much less a new one? Also, you KNEW the guy cuts off his own arm BEFORE you went to the movie so stop complaining!

    • Dave

      u r an idiot.

    • the tickler


    • Bobby

      Boy,I didn’t realize this movie was a comedy.That would be hilarious to see.

    • calistoga

      When I first read ‘Suzanne’, I was going to give her a piece of my mind for being so stupid! Then I started LOL when I realized how she played US for fools, and did a good job!!! I am 67, have a cougar crush on Franco, and will be seeing the movie in SoCal with family. Will probably hang my head in shame when he gets to the tendons.

    • ksully54

      Who the hell wears a new dress to a movie? Much deserved, yes! Still excited for this flick..

      • Excelda

        Why do people keep asking why this woman wore a dress to a movie theater? I wear dresses all the time to the movies. They’re much more comfortable for sitting for long periods of time than pants are. And I usually go to the movies on date night with my boyfriend, and I want to look nice. “Dress” doesn’t mean a ballgown, but just a nice, casual print dress. Geez. I did not realize it was against the rules to wear a dress to the movies.

      • buffybot

        People don’t wear dresses to the movie theatre because those seats have so much bacteria on them you walk out of there with some kind of STD. I won’t go to a movie theatre with anything but jeans. Nasty!

      • Julia

        Right, because you can get an STD from a movie seat the same way you can get an STD from a tolet seat.

      • Julia


    • Andre

      I always listen to what Suzanne from the Internet tells me what to/not to do. Her review would be an awesome quote to put on the DVD packaging.

    • H

      I think you made that up

    • Rica

      You tried to help and calm her down but since it didn’t work you want to slap her? Come on, you obviously knew she was sick, it’s not like she did it intentionally! Unless you TOLD her you wanted to slap her, in which case I’d puke on you too.

      • deb

        I totally agree ,, what a hippo, I think she is full of it!!

    • Diane

      Wow, your story is sooo believable. (not)

    • menippean

      So the warning is prepare to be vomited on if you go and see “127 Hours.” I’ll wear my new trash bag.

    • anonymous

      Was Larry David your movie companion. Ha,ha,ha.

    • Mikos

      Hmmmm, I don’t know. Should I go see the movie about the triumph of the human spirit where a guy has to cut off his own arm to live or should I go see Saw 3D where (i have no idea but i assume someone cuts something off to live but they die anyway)…it’s a conundrum.

      Anyway, I don’t believe your story but it was a little funny. 10pts

    • Melanie

      this is made up, right?

    • jenna

      so you are either hilarious or a massive bitch.

    • J


    • To Saturday Night Live

      Please turn this into a sketch for next week’s show. Or whenever Roseanne Arnold is available to host.

    • Tori

      So what you’re saying is don’t watch this movie to avoid being thrown up on? Pretty sure there is a slim chance that your experience will happen to the rest of us.

    • Krystal

      I think this is a highly stylized troll. Come on people the point of the story is he amputated his own arm. The reason why he had to show the gore was because that really happened to someone. We had to see the horror and truth of the situation. I can’t wait to see the movie.James Franco is an amazing actor.

    • boobeeblop

      kaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahhahahah i love so much so much. vomit dress blaag blaag so much today

    • Katie

      You will personally slap her across the face? As opposed to what? Hiring somebody to slap her? This was funny!

    • Chris

      Hey suzanne, I got some freakin news for you, the movie wasn’t about the wonders of wilderness and “beautiful sceanery”. It’s an amazing story about the will to survive and how one man has the power to overcome anything. Maybe before you went to see the movie you shouldve read one of the 50000000 reviews online saying that there was gonna be a gruesome amputation scene. So my news for you is to stop complaining and stop wearing dresses to the movies. FYI it’s dark in movie theaters, no one cares about what you’re wearing. Sincerely, “one of the youths”.

    • Jake

      lol while comical I’m mildly sad to hear how weak minded you are, One your statement to not see a movie is based off not the MOVIE but the event that preceded during the movie. Rather obtuse to object in seeing a movie because of an incident not related to the movie.

      You come off to me as one of those frivolous types that I so pleasantly like to avoid, as being useless,shallow and concededly jaded in materilisitic things.

      Anyways have a good day.

    • Harry

      Hey, Suzanne, its not the film’s fault you were “embarassed.” Its the woman sitting next to you. I was able to sit through the ampuation scene JUST FINE. Many others were too. Including the ampuation scene, most agree the film is incredible. You should judge the movie based on the MOVIE ITSELF, not events that transpired in the theater during the viewing. So, quit your whining.

    • Anna

      You sound like a very confused person.

    • Mark

      Hey Suzanne, you know, you had a bad expreience, and you judged the movie with that. I just wanted to let you know how idiotic and childish that is. Bye!

  • Amanda

    I WISH I had been able to see the film, but us midwesterners are out of luck. Is this film going to get a wider release?

    • MCS

      Try living out of the U.S. Thats worse.

    • query

      when is this movie being released widely? it’s not out in boston yet.

      • Iron Man

        This movie won’t get a wide release for another two weeks. I was kinda bummed because I was really looking forward to seeing it this weekend.

      • query

        thanks, i just checked myself too. looks like a few theaters in boston next week, then wide the week after that, as you said. i can’t wait to see it!

      • Jeanne

        It’s opening in Boston at the Coolidge on Friday.

    • tvgirl48

      I do hate that about this time of year. You read SO much about great movies that no one outside of New York or LA has even seen yet. It’s worse in Oscar season when us in the Midwest have to wait practically until after all the nominations are in to see the movies.

    • DT

      If you live down south, you’re similarly TSOL. I f’in’ HATE the limited release strategy. If it’s a really good film, and it sounds like this one is from all the reviews, release it wide already. I’m beginning to think that this is something the NY/L.A. folks do to lord it over the rest of us.

      Of course, I’ve got a friend who lives in the L.A. area, and he says they only open it in one theatre in the entire town when they do this and that’s generally a 45 min.-hour drive from him. I guess if you’re not on Sunset or Hollywood Blvd, you’re screwed.

      • calistoga

        Actually, you’ve got it backwards…..

      • DT

        What did I get wrong? I’m not being prickly and defensive, just asking. I’m not from there and have only been once.

      • Alia

        I think it was a hooker joke, DT.

      • Jay Jay the Jet Plane

        I think he meant that if you visit Sunset or Hollywood Boulevard, your virginity is lost.

  • Brian

    Please, lay off the posts on movies that aren’t even in wide release yet. Yeesh.

    • lars

      So people who live in cities where it IS playing shouldn’t be able to read anything about it? It’s not their fault that you choose NOT to live in one of those cities. Imagine that you didn’t get to hear about anything that happens locally because it doesn’t affect someone on the other side of the country. That doesn’t make sense. BTW, I don’t live in one of those cities either.

      • query

        i agree to a point lars, but it’s only playing in ny and la – next week it opens in one or two theaters in a few more cities – it’s still 2 weeks away from having a wide release, and so the article, at this point, appeals to people in two cities, and those lucky enough to have seen screeners months ago. it doesn’t really make sense, considering EW typically doesn’t focus much article space on movies before their wide-release. plenty of movies have similar schedules.

      • Ian

        Yes, 2 huge cities full of movie fans, movie industry people, and presumably a ton of EW readers. And if a bunch of them have seen, or are planning to see, this movie, then why not post the article? I’d also argue that this article is for ANYONE interested in the film, whether it’s playing where you are yet or not. I haven’t seen it, but plan to eventually, and I was quite interested in the article.

      • query

        like i said, i agree for the most part; i too am very excited to see this film, which is why i read it, but obviously can’t say if i was able to watch the scene or not.

        out of about 95 responses, it seems maybe 5 people have actually seen the film so far. so buzz, yes, ew is doing a great job and i still can’t wait to watch. actual feedback about that scene, not so much.

    • Ellen Ripley

      EW is just trying to build “buzz” for a movie so when it does open wide, people will want to see it. That’s why studios open films in waves.

      • Brad

        Sure. Talk about or bring up a scene in a movie about a survivalist doing something that will sure draw moviegoers or gawkers to watch a disturbing scene, then ask if it is disturbing enough. Hey! try that on someone else.

    • viddingwithkyle

      Because you didn’t know that he cuts off his arm in the film, right? I don’t even live in the USA and I knew that. It’s not like this hasn’t been reported on. And may I remind you, YOU chose to read it. No one forced you to click on the article.

    • Mark

      I agree that this post should have been been done a few weeks from now when more readers would have something to offer. If EW had to do one today, maybe the question should have been “And did anyone throw up at your screening of Life As We Know It?”

  • Meg

    I want to see it once it’s been widely released. Hopefully there’s no fainting or vomiting when I see it…

  • Silk Spectre

    I’ll be closing my eyes at that part. The film, i’m sure, will still be fine without seeing that.

    • kim in kentucky

      Will def be doing the same thing

  • Mia

    Why the surprise? Most moviegoers know what they can stomach. I went to Inglourious Basterds knowing I didn’t want to see a scalping, so I looked away. Loved the film regardless.

  • Felix

    It’s all relative. I’m way more disturbed by the scene in Slumdog Millionaire when a little boy has boiling water poured into his eyes, even though it doesn’t show anything graphic. Context is everything.

    • Nina4275

      I totally agree with you, Felix.

    • reason

      I agree with felix as well. I also would like to note that, in the past, we often hear about how a film is the most “terrifying” or “gruesome” experience anyone has ever seen, and a lot of times I will eventually watch and think “that wasn’t SO bad.” Resevior Dogs comes to mind. So, at least in my case, I wouldn’t say I go in with a morbid fascination, just a hope that it can’t be as bad as everyone is making it out to be.
      Sidenote: this doesn’t apply to torture porn.

    • Arizona

      Jeebus, I still haven’t seen Slumdog Millionaire and I’m disturbed just being TOLD such a scene exists, especially since I’m under the impression the whole movie is a pretty dead-on representation of modern street life in India. I fail to see how people can get all worked up about the “graphic” depiction of some guy summoning up the (admittedly formidable) will and stones to cut his own freakin’ arm off in order to survive, when atrocities with no possible redemption occur every day.

  • sammy

    when is it coming out in the uk?

    • calistoga

      Maybe in 4 years!!! That’s how long the UK made me wait for Gareth Malone!!!

  • Brad

    Saw it last night, and this is all much ado about nothing. I’ve seen far worse in other movies, and no one in the audience I saw it with fainted, threw up, went into convulsions, or keeled over and died. A couple of gasps and that was it.

  • Peter Mark

    Yes, that’s a spoiler!!! Thanks, idiots.

    • lars

      Seriously? It’s based on a true story and it’s ALL that every article talks about. Even the film’s own promotions give that away.

    • Josh

      I’m still angry at all the critics for giving away the ending of the Titantic.

      Thanks guys!

    • query

      you can’t spoil real life events, peter mark. newsflash: apollo 13 doesn’t crash.

      when they make a movie about the miners…psss…they get out alive!

    • Saz

      Next you’re gonna tell me that the Titanic sinks at the end of the movie…

      • Billl

        Yeah. And Thelma and Louise ride off into the sunset!

      • Um…

        Thelma & Louise aren’t real…

  • Anthony

    I am heading into the city to see it tomorrow….I cannot wait and no matter what I will NOT look away!

    • Kellsie

      So true. Honesty and everything roecngiezd.

  • Ben

    It’s not playing anywhere near me. I’m angry.

  • Chasmosaur

    Quite honestly, I don’t even know why this movie was made.

    That Aron Ralston survived – yes, a stirring example of how much one human being can physically and mentally endure. But when it happened, all I could think (and all I STILL think), is “extremely lucky a**shole”.

    I’m a geologist. I know so many climbers and both personally work and hike in terrain like that. You NEVER head out into places like that without telling people where you’re going, when you’re expected back, and/or setting up scheduled contact.

    This movie is a monument to Aron Ralston’s strength, will to live….and his selfishness and stupidity. What’s sad is that he was an experienced enough climber to know better. That he only lost his arm means he has some incredible angels on his shoulder.

    • Liat S

      actually, that’s what I thought.. and that’s why I don’t want to see the movie. Guy’s an idiot with a will of steel, but still a totally self inflicted (all puns intended) problem.

      • jj6

        i agree. good for him he made it but it could have been avoided. I thought a similar thing about Into the Wild and Christopher McCandless’ story. They made it seem romantic and sad, how he lived and died, but in both cases these men were selfish and thoughtless. How does that make them worthy of cinematic tribute.

      • Jenn

        I agree with you jj6. I’m still angry about Into the Wild and I think McCandless was an idiot that was cruel to everyone that cared about him. I haven’t seen 127 hours yet, but my interpretation of the coverage is that he came out of the experience realizing what an idiot he was for being that way and consequently changed his life. If that’s the case, I may be able to get behind it. It seems McCandless made that realization too (at least according to the movie), but too late to do anything about it. It still makes me angry.

      • Ellis

        YES! Thank you, jj6! I totally agree about the Chris McCandless story. Its sad, but in reality he was just being an arrogant/thoughtless idiot! I get the same vibe from the Ralston story. I mean, they guy obviously has an incredible will to live, but he put himself in that situatuon to begin with! Sorry, a bit off topic, I know…

      • ger

        I agree. They should only make movies about smart people that behave in a way that never gets them in any kind of trouble. Won’t those movies be exciting.

      • DT

        I don’t know. I don’t think that the movies are necessarily glorifying their protagonists. People in their twenties, who are coming into their own as people and generally haven’t experienced many trials yet, often have a surplus of confidence that gets them into bad situations. I think you can show them as likeable or idealistic without necessarily romanticizing or exalting them. They don’t have to be shown as jerks because they did something foolish, nor should there be some Greek chorus chiming in with”What an a$$hole!” lest we forget that these people are making grave errors. How many of us took unnecessary risks in our teens and twenties (and possibly early thirties)? All you judgmental folks are just angry you didn’t get a movie deal out of your youthful dumba$$ery.

      • Laura

        First, I will admit I haven’t seen the movie. I did read reviews of it and thought of Into the Wild. While I think both stories make interesting books (and films), I do worry that there’s a romanticizing of people who go off on their own without taking any precautions. I heard people say after Into the Wild that they had a similar urge to “leave it all behind,” and I replied testily, “You DO know how it ended, right?” You can enjoy being away from it all without being an idiot, and I hope that no one who sees the film gets some glorified notion of heading off without a clue.

    • topazbean

      For all you know he is portrayed in the film as a guy who acts like a complete fool and reaps the consequences. How do you know if you haven’t even seen it?

      • latebutbetterthannever

        That’s exactly how he’s portrayed.

    • stu

      Actually, judging by the movie and it looks like Aron would be the first one to agree with you that he was stupid, selfish and lucky. And that the situation he was in was completely of his own making.

      • cdnfilmgalb

        Yes, he is the first person to agree – saw him and heard him at Telluride where the film premiered. A lot of people do stupid things, doesn’t mean there isn’t a story or message for others. The film is about relationships – Aaron realizes that. That’s what the film is about. However, I suppose if you’ve lived a perfect life of never doing anything selfish or stupid or self destructive, by all means, stay away from the film. You’re perfect, nothing to learn for you!

    • Janet

      Actually, if you found that to be the point of the movie, then you completely missed the point of the movie. It is not a tribute to his strength of will and determination to survive, it’s a telling of his fascinating story. This movie in no way says “look how brave and strong he is!!” It tells his story, plain and simple. No glorification here.

    • ks


  • Tracey

    People, the movie is about the real-life dude who cut his real-life arm off. How is it a spoiler to know that the guy in the movie does the same thing?

    • MMH

      my thoughts exactly :)

  • sydney

    I wanted to see it for James Franco’s performance, but I know after reading about the fainting and vomiting that I will need to wait for DVD so I can mute it and fast forward! It may take away from the film, but I don’t want that image in my head forever. It was terrible to think of it when the story was first released in the news!

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