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Becky Aikman

Off the Cliff

How the Making of 'Thelma & Louise' Drove Hollywood to the Edge

Penguin 2018

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in FilmNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network August 23, 2018 Rebekah Buchanan

In Off the Cliff: How the Making of ‘Thelma & Louise’ Drove Hollywood to the Edge (Penguin, 2018), Becky Aikman explores the making of Thelma...

In Off the Cliff: How the Making of ‘Thelma & Louise’ Drove Hollywood to the Edge (Penguin, 2018), Becky Aikman explores the making of Thelma & Louise, a 1991 film that challenged traditional Hollywood culture. The film cast two women as the stars, running from their lives and the law. An outlaw film that was a long shot, but became one of the most influential films of the past 30 years. Aikman tells the story of how Callie Khouri wrote a script that she worked to see come to the big screen. Off the Cliff goes behind the scenes, examining how Khouri’s script got to Ridley Scott, how they found one studio—Pathé—to back it, and how through a series of sometimes lucky and very fortunate events came together to create this lasting feminist film milestone. Aikman draws on interviews with the actors, writers, and filmmakers to tell the story of Thelma & Louise. Aikman’s work is an in-depth exploration into every aspect of Thelma & Louise, from getting the movie off the ground, actor auditions, discussions of the filming of a number of the key scenes, and initial audience reaction. Aikman’s work is a must read for not only fans of the movie, but readers interested in film history and American cinema.


Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative in people’s lives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at rj-buchanan@wiu.edu.