I have made a great exception in bringing this post to the blog page. As anyone with my same idea of fun will tell you, being on a slope somewhere in the middle of nowhere is definitely more fun than being slouched in front of a TV screen. However, even the most relentless of us must occasionally surrender to a warm couch that is so often fronted by a ‘boob tube’.
Since this is a common problem, I have made a list of the top three outdoorsy-based movies of all time. I do so to help my fellow outdoorsmen keep sane when they are deprived of pine-scented air.
- Jeremiah Johnson
If ever there was a movie any and all people who love the outdoors should see, this is it. Starring Robert Redford, the story chronicles a fictional character’s battle with civilization and his quest for a life absent of its complications. He goes AWOL from the Mexican War and heads up north into the Rockies to become a mountain man. Along the way, he encounters characters of amazing originality and learns through interaction with them and the natives, why the Rockies are the “…marrow of the world.” Full of tragedy, stark reality, and great humor, this movie has it all and is worth buying right off the shelf. Do not even bother with renting it.
- Into the Wild
Based on the true story and life of Christopher McCandless, the movie outlines the triumphs and tragedies surrounding his life and death. In general, McCandless had it all. In the beginning, he had just graduated from a major university, he had a family who loved him, and a more-than sufficient savings account, but, similar to Jeremiah Johnson, the civilized world was just too much of a trap to his way of thinking. So, he gave all of these things up in the hopes of heading into the wild. Also similar to Jeremiah Johnson, he discovers life’s lessons the hard way and finds comfort in the rare acts of kindness that he stumbles across. The movie will warm your heart, anger you, and leave you thinking “wow.”
Tom Hanks plays his part well in this movie. He actually gained weight and then lost all of it and then some to make his character seem more realistic. The fictional story involves Tom Hank’s character “Chuck Noland” crash-landing on an island and surviving alone with just a few packages to keep him company. Through grit and determination, he survives on the island for four years before coming to the ghastly conclusion that he is not going to be rescued. He constructs a raft and then sets off to return to the life that he had had before. However, even when he miraculously manages to make it back to civilization, he finds a world far removed from his new way of life. The movie is sad but, in the end, comical and thought-provoking-a ‘must see’ for sure.