24 Movies That Will Teach You a Lot About Survival

Sarah Davis
By Sarah Davis July 27, 2016 12:29

24 Movies That Will Teach You a Lot About Survival

Stock up on popcorn and find yourself a bug in couch.

Below are some of the movies we have watched recently. They aren’t all cinematic epochs, but there are lessons to be learned from them.

#24 Wrecked

A man trapped in a car wreck at the bottom of a ravine must overcome incredible odds to survive.

#23 As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me

At the end of WW2, a German POW doing hard labor in the Soviet Gulag escapes from his Siberian camp to return to Germany but he’s pursued by a Soviet NKVD officer.

#22 The Divide

Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic.

#21 10 Cloverfield Lane

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

#20 The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in The Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

#19 The Day

A group of five people working to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic future discover what they think is a safe, abandoned farmhouse, but they soon find themselves fighting to stay alive as a gang of bloodthirsty predators’ attack.

#18 Into the Wild

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

#17 127 Hours

An adventurous mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

#16 Alive

Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow swept Andes are forced to use desperate measures to survive after a plane crash.

#15 Lord of the Flies

Stranded on an island, a group of schoolboys degenerate into savagery.

#14 The Edge

An intellectual billionaire and two lesser men struggle to band together and survive after getting stranded in the Alaskan wilderness with a blood-thirsty Kodiak Bear hunting them down.

#13 Flight of the Phoenix

Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.

#12 Unbroken

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he’s caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

#11 The Wave

Although anticipated, no one is really ready when the mountain pass above the scenic, narrow Norwegian fjord Geiranger, collapses and creates an 85-meter high violent tsunami. A geologist is one of those caught in the middle of it.

#10 The Finest Hours

The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.

#9 The Way Back

Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.

#8 Rabbit-Proof Fence

In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback.

#7 Rescue Dawn

A U.S. fighter pilot’s epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

#6 The Grey

After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.

#5 Eight Below

Brutal cold forces two Antarctic explorers to leave their team of sled dogs behind as they fend for their survival.

#4 Scenic Route

Tensions rise between lifelong friends Mitchell and Carter after their truck breaks down on an isolated desert road as they start to attack each other’s life decisions with unwavering brutality.

#3 Into the White

Norway, WWII: A group of British and German soldiers find themselves stranded in the wilderness after an aircraft battle. Finding shelter in the same cabin, they realize the only way to survive the winter is to place the rules of war aside.

#2 The Martian

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

#1 Cast Away

A FedEx executive must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive a crash landing on a deserted island.

Would you add another movie to this list?

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Sarah Davis
By Sarah Davis July 27, 2016 12:29
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33 Comments

  1. USMCVeteran July 27, 13:54

    I would include “The Road”, with Viggo Mortgenson.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Mike July 27, 14:17

    Jeremiah Johnson shows a lot of trying to survive moments and has always been one of my favorite movies.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Johnny5372 July 27, 14:44

    Red Dawn. The new and old

    Reply to this comment
  4. Geosettles July 27, 15:03

    The. Original red dawn.from like 1986 or so.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Neal July 27, 15:28

    The movie Revenant

    Reply to this comment
  6. Mac July 27, 15:49

    Akira Kurosawa’s Dersu Uzala.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071411/

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 27, 02:27

      That was a great movie. But then I don’t think Kurosawa made any dud movies. I was a great fan of him and Toshiro Mifune, the Japanese actor who played the outcast ronin in so many movies. I thought his most poignant picture was Rickshaw Man but alas, it isn’t on video or DVD.

      He also played in a U.S. film where he spoke all his lines in English, although he actually didn’t speak English. I thought it showed what a great actor he was where he could speak a foreign language and portray the emotions the lines contained although he didn’t actually speak the language of the dialog.

      As a personal note, he also was a prodigious drinker of Scotch whiskey which I think led to his somewhat early death. He was famous (or infamous) for the large quantities of that beverage he could consume and still remain upright and mobile.

      I believe I have seen every one of Mifune’s movies, either at the time of release in the U.S. or later on video or DVD.

      Reply to this comment
  7. chARley July 27, 15:55

    Learned everything I need from Gilligan’s Island 😉

    Reply to this comment
  8. Venturedad July 27, 16:40

    I felt “Misery” should at least be a runner up. Desperate times forces desperate measures.

    Reply to this comment
  9. OwitHurtz July 27, 20:33

    The series ALONE, show some awsome skills.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Skip July 28, 11:50

    Great selection of movies, each has a set of lessons. I am with OwitHurtz, “Alone” the series has some really unique skills used. Also, there are a bunch of TV shows that have survival as the theme, Northern Exposure, Survivor Man, Dual Survivor, etc. Gotta love Cody Lundine. How about Mountain Men, it has some techniques.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Fox July 29, 18:02

    Man in the Wilderness, a 1971 film starring Richard Harris, has many great tips. The Revenant, I’m told, is a modern remake of that tale.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Joshua August 3, 16:02

    ” My Side of the Mountain “, a thirteen year old boy is really into Henry David Thoreau, and decides to head off into the Catskills to see if he can ” live a deliberate life “. He lives in a tree, makes his own buck skin clothes, and teaches a peregrine falcon to hunt for him.

    Reply to this comment
  13. III% August 5, 11:35

    I would add “Amerigeddon”

    Reply to this comment
  14. Climber August 25, 00:43

    Touching the Void. Two mountain climbers have to make life and death choices

    Reply to this comment
    • Hogprint January 21, 15:55

      I second Touching the Void. True Story of survival. Amazing actually. I don’t know if they made a movie of it but a great survival story was a book about the Karluck. A research vessel stranded in an Ice flow in the Arctic Ocean.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Bobo September 7, 13:43

    Book of Eli…..
    My favorite!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Coyote September 23, 13:32

    Year Zero, starring Ray Milan

    Reply to this comment
  17. roro December 13, 22:03

    tomorrow when the war began

    Reply to this comment
  18. GaryM May 23, 16:32

    How about the movie “The Earthling” with Ricky Schroeder?

    Reply to this comment
  19. Relu September 23, 18:34

    The snow walker

    Reply to this comment
  20. Ernie March 19, 00:48

    The movie “Detour”. A guy in a car is buried by a landslide. Almost the whole movie is about how he deals with the situation. Brea Grant is his girlfriend and provides some eye candy for those body lovers.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Ernie March 19, 00:52

    The movie “The Divide”. Brutally honest and harsh, dark, dark, dark vision of a group of people surprised by a nuclear war and are in the basement fallout shelter of a skyscraper. The maintenance guru of the building has been prepping for an event like this for years. Some surprises and disturbing images. Not for the weak minded.

    Reply to this comment
  22. SoftballUmpire January 21, 17:50

    Thanks for this list. Having seen quite a few of them, I loved each of them. I am sorry that some of the old Black A & White television series were not included, but space was limited. Three of my four grandparents came to Oregon pursuant to the Wagon Trains & settled in Sherman County in Eastern Oregon. The writings they left, as well as those of the woman I married, are a treasure.

    I was always impressed with ‘Wagon Train’ & how quickly they resorted to prayer for protection & guidance. I have been led back to the County after an absence of over 50 years. At least three ‘Century Farms’ have been merged. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only one who has delivered his own children, though.

    My father’s grandmother was the midwife that delivered my mother’s father.

    Reply to this comment
  23. susanm January 23, 07:43

    The movie “The Impossible” is about a family vacationing at the beach in Thailand in 2004 experience a tsunami.

    Reply to this comment
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