If you find yourself snowed in this winter with nothing to do but watch tv, here are some of my favorite hunting movies. While not quite the same as going out hunting yourself, this list can at least keep you focused on hunting while relaxing. Here they are, in no particular order.
- Jeremiah Johnson 1972
My all-time favorite hunting film, Jeremiah Johnson is a 1972 movie starring Robert Redford. The story centers on a war veteran who decides to strike out into the Rocky mountains to try and live off the land. With no experience hunting or fishing, things don’t exactly go smoothly at first. Featuring breathtaking shots of the Rockies, several scenes of real hunting, and a great story—there’s a reason this movie sits at the top of many hunters lists. Loosely based on the exploits of “Liver-Eating Johnson,” a famous mountain man.
2. The Revenant 2015
Starring Leonardo Decaprio and Tom Hardy, The Revenant is based on a period of time in the life of Hugh Glass, an American fur trapper from the early 1800s. While it plays fast and loose with the real history of Glass, the story is compelling enough to excuse the creative license. Hugh Glass (Decaprio) is attacked by a grizzly bear and later left for dead while incapacitated by his injuries. Part hunting story and part revenge flick, The Revenant portrays 19th-century western trapping as a grueling existence.
3. The Ghost and The Darkness 1996
Based on the true events of the “Tsavo Man-Eaters,” The Ghost and The Darkness takes place in the late 19th century in colonial Kenya. As the British try to complete construction on a railway, a pair of lions has been preying on the railway workers and local villagers. Eager to neutralize the threat and resume work, the British Colonel (Val Kilmer) hires a famous hunter, Charles Remington (Michael Douglas) to kill the lions. The real pair of lions was believed to have killed between 30 and 130 people as they terrorized the countryside. This film has aged very well and is both thrilling and fascinating.
4. A River Runs Through It 1992
While this movie is not technically a hunting film, I put it on the list because it is almost universally regarded as the quintessential film about fly fishing. Taking place in Montana near the Rocky Mountains, it stars Brad Pitt and was directed by Robert Redford. It tells the story of 2 generations of a family who bond while fishing the Blackfoot River. Worth watching just for the beautiful shots of the fly fishing, it won an Oscar for best cinematography.
5. Calibre 2018
Calibre is a British thriller and not one that is very well known yet. The plot involves a pair of old friends who head to a remote Scotland property to go hunting. I don’t want to give away any more of the plot, but suffice it to say that things don’t exactly go as planned. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat and may make you reconsider going on a Scottish hunting trip anytime soon.