As any outdoorsman or hunter will tell you, the long term happiness we get from the wilderness experience isn’t just about the kill. It’s about the narrative quality of each adventure, the lessons gleaned from trial and adversity and the way the ruggedly created world changes who we are.
In many ways, our exploits in the wild are a portrait of life: It’s the place where preparation and practice can’t be cheated, where character is revealed in the furnace of extreme external forces and the place we must face our greatest obstacle—our own fear. Oftentimes it’s in the wild we find out who we really are, what we’re really made of.
The greatest outdoor movies of all time are woven together with this sort of material. They remind us of the grandeur and splendor of the natural world, the often violent way it forms us and the raw power of the truths we learn there. We’re reminded of the bond of friendship as well as the pain of loss. We feel the desperation of defeat and the unspeakable joy that comes after our own fears are overcome.
With all the elements of a man-night classic—beards, guns and breathtaking cinematography from around the world—we present you with the greatest outdoor movies of all time. Get the popcorn going, pour a glass of bourbon and enjoy one of these great films.
- If you're willing to brave the entire 21-hour mini-series, Centennial (1978-79) is legendary. Based on the book by James A. Michener, the film features great performances by Raymond Burr, Richard Chamberlain, Timothy Dalton, Andy Griffith and Mark Harmon. It captures the expansion of Colorado through the eyes of a fictional town, Centennial, from the 1700s to about 1970, and was the most ambitious TV project ever at that time. With four directors, a $25 million budget and over 100 speaking parts, Centennial is a masterful portrait of the American West.