We’re almost reaching the end of the summer. It’s one of the best times of the year to enjoy the outdoors while also preparing for the coming colder months. What better way is there to relax and also be reminded of the beauty of nature then to kick back with some of these classic movies about the great outdoors? Here’s our pick of the best movies about the wilderness, complete with the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Walkabout contrasts mainstream, air-conditioned Australian society with the isolation and beauty of the Australian outback. Well-known and popular in Australia, the movie tells the story of a teenage schoolgirl and her brother stranded in the wilderness and then meeting an Aboriginal boy. The unlikely trio soon become friends and start living off the land together. Unfortunately, their paradise is short-lived. Cosmopolitan life soon very forcibly breaks apart the new friends, and their experience and connection with nature seems like a dream.
For outdoor and road tripping enthusiasts who love the American landscape and have always wanted to drive cross-country, Badlands is the movie for you. This classic follows the relationship between a 25-year-old former garbage man, now full-time criminal with a 15-year-old whose hobby is baton twirling. As their literal journey unfolds through prairies, small towns, forests, and plains, the charms of rural America and the clear, expansive sky are on display. Think of Badlands as possibly one of the best travelogue-crime love stories you may ever watch.
The Last Wave, 1977
This is another Australian movie, but this time about nature as a dangerous and mysterious force in Australia. In fact, the Aboriginals and lawyer connected by their intuitive powers sense that civilization as Australia knows it, is about to be purged and rebuilt through a big natural disaster—hence, “the last wave.” Nature is the overriding and unstoppable force throughout the movie, pounding Australian cities and outlying territories with relentless rain, and disrupting modern lives and routines.
Deliverance is an American favorite because of its story of drama and danger amidst the Georgian wilderness. Four Atlanta businessmen intend to explore an idyllic river valley, but their trip turns into a nightmare after encountering gun-toting and sadistic hillbillies. Views of the river, gorges, and small town during overcast weather contribute to the movie’s gloomy and suspenseful atmosphere. While the thriller isn’t exactly a walk in the park, it may definitely get your heart racing.
Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975
Picnic at Hanging Rock showcases scenic Australia, with the movie centered around a group of schoolgirls and their teachers’ picnic to Hanging Rock, a distinctive geological formation in Central Victoria. As the students explore the Hanging Rock and the surrounding area, eventually one member becomes abandoned, and cause the remaining members of the party to panic. The sunny weather and apparent peacefulness of the scene only adds mystery to the disappearance.
Many movies feature nature prominently. Hopefully, these movies spur you to experience the outdoors yourself, and be sure to download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps beforehand to make your adventure that much more comfortable.