Even though the movies being talked about at the 89th Academy Awards probably won’t help us much, we can still keep the great hunting spirit alive by watching movies about hunters who are heroes.
Movies with hunters in them are good for you and your family, and they also show Hollywood that these kinds of stories are popular.
Here are some of my favorite action movies with a hunter as the main character.
“The Eagle Huntress” (2016)
This documentary, about a 13-year-old Mongolian girl who gets her own eagle and learns to fly it and hunt with it while riding a horse, came out in October and is good for all ages. The way this feel-good movie was shot is stunning.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (2016)
This summer’s movie tells the story of Ricky, a rebellious New Zealand city kid who moves to the country with his foster family, which includes his loving Aunt Bella, a dog named Tupac, and his crusty Uncle Hec (Sam Neil), who first shows up with a wild boar he’s just killed.
After a terrible event makes it likely that Ricky will be taken away, he and Hec run away to the wilds of New Zealand, where they hunt and eat venison to survive.
Ricky and Hec need to stop fighting if they want to keep their family together while the search is going on across the country.
Hunters from New Zealand gave some of the animals used in the movie. My family and I saw this movie in a theater, and when it was over, everyone stood up to cheer.
“Big Game” (2015)
In this story, we follow a Finnish teen on his first hunt for a big animal without his parents. After his father and some friends hold a ceremony, the child is sent into the woods on an ATV.
The president of the United States, Samuel Jackson, is on an airplane that is shot down by terrorists as it flies above.
The president gets through the ordeal without getting hurt, and in the end, the young boy uses his knowledge of the forest to get the president to safety.
“The Falconer: Sport of Kings” (2013)
Here, we follow a former U.S. champion in martial arts and a master falconer as he goes on a journey to learn how to hunt with golden eagles the old way.
So, he goes to Mongolia to ask Genghis Khan’s children about this method. “The Falconer” has won awards at six film festivals, and you can now watch it on Amazon Prime.
“The Happy People: A Year in the Taiga” (2010)
Werner Herzog directed and made this documentary. It shows the people of Bakhtia, a village in the Siberian taiga. The people in the village catch fur animals like sable and eat fish and game to stay alive.
“The Snow Walker” (2003)
In 1953, a Canadian bush pilot named Charlie Halliday (Barry Pepper) goes to an Eskimo settlement to pick up a sick woman with TB so he can take her to a hospital.
They have to find a way to stay alive after their plane crashes in the tundra. Caribou hunts are amazing to watch.
“Escanaba in da Moonlight” (2001)
Here’s the story of Reuben Soady (Jeff Daniels), a 43-year-old man who has lived his whole life in a deer camp but has never been able to catch a buck. Reuben is the only person in his extended family who has never killed a deer.
His uncle, who is a bit strange, is the only other person. Daniels said that the movie is like a mix of “Jeremiah Johnson” and “Dumb and Dumber.”
In this heroic story, Reuben goes on a quest to find money with the help of his Indian wife Hawk Moon (Kimberly Norris Guerrero).
“The Ghost and the Darkness” (1996)
This movie, starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas, is based on real events that happened in Kenya in 1898, when two lions killed 120 workers building the Uganda-Mombasa Railway.
The movie then shows how a British engineer, played by Kilmer, and a big-game hunter, played by Douglas, kill the lions. It won the Academy Award.
“Dances with Wolves” (1990)
The chase between the Indians and the buffalo is at the heart of Kevin Costner’s epic about a soldier who wants to go to the Old West. The movie won seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best director.
“In The Blood” (1989)
In the 1989 documentary film “Affixed to the DNA,” directed by George Butler, a young man comes of age as he follows in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt on his famous African safari.
It’s a true story about hunting that also has a lot of funny and sad parts. Olatunji, who played the drums, wrote and played a great piece of music.
“Ofelas” or “Pathfinder” (1987)
In the year 1000 A.D., a group of marauders attacks the native Saami people of the Scandinavian Arctic.
In this action drama, we see how the Saami people fight back against the attack. The film is worth seeing just for the beautiful way it was shot. Oscar voters thought “Ofelas” might be the best foreign film.
“Dersu Uzala” (1975)
The movie by Japanese director Akira Kurasowa is about a Russian soldier who gets lost in the woods of Siberia and is saved by a local hunter.
As Hunter follows the explorer back to town, he finds out that his woodsmanship skills don’t help him at all. It won the Academy Award.
“Jeremiah Johnson” (1972)
In this classic by Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford plays a mountain man who just wants to be left alone for the rest of his life.
However, he is forced to break into an Indian burial site and must avoid a number of attackers as he does so.
“The Last Safari” (1967)
Stewart Granger is an honest professional hunter in Africa. He quits his job as a guide but goes on one last hunt to find the elephant that killed his friend.
“Will Penny” (1967)
In this western starring Charleton Heston, the main character is a drifter who runs away from his criminal family and becomes a hunter-trapper.
He falls into a trap set by a woman looking for love (Joan Hackett). Heston would say that this was his best job.