How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Survival Movies

Today I want to keep it light and talk about some of my favorite survival movies. All of them provide food for thought and most of them can provide you with a few things to learn along the way.

In no particular order…

I Am Legend

In ‘I Am Legend‘ Robert Neville, a scientist, was unable to stop a virus from spreading across the world. Now alone in New York City, he has spent the last three years searching for a cure, other survivors, and the means to survive.

This is not the first version of this movie, but it’s certainly one of the more popular versions. I found it easier to watch than the earlier ones, though Omega Man was quite good.

This movie makes you think about what it means to survive alone, and sheds light on just how irrational the solo survival story truly is. Humans are social creatures and don’t do well alone.

Into The Wild

I wasn’t sure whether to include Into The Wild on this list, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t keep it off the list. It’s the true story of Christopher McCandless who decided to try to survive in the Alaskan Wilderness.

The protagonist goes on a journey of self discovery, or self indulgence if you prefer, and makes quite a few rather interesting decisions along the way.  A good many of those decisions aren’t exactly the wisest, and on more than one occasion he ignored people who had advice for him in favor of going his own way.  In the end, this bites him in the rear end.

For better or worse, this was a bit of a painful movie to watch. I include it mostly because I have yet to find another survival movie that has a similar view into what can happen in a survival situation if you don’t know what you think you do…

The Book of Eli

Our next survival movie, The Book of Eli is thoroughly entertaining, if a bit dark at times. A drifter named Eli wanders around post-apocalyptic North America guarding a book. Along the way a young girl joins him in his travels while he is pursued by a local warlord.

A fascinating story, I don’t want to say too much more to avoid giving away the plot. That said, it’s an interesting view into survival in a Mad Max style apocalypse with a bit of a religious bent to it.

Swiss Family Robinson

A classic we all know and love, the Swiss Family Robinson is a movie about a family that is marooned on an island and settle in for the long haul. It belongs in this list because of how they build up from nothing, never giving up.

It’s a great movie, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. And it’s a great movie for the whole family, which is a huge bonus.

Wrapping Up

Obviously these survival movies are fiction (Except for Into the Wild) and are quite stylized. But look beyond the story and think about the situations that people are placed into. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would do.

Leave a comment with your favorite survival movies … share with the class!

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11 Responses to Survival Movies

  1. Good choices. I think you could also include “The Road”. Some aspects are taken to an extreme, but we never know what “extreme” is until something that drastic actually happens. But even putting aside the extreme aspects (the widespread and rampant cannabilism), I think the rest of the story is quite good.

    Now, it’s not exactly a movie, but if you get a chance to watch “After Armageddon” that is sometimes played on the History International channel, that documentary/fictional story is as good as it gets. I think this is probably the most realistic depiction of what the aftermath will look like: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the rebuilding. It’s a documentary with professors, politicians, doctors and prepping and security experts commenting on what the world might be like after a pandemic sweeps over the world. The story has actor portrayals following a family’s plight through the treacherous times. VERY GOOD! A must see.

  2. One more for you: Earth 2100.

    This portrayal of a devastated world discusses the global warming situation in the future. But you could plug in just about any circumstance. It is also told and narrated by experts in the field, including professors, doctors, politicians and scientists. It’s really quite good. The story follows a young girls life through the century. Her name is Lucy.

    But what was most eye-opening and frightening, is that this was originally aired by ABC on prime time Sunday night airing. What that told me was that the government and others are telling those that are willing to see the signs and really open their eyes about what is and likely to come down on us, this did it. They’re doing their best to inform the public to prepare. Many won’t see or hear that message, but they can only warn so much. This was a wake up call and I hope plenty heard it.

    It can now be seen on History channel through the Internet.

  3. I actually didn’t like any of these movies: too dark for me. I did watch After Armageddon on Youtube and that was more realistic. I also viewed Jericho(late starter here) and wished it had continued.
    Although I don’t necessarily agree with Rawles’ vision I do credit his book(speaking of books) How to Survive TEOTWAWKI with giving me the kick start I needed to start preparing for any scenario. I’ll never attain the level of preparedness that he has but we’re doing pretty well.

  4. I think a movie that should be at the top of your list of survival movies is “RED DAWN” starring Patrick Swazee. Its about a military invasion of the United States. What is really interesting is that the invaders came over our southern borders..

  5. Being a fiction writer, I did like most of the movies you previewed. I say most as I haven’t watched “The Book of Eli” and it’s been a long time since I have viewed “Swiss Family Robinson.” I did find, the already mentioned “The Road” interesting but a little curious as to the choices made in a few of the scenes/chapters; I read the book also. “Children of Men” is a pretty good movie too and would recommend it to most people.

  6. “My Side of the Mountain” based on the Jean Craighead George series of childrens’ books is my all -time favorite survival movie. Any of her books ae great for inspiring your children to get closer to nature.
    The PBS series Frontier House would be another pick.

  7. Interesting list. I also like the film “Defiance,” based on a true story during WWII in what is now Belarus. Three Jewish brothers escape into the woods and try to elude the Nazis. There are interesting aspects that seem relevant to preppers. Very quickly, certain skills take on greater importance in the woods as opposed to the city. The two older brothers disagree over how to deal with the influx of refugees–how are they going to feed these people ? how can they morally turn them away?–as well as whether it’s best to hide in the woods indefinitely or to actively fight the enemy.

  8. I just viewed “The Book of Eli” and I loved it. Denzel Washington played the part of Eli very well. Two things that bothered me are that the roadways are used a lot for travel which makes people easy targets for the bad guys; also even after 30 years since the collapse, there is still some gasoline around for a few vehicles to use, which didn’t seem very logical given the extreme collapse scenario. Other than these two items, it was excellent. I concur with Rudy that it is a worthwhile view.

  9. I really liked The Pianist. It was about a Jewish family living in Poland when the Nazi’s took over. It shows just how fast things can turn south when society breaks down. I believe it was based on a true story.

    Keep up the great information Rudy. I really appreciate this site.

  10. We have all these movies and read some of the books too (which are always better). I think you can something out of all of them, even if it just makes you think a bit more, and of course the books have more info.

    The Swiss Family Robinson is a great read with the story telling how they get around mundane things not just fighting off the pirates :) loved this story since I was young, guess it was my first survival story.

    Enjoying you site 😀

  11. Okay, except for “Swiss Family Robinson,” I didn’t care for “I Am Legend” (aka “Omega Man” with Charleton Heston), or “The Road.”

    “Jericho” is okay, but it’s more about a community at war. Better ones are: “Panic in the Year Zero” (old 60’s flick), “Mysterious Island” (the one with Gary Merrill), “Night of the Living Dead” (the original B&W, people had to improvise, also demonstrated what happens when people don’t cooperate).

    As to books. “One Second After” by William Forstchen is about a community trying to survive after an EMP strike. “Patriots” by John Wesley, Rawles is a novelized book on survival, although the work itself is a bit of a pipe dream with a group of friends living together after an economic collapse. More down to earth is “FerFAL” Aguirre’s “The Modern Survival Manual.” Aguirre lives in Argentina, and describes life in an economically ruined country. The best manual, EVER, are the Boy Scout manual from the 1960’s, and the Boy Scout Field Book prior to 1976 (after that, they became WAY too PC!).

    Finally, grab anything by Peggy Layton. Layton is a nutritionist who tells you in her books how much food you’ll need per person, and how to prepare different dehydrated foods. In one of her books she passes down pioneer recipes.

    Hope this all helps!