In the February 2011 issue, SKI magazine published a list of the 9 “best ski movies of all time.” I tore it out and I’ve carried it around ever since without watching a single one. We don’t seem to watch ski movies during ski season. We’re too busy skiing.
But on summer days that are too hot, too humid, or too rainy for doing much of anything else what could be better than pulling down the shades, making some popcorn and firing up the DVD player? It’s movie time.
The Nine Best Ski Movies of All Time (according to SKI Magazine)
1. Downhill Racer, 1969. Rated PG. Starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman. Adapted from the novel The Downhill Racers by Oakley Hall, Roger Ebert (remember him?) called it “the best sports movie of all time.”
2. The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977. Rated PG. Starring Roger Moore. Lots of James Bond movies include a ski chase. This one just does it best. And its a Bond flick. Who doesn’t want to waste an afternoon watching James Bond?
3. Ski Party, 1965. Not Rated. Starring Frankie Avalon. Take a beach party and put it on snow. Annette Funicello makes a cameo appearance and James Brown sings “I Feel Good” while wearing skis.
4. Better Off Dead, 1985. Rated PG. Starring John Cusack. Teen skier Lane Meyer knows that the only way to win back his girlfriend is to win the local ski race. Never mind that everyone thinks he could die in the process. He shows them. It’s the Ferris Bueller of skiing.
5. Hot Dog…The Movie, 1984. Rated R. Starring David Naughton. Another teen movie, full of stunts and hot tubs, good guys and bad guys, but with real skiing. Made before anyone could imagine the extreme skiing of today, the stunts are dated, but it is still fun.
6. Aspen Extreme, 1993. Rated PG-13. Starring Paul Gross and Finola Hughes (who?). Really starring Doug Coombs and Scot Schmidt. A superficial examination of the ski bum life, Aspen Extreme is the story of charm and good looks mixing with tons of money and substance eventually beating out style.
7. Deep and Light, 1949. Not Rated. Warren Miller’s opening salvo, Deep and Light started it all. The allure of mountain life; the exotic existence of the ski bum; Miller introduced the sport to a mass audience beginning with this film.
8. The Performers, 1972. Not Rated. The story of five skiers sponsored by K2 touring the US in a red, white and blue van. Only 26 minutes long, The Performers is a paean to the skiing road trip, the thrill of each new mountain, and the bonds forged by traveling around, just having fun.
9. The Blizzard of AAHHHHs, 1988. Not Rated. Starring Rasta Steve, Glen Plake, Tom Day, Mike Slattery, Scot Schmidt and Mike Hatrup. Credited with launching extreme skiing, this is a film about speed, courage and helmet cams. The Blizzard of AAHHHHs introduced American viewers to the intense, terrifying terrain of Chamonix.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…
All of these films are available through Netflix, with the exception of Aspen Extreme, Deep and Light and The Blizzard Of AAHHHHs.
Ski Party and Hot Dog….The Movie are available from Netflix only by streaming.
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