5 Snowbound films to inspire winter greatness
While the first flurries of the season tend to turn the UK into an idyllic wintry postcard, the novelty soon wears off. Public transport grinds to a halt with the merest hint of a snowflake, traffic backs up on motorways and the pretty white powder soon turns to a brown sludge. Not to mention that snow tends to be cold, freezing cold.
Snowy landscapes are best left to the magical world of Hollywood. We can bask in the glory of Rocky montages and Star Wars action from the comfort of a fireside armchair in our own living rooms.
Here are five of the best snow-set films, and movies with classic snow scenes:
Everyone’s favourite underdog boxer, Rocky Balboa faced the might of the Soviet Union’s Ivan Drago, killer of Apollo Creed, in the fourth instalment of the much-loved franchise. While Dolph Lundgren could call on state-of-the-art training technology, Sly Stallone went old school in the snowy mountains of Russia. It wouldn’t be a Rocky movie without a training montage, and set to the “Hearts on Fire” soundtrack, Balboa prepares for his toughest fight yet.
The cult movie from the Coen Brothers is played out against the chilly backdrop of the town of Fargo, North Dakota. William H. Macy’s plans to stage the kidnapping of his wife go violently awry as Frances McDormand’s pregnant Minnesota police chief follows the trail in the snow. The film was released to critical acclaim, earning two Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The second film in the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back featured the epic battle on the ice planet Hoth, complete with the AT-AT Walkers. With 2015’s The Force Awakens bringing us back to a galaxy far, far away, the movie culminates in a dazzling lightsaber battle in the snow between Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren. We have to wait until late 2017 to see where the adventure goes next but, in the meantime, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will keep the franchise’s millions of fans satisfied.
The role that finally saw Leonardo DiCaprio land an Oscar was his most punishing to date. He plays real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass, separated from his fur trading expedition in the early 19th Century, who must fight for survival after a ferocious attack by a bear. Left for dead, DiCaprio is abandoned in the wintry abyss, - shot in Canada, USA, and Argentina - and seeks revenge against the man who betrayed him, played by Tom Hardy. Filming in British Columbia and Alberta had to move to South America when the weather became unseasonably warm.
Stanley Kubrick’s frightening psychological masterpiece starring Jack Nicholson, and, based on the novel by Stephen King, centres on the isolated Overlook Hotel which becomes snowed in during winter. The building possesses a terrifying past which claimed the lives of Nicholson’s caretaker predecessor. Trapped in this wintry house of horrors, the family descends into a terrifying spiral of psychic phenomena and evil events. The film is regarded among the finest horror movies ever made, perhaps most famous for its iconic “Here’s Johnny” scene.