Prepare for the slopes with ski scenes from the movies
So with the ski season already upon us, we're raring to get out to the slopes for at least a short break. Can we prepare now to make the legs ache less in resort? It's too late to get to the gym, there's just not enough time in our lives - and let's face it squats are boring. So why not park your rear on the couch and curl up on a chilly winter's eve with a nice glass of wine watching amusing films vaguely linked to skiing. Here come seven of these ski break preparatory delights, from the old to the new:
Spellbound - 1945
Hitchcock serves up a scene of suspense that perhaps hasn't stood the test of time as well as some. With Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman seemingly sporting blazers in a stylish mountain get up.
Who doesn't love a superimposed backdrop for a ski scene with dramatic music, awkward eye contact, grating jaws, dream sequences and haunt shattering realisations?
The Pink Panther - 1963
A wonderful classic bit of cinematography to a proudly stereotypical Parisian soundtrack. Some fair weather skiing at it's best. Strikingly bright cable knit jumpers, horse-drawn taxis and David Nivens gigantic binoculars in the heart of the southern Dolomites.
The Spy Who Loved Me - 1977
Roger Moore lays claim to probably the best Bond ski scene. It has it all; a ticker tape watch - touch screen eat your heart out, fantastically coloured onesies, ski pole guns - the ultimate shot ski, back flips that belong in a manga film and death-defying cliff drops with an added bonus of base jumping, and that's all in just the opening scene to a 70's funked up bond tune.
Better Off Dead - 1985
Where John Cusack takes the role of a hapless downer forced to prove himself by turning into a ski whizz with suicidal undertones. This is before he really made a name for himself on the big screen.
The skiing starts off with his onlooking love interest witnessing a cartwheeling tumble and slide whilst he manages to keep up a constant growl down the mountain. Then there's the miracle - turning into a parallel ski god in some very retro boots in a decidedly 80's spectacle, don't miss the sometimes sleeveless jacket. The film is a sort of dark comedy with plenty of gloriously irrelevant snippets creating a load of quotable fun for a lazy day in.
Dumb & Dumber - 1994
The Farrelly brothers cult comedy is perhaps the brainchild behind lighting farts for laughter. Whilst the skiing is actually filmed in Breckenridge, it's set in Aspen. Getting your tongue stuck on a chairlift sends a physical shiver down the spine, no matter where you are, and the thought of wrenching it off!
But perhaps the better scene is actually Harry's snowball fight with Mary when things get a little out of hand. That face of realisation on taking things way too far, can't be beaten.
Fantastic Four - 2005
The film is full of bright colours and broad humour for Marvel's most mockable superheroes. And the skiing's awful. But Sum 41 are great, they're still touring and 'Noots' from their third studio album is a little bit of punk-rock for a light-hearted comic affair.
Why Chris Evans and Maria Menounos feel the need to jump out of the helicopter is baffling but let's face it who doesn't want to find a hot pool in the middle of nowhere for a relaxingly private end to their day?
The Grand Budapest Hotel - 2014
Wes Anderson created an ornate masterpiece in The Grand Budapest Hotel. You get lost in a magical display of intricately detailed environments providing the backdrop to deeply emotional themes.
Ralph Fiennes, portraying a wonderful Monsieur Gustave acting as the philanthropist for old ladies, along with Zero Moustafa, his orphaned immigrant tutee, are on a sledge chasing a masterfully skiing William Defoe without actually wanting to catch the 'homicidal psychopath'. It's been said that the ski movie in Hollywood is dead, however, this ski chase is a delightfully fresh affair. Possibly my all time favourite snowy scene. A wonderful puppet mastery with all the detail we come to expect from Mr Anderson. The scenes filming is described in an interview as "we literally had the camera on skateboard wheels, upside down, pushing it with a stick" technically speaking. Check out the interview below.
I couldn't help put but this in as a little extra ski genius. There's plenty more that could have made it such as Bridget Jones, Inception, Hot Tub Time Machine or countless other Bonds, but Colby West can't help but make you laugh in the 'It's not unusual' extract from 2008's Claim: The Greatest Ski Movie... EVER! There's even a chest rug floating about.
And that's that.
They may not be pretty, and most should never get near any form of an award but we love them still. And there's no better way to prepare for the mountains than a good film (with at least a small reference to snow). And why seven you may ask? Well, I'm just pointlessly a fan of prime numbers.