Here are the best survival knife scenes from the movies.
Every outdoorsman values his knife perhaps more than any other tool for getting him out of a tough situation.
And even in the limitless world of the movies, there are still times when nothing gets the job done quite as well as a fine piece of steel. We found some of the best scenes from the movies where the main characters relied on their survival knives to live up to their name.
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
Dundee is an Australian badass who hunts crocodiles for a living, so it’s no surprise he has an equally impressive knife to get him through both the bush and the urban jungle of New York. The knife was a custom piece for the movie, made by Australian gunsmith John Bowring. In this infamous scene, he uses it to chase off some would-be muggers. It’s great to see the thugs get more than they bargained for, but in real life you may just want to hand over the wallet or at least carry concealed – actual criminals have guns.
The Grey (2011)
In this tense closing scene, the protagonist prepares to take on a pack of wolves after wandering into their den. His survival knife, a SOG Revolver SEAL, which until now has helped him sharpen sticks for defense against the pack, chop firewood, and a myriad of other tasks, is now one of his few weapons against the hungry animals. He tapes the knife to one hand and remembering a poem his father kept, prepares to launch himself “once more into the fray.”
First Blood (1982)
Rambo has arguably one of the most famous survival knives from the movies. The one he carried in the first few movies, a custom design from Arkansas knifesmith Jimmy Lile, is probably the most well-known. The knife has become so synonymous with Rambo’s survival, it’s the entire topic of this tribute video. Rambo has used it to slice and dice plenty of bad guys, but it’s also had some more practical uses, including rigging up snares and traps, cutting meat, and making a fish spear.
The versatility of Rambo’s knife has even been lampooned, like in this clip from Hot Shots: Part Deux.
127 Hours (2010)
Warning: this clip is pretty gruesome.
In this film based on a true story, Aron Ralston has his hand pinned under a boulder in the remote wilderness, and must cut off his own arm to escape and survive.
While the story’s most important message is to let people know where you’re going in the backcountry and having an emergency plan, Ralston’s sacrifice was even greater because he had a dull, impractical knife, which he himself described as “what you’d get if you bought a $15 flashlight and got a free multi use tool.” Not to say a sharp knife would’ve made things any easier, but it’s a reminder how a knife can sometimes be used to survive in the last way you’d expect.
More video posts you’ll want to check out
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- Bowhunting in the Movies [VIDEO]
- 10 Famous Guns From the Movies [PICS]
The Edge (1997)
In this epic survival movie, a billionaire and two companions crash in the Alaskan wilderness and are stalked by a murderous bear. The only things that help the main character get on for so long are his encyclopedic knowledge of survival skills, and a folder knife that was given to him by his wife. The custom knife made for the movie by Brian Lyttle is used time and time again in the film to make traps, start a fire, and in this scene, sharpen sticks to kill the bear. Although honestly, in real life, that last attempt would be more likely to lead to the opposite of survival.
True Grit (2010)
In True Grit, Rooster Cogburn, like many an Old West lawman, carries a large Bowie knife. This scene, in which young Mattie Ross falls into a rattlesnake pit and is bitten, is an interesting scene of how a knife can be used to deliver wilderness first aid, but a terrible example of what to do in real life, where it would do little to decrease the poison in someone’s system and maybe even harm the person attempting to help.
Still, it’s great for cutting Mattie loose from the pit, and in real life could be used for other first aid, such as cutting bandages or tourniquets, or with the proper training, even with performing an emergency tracheotomy.
If you’re looking for your own knife to get you out of a tough scrape someday, give this infographic on choosing the right survival knife a read.