Archives For Apollo 13

The Top 10 Survival Movies

September 17, 2015 — 2 Comments

After watching two fascinating survival movies in the past few weeks, it has been a reminder of why I appreciate these movies so much. The first was 71′ starring Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) and All Is Lost (2013) starring Robert Redford. They are incredibly different stories of survival but their lives were at stake and basic human instincts the same. I understand that movies like this are difficult to watch for some but I would argue that they are necessary for us to watch, learn, and grow.


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 Can Survival Movies Change Us?

What I love about survival movies is seeing how characters respond to their fear. Some panic. Some find their true grit. Ultimately each character must recognize that they need others and for many, they need God. No character is left unscathed and can survive alone.

If we look close enough, we can see ourselves in these characters. I draw hope, courage, and inspiration from many of them.

As movies like The Martian and Everest release, it is time to reflect on some of the finest survival films.

There are many excellent movies about survival, too many to count in fact, but here are my ten favorite along with honorable mention.

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea. Gene Hackman is at his best leading a group to safety.

All Is Lost (2013)

After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor played by Robert Redford finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, starring his mortality in the face. It is one of the most beautiful and personal films about survival because of the close-proximity filming style the director uses.

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

After being shipwrecked on a deserted island, the Robinson family overcome the obstacles of nature and transform their new home into a community. Pirates, tigers, and storms. What more could a family adventure bring? If you visit Magic Kingdom at Disney World, you have to tour the treehouse.

Panic Room (2002)

A divorced woman played courageously by Jodie Foster and her diabetic daughter (a young Kristen Stewart) take refuge in their newly purchased house’s safe room, when three men break-in, searching for a missing fortune. Even in your own home, survival is the central theme.

Alive (1993)

Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow swept Andes are forced to use desperate measures to survive after a plane crash. The movie begs the question, ‘how far will you go to survive’?

Castaway (2000)

A FedEx executive played by Tom Hanks must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive a crash landing on a deserted island. The ending still makes me wonder.

127 Hours (2010)

A climber played by James Franco goes on a hike and becomes trapped. Yes, he even has conversations with Scooby Doo. It’s a reminder to let people know where you are going before you head into the wilderness.

Rescue Dawn (2006)

A U.S. fighter pilot played by Christian Bale and his epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Robert Aldrich’s tense, 1965 drama about a plane crash in the Sahara is a unique psychological study of men in desperate circumstances. I studied this film in business management classes.

Apollo 13 (1995)

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy. Led by Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell and supported by Bill Paxton with the omnipresent Kevin Bacon, this is a must-watch “failure is not an option” movie.

Honorable Mention

Life is Beautiful (1997)

28 Days Later (2002)

The Day After (1983) 

71′ (2004)

Lone Survivor (2013)

Into the Wild (2007)

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

White Water Summer (1987)

Unbroken (2014)

Red Dawn (1984)

Empire of the Sun (1987) 

Gravity (2013)

What are your favorite survival movies and why?

Office life is filled with the mundane. Yet, tt can also be a place of learning—and many of its lessons, hilarious! As a businessperson and a movie fan, I have compiled my favorite movie scenes that capture the sometime absurdity of business on film.

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Here are my top ten office movie scenes in no particular order.

Office Space (1999): “Lumbergh’s TPS Reports” Scene

Office Space celebrates the mundane quality of working life. It doesn’t matter what a TPS Report is except that it represents meaningless everyday work.

American Psycho (2000): “Business Card Competition” Scene

There was a day when business cards were ubiquitous and in the 80s they all looked the same. This captures that era so well.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) “Coffee’s for Closers” Scene

I don’t believe there is a salesperson in this world who doesn’t know this line. To me this scene made Alec Baldwin a comedic legend. Here Baldwin gives us a new meaning to learning our ABCs: Always Be Closing.

Moneyball (2011) “Identifying the Problem with the Baseball Scouts” Scene

There will never be enough money in business to solve all of our problems. What is needed is the dedication necessary to identify real problems and the creativity required to solve them.

Tommy Boy (1995) “Killing the Sale” Scene

Every salesperson can recall a time when they failed to close a sale. This scene is one of those times, even as Tommy Boy is describing to his friend how he “sucks as a salesman.” Nevertheless, his friend comes to see what works naturally for Tommy instead of trying to be something he is not. This scene always provides a great laugh to spice up a sales team meeting.

Apollo 13 (1995) “Failure is Not An Option” Scene

Under difficult circumstances, we need a leader to push us to a place where we are driven to find the best solutions. Someone that drives us to new levels of creativity that we may never have experienced before.

Dr. Strangelove (1964) “No Fighting in the War Room” Scene

Even the top leaders have their worse moments under pressure.

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) “You know, For Kids” Hula Hoop Scene

I wish every CEO would demonstrate their new products like Tim Robbins does with a hula hoop.

The Big Kahuna (1999) “Character and Honesty” Scene

In business, there are always temptations to cut ethical corners. This scene cuts to the core of that struggle. I think it is one of Danny DeVito’s finest performances.

Up in the Air (2009) “How Much Did They Pay You To Give Up On Your Dreams” Scene

Life is short. This scene shows how important it is–whether your calling is in business or elsewhere–to always go after your dreams.

Worst Sales Pitches Ever: This is a fun mashup of the worst sales pitches ever from Garden State to Tommy Boy. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is Good” line from Wall Street, Jerry Maguire’s last day at work, “The Facebook” being launched in The Social Network and Ben Affleck’s Boiler Room talk.

What are you favorite business movie scenes. What made you laugh? What did you learn?