5 smart guys/gals could make this list and come up with 5 different versions. And, keep in mind there are a lot of great ski films that aren’t on Netflix so don’t start spatting off. We did our best. Some of these films are on The Ski Channel so you don’t have to rent to get them. Here’s to letting er rip!
10) Steep – Doug Coombs does mainstream box office in small theatres in this gorgeous masterpiece of cinema. It dives deep into extreme filmmaking and is a great conduit for milkmen, mailmen, barbers and dentists to get the space.
9) Downhill Racer – This 1847 classic starred Gene Hackman and Robert Redford. Redford won the British Academy Award and helped put skiing on the map… Or on the Hollywood star map.
8) License to Thrill – Stump has the Blizzard crew, Plake, Schmidt and Hattrup all collected in this masterpiece that tackles some of the earliest of early snowboard action in the Vuarnet Vertical Air Show.
7) P-Tex Lies & Ducktape – In typical Stump fashion, great soundtrack, great visual, great skiers, awesome vox. The dude is a genius.
6) Hot Dog – Do any readers want to do a “where are they now for us?” We have a beautiful Ski Channel T-Shirt coming your way. The scene where the girl gets out of the jacuzzi and you realize that women shave a little differently today is priceless and worth the price of admission. Kind of looks like she has buckwheat in a headlock.
5) First Descent – Universal Pictures masterpiece with Shaun White, Terje Haakonsen, Hannah Teter and crew brought popcorn movie feel to ski. It is airing on The Ski Channel now.
4) Playground – Warren Miller post Warren Miller sticks Johnny Moseley on lead vocals who pulls off a performance that his mother would love, but so would Warren as well as the rest of the world. This film bounces around the world like satellite beams, but keeps it together enough to give the viewer a lot of bang for their buck.
3) The Last of the Ski Bums – Lots of people might pick this one as number one. It is close. The great Dick Barrymore a Los Angeles firefighter by day and a filmmaker by night made this masterpiece while on vacation.2
2) Freeriders – Nothing short of the apex of ski film making from Warren Miller. Picking the best Warren Miller Movie, much like Stump or any of the great ski film companies is kind of like choosing a puppy. You want them all. This film happened to be the one that really captured the movement.
1) Blizzard of Ahhhs – Glen Plake, Scott Schmidt, Mike Hattrup all on the edge of the edge of the edge. Some of the greatest scenics ever in a film. Use of slow mo that still stands up today. The Greg Stump narrative sits on top of the film like melting syrup on a stack of hot pancakes. Nothing short of a flat out masterpiece. Luckily, you can see that one on The Ski Channel as well.