Must-See Films with Infamous Walking Scenes

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Katy Lang Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington August 20, 2018

Katy Lang was previously Program Director for Active Transportation. She started living car-free in Arlington in 2010 and is passionate about finding great running routes and safety for people walking and biking.

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While everybody walks, sometimes it’s nice to have it be the main attraction on the big screen. Pick one of our favorites for your next movie night.

What are the best movies that feature walking? We’ve rounded up some of the most obvious cinematic celebrations of walking, as well as some oddball favorites.

Wizard of Oz

This classic is entirely built upon the premise of the Yellow Brick Road, a golden pathway designed to take Dorothy to the Emerald City, where she’ll learn how to get home.


This 2014 film is based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, an autobiographical account of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after her life turns upside down. The film features many shots of Reese Witherspoon, who portrays Cheryl, hiking, walking, and getting blisters. It also has a gorgeous soundtrack perfect to listen to on your own walks.

Saturday Night Fever

While this movie is really about dancing, it features John Travolta doing one of the best swaggers every captured on film. Those few seconds of walking set the tone for the whole movie.

Homeward Bound

This movie is about two dogs and a cat who find themselves far from home. Okay, so these are animals walking, not humans, but they walk hundreds of miles and have all kinds of adventures. It’s the animal movie equivalent of the famous lyric, “and I would walk 500 miles, ” sung by The Proclaimers in their hit song, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

The Way

With a tagline of “life is too big to walk it alone,” this is the movie to watch if you want to be inspired to take a big walk. A father’s son dies while walking El Camino de Santiago. He goes to recover his son’s body and decides to take the same journey.

The Lord of the Rings

We can’t make a list of walking movies without including The Lord of the Rings. Frodo, Sam, and his friends are on a quest to destroy an evil ring, and they walk across Middle Earth to do so. This movie also has one of my favorite quotes with the word ‘walk’ in it, “One does not simply walk into Mordor” (apparently, Frodo can).

What Are Your Favorites?

Tell us what famous walking scenes or themed movies you love but didn’t make our lists by leaving a note in the comments. We may just update the lists with your pick.

  • Henry Dunbar says:

    Maybe not “about” walking, but there is a classic scene in Midnight Cowboy when main characters Ratso Rizzo and Joe Buck step into a crosswalk and cab screeches to a stop inches from hitting them. Ratso slams his hand on the hood of the cab and screams in a heavy New York accent, “I’m walking heah! I’m walking heah!”

  • Henry Dunbar says:

    Then there’s the lead up to the song “Elegance” in Hello, Dolly! Cornelius and Barnaby, realizing they don’t have enough money to take their dates Irene and Minnie to dinner in a cab, try to convince them there are more elegant ways to get around New York:

    Cornelius: It’s just that, nowadays, really elegant people never take hacks (cabs).

    Barnaby: Hacks is out. They all go by streetcar.

    Irene: Then, by all means, we go by streetcar.
    Minnie: I’ve been elegant all my life and I never knew it.

    Cornelius: Of course, if you really want to be really elegant…

    Irene: Oh, we do.
    Minnie: We do.

    Barnaby: You’ll walk.

    • Katy Lang says:

      Love these, Henry! That Midnight Cowboy scene…iconic.

      • Henry Dunbar says:

        Indeed, the scene was spoofed in Forrest Gump, when Forrest and Lt. Dan (in a wheelchair!) also almost got hit in a crosswalk. The “I’m Walking Here” line was meant to be ironic, of course.


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