Hero’s Journey Analyses

Here you can download my analyses of how the great movies use the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey. To be honest, they’re a bit rudimentary, but hopefully you’ll find them a bit useful. You might find it useful to also take a look at where I disagree with the Hero’s Journey and at my new character-driven Hero’s Emotional Journey.

Step 1 – Ordinary World
We see the Hero in their normal setting before the story comes to shake up their world.
Step 2 – Call to Adventure
The Hero gets a Call to Adventure, inviting their to leave their Ordinary World.
Step 3 – Refusal of the Call
Typically, the Hero will initially refuse this call – or reservations will be expressed by those around them.
Step 4 – Meeting with the Mentor
The Hero will then interact with a mentor figure, though not necessarily a wise old man with grey hair.
Step 5 – Crossing the First Threshold
The Hero finally leaves their ordinary world and enters the Special World where the story commences in earnest.
Step 6 – Tests, Allies and Enemies
The Hero is now disoriented and must decide who they can and cannot trust.
Step 7 – The Approach (to the Inmost Cave)
Before the Hero tackles the central ordeal, he might engage in his some reconnaissance, training or extra curricular activity.
Step 8 – The Ordeal
The Hero is confronted here with a life and death situation – either literally or figuratively – that will generally identify their character flaw and force them to change if they are to progress in their quest.
Step 9 – The Reward
Having stared death in the face, the Hero is changed and rewarded – either with a feast or a romantic interlude.
Step 10 – The Road Home
Just when things seemed comfortable, the Hero gets a reminder that the job is not yet done.
Step 11 – Resurrection
The story reaches its climax in another life and death moment and the Hero proves beyond doubt that they are changed for all time.
Step 12 – Sharing the Elixir
When the Hero confronts their fears, others in the “tribe” get to share the spoils. Their lives too are enriched by the completion of the Hero’s Journey.
Want to learn more about the Hero’s Journey? Book one of our Sydney Film Courses.
Hero’s Journey Analyses
Click on the film title to download a PDF analysis of how it conforms (or doesn’t conform) to the Hero’s Journey.
Star Wars
Casablanca
Raiders of the Lost Ark
An Officer and a Gentleman
Rocky
When Harry Met Sally
Witness
The Apartment
Schindler’s List
Groundhog Day
Dead Poet’s Society
Little Miss Sunshine
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
LA Confidential
Moonstruck
Body Heat
Sideways
North by Northwest
Bull Durham
Brokeback Mountain
Meet the Parents
The Fugitive
The Graduate
The Castle

Body Heat

Bull Durham

Brokeback Mountain

Casablanca

The Castle

Dead Poets Society

Juno

The King’s Speech

Kramer vs Kramer

The Fugitive

The Graduate

Groundhog Day

LA Confidential

Little Miss Sunshine

Midnight Run

Moonstruck

Meet the Parents

North by Northwest

An Officer and a Gentleman

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Rocky

Schindler’s List

Sideways

Star Wars

When Harry Met Sally

Witness

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