There are a lot of movie dads that either remind us of our fathers, make us wish were our fathers or make us thank the stars, the moon, the sun and all that is holy that our fathers are not like them. They’ve made us laugh, cry, cringe, gasp and more. And we thought it would be fun to list some of the famous movie dads that, whether they were good, bad, ugly or funny, did the best they could for their children.
Here are our picks in no particular order of preference:
- It’s a wonderful life (La Vita è Bella) directed and starred by Roberto Benigni (who, by the way, won the academy award for best actor for this role) is a funny and ohh so sad movie set in the WWII time. It’s a story of a father and son who were taken to a concentration camp where Benigni’s character is set on sheltering his son from the sadness, horrors and tragedy of their misfortune by convincing him that their time in the camp is not real but a game. If you haven’t watched the movie, we won’t spoil it for you but we suggest you have a box of tissue at an easy reach.
- Of course you cannot talk about famous movie dads without talking about Bryan Mills played by Liam Neeson in Taken. This is a multi part movie about a man trying to rescue his daughter and her friend, who had been abducted by sex/human traffickers in Paris, by utilizing his massive skills learned from his former life as a government operative. Famous quote “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money… but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it – I will not look for you, I will not pursue you… but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you… and I will kill you.” That is a whole lot of promise, and judging from this movie, words that need to be heeded.
- The Pursuit of Happiness is another goodie played by real life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith. This heartwarming movies of perseverance, hard work and a stubborn refusal to give into despair as a father struggles to make a better life for his son and himself after the pair get evicted from their home with no place to go. Even living in a shelter, or finally landing a job as an intern (so without pay) in a brokerage firm didn’t dim his light or discourage him in his pursuit of his and his son’s happiness. Which, in the end he achieves.
- There are, of course, great fathers of the cartoon variety too. Let’s not forget how Marvin from Finding Nemo swam across the Pacific Ocean accompanied by a spacey blue fish, that couldn’t retain water let alone information, to find and rescue his son that was “taken” by a human diver P. Sherman whose address is 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney – the only thing that Dory could remember and apparently so do we. This is a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Has a lot of funny bits and a lot of fatherly determination to get his son and also a son’s bravery.
- While we are in the fun world of the animated, the other awesome father that is always there, whether dead or alive, to install words of wisdom into his son, is the King Of the Jungle, Mufasa from The Lion King. This mighty king’s mission was to make sure that his son grows up to become the best kind of king to the animal kingdom he could possibly be. And he did so even after his death. That, friends, is dedication to this parenting thing.
- This one may be controversial, but no matter Don Vito Corleone’s mobish ways in The Godfather, he was still a good and dedicated father to his children. And all he did in his “unethical” business dealing and offers he made that people couldn’t refuse, he did for his children, his family. He wasn’t just a father to his children but a fathers to his community.
- Traditionally, a father is the provider, and to provide for his family, he needs needs a job. And this was especially true in old Italy. In post world war Italy jobs were scars and a man had to go through great lengths to get to his job. Literally. So when Antonio Ricci in Bicycle Thieves gets his only mode of transportation, his bicycle, stolen he starts his bicycle retrieval adventure accompanied by his small boy Bruno. This is a beautiful story of a determined man who to is the ultimate role model to his son and a son that learns about his father’s daily struggles to provide for his family. If your heart doesn’t ache and you don’t have tears in your eyes throughout this movies, I’d check for pulse.
- Ofcourse not all movies about dads turn us into emotional puddles of goo. There those that use humour to show is the lighter and funnier side of fatherhood, much like Steve Martin’s version of Father Of The Bride and Father Of The Bride II (spencer Tracy’s original version was funny too). The movies show a father’s neurosis in the funniest ways, when he is faced with the reality of his little baby girl is now a woman and is getting married. These are movies you can watch over and over again and never tire of.
There are ofcourse many many many other great movie dads that follow similar themes of perseverance and determination, fatherly duty, unconditional love, and bravery. Watch John Q, It’s A Wonderful Life, Road to Perdition and Boyz N The Hood and we dare you to not be in awe of these fathers and not be moved. Seriously, go ahead and watch…we’ll wait right here…
Now tell us, doesn’t your father deserve to be celebrated for being the kind of of father he is. He did his best to make sure you are safe, protected, and grew up to become the man or woman you are. Showed you how a father should be and much much more. This Father’s Day show him he is the best father you could have ever hoped and wished for. And friends, Fathers like flowers too… Don’t let that alpha male, testosterone, grrrrr fool you. There is a sweet, kind, soft side to him that appreciates delicate things like a pretty arrangement of flowers.