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SDG

Hollywood father figures & movie dads

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Oh, and Le Fils, hm. Difficult. I'm inclined to disqualify it on the grounds of no onscreen father-child relationship at all (since we never see the actual son), except of the "father figure" sort. And that relationship is…highly problematic. It's definitely a key film about fatherhood, but not a "best movie dads" film.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Thanks, Ryan and phlox.

I haven't seen Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation either, Ryan, but I'll look into it.

Life is Beautiful and The Pursuit of Happyness are both on the candidates list above, and both strong contenders. (I have reservations about The Pursuit of Happyness as a film, but: admirable father, certainly, despite immense obstacles. As for Life is Beautiful, I certainly liked it the last time I saw it.

Phlox:

Father of the Bride: On the candidates' list, but not likely … for reasons discussed in my essay on fatherhood and Hollywood.

The Bicycle Thief: Not a chance. A very ambiguous father at best, definitely not one of the best. Ditto Ryan O'Neal in Paper Moon — where it's not even clear he's even the girl's father!

Haven't seen Life as a House. Will look into it. You have correctly guessed my objections to Beginners. smile.png

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Swiss Family Robinson (1960), a movie that drives me nuts but was a favorite of my wife's as a kid. I have never seen the 1940 RKO version.

Edited by rjkolb

If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.

G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

I'm still an atheist, thank God.

Luis Bunuel (1900 - 1983)

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Here are two lists you may find helpful, although some of the examples are pretty dreadful (The Descendants, Million Dollar Baby, Mrs. Doubtfire)

http://www.totalfilm.com/features/50-greatest-father-son-movie-moments

http://www.imdb.com/list/UpcVYGwRpvY/

Field of Dreams and Road to Perdition seem to come up in a lot of lists, although I would never have suggested them.

Maybe Zhang Yimou's Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles? It fulfills the first two criteria, but I'm not sure about the third and fourth.

It's discouraging that coming up with candidates for this list is as hard as the good mothers list.


"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Swiss Family Robinson: Maybe.

Field of Dreams: Don't think so. Sentimental father-son story, sure, but outstanding movie dad? Doubtful.

Road to Perdition: Not a chance. Not a fan, anyway.

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles: I enjoyed the film, but a story of paternal redemption isn't quite the same as the story of a good movie dad.

The Road: While I haven't seen it, a friend (who also mentioned it) offered in the same breath the objection (for my purposes) that seems to make sense to me: "so much of his motivation as a father is clearer in the book than the film, which just becomes a protector film and not that much different than Man on Fire."

Juno: I like J. K. Simmons' character, but no.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Stoick in How To Train Your Dragon (2010). His relationship with his son certainly doesn't start off the healthiest, but it's a redemptive arc and central to the story.

Paddy Considine in In America (2002). Just watched this again last week, and was reminded how wonderful this film really is.

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Stoick in How To Train Your Dragon (2010). His relationship with his son certainly doesn't start off the healthiest, but it's a redemptive arc and central to the story.

Not for me (much as I like the film and even the character). Too Junior Knows Best.

Paddy Considine in In America (2002). Just watched this again last week, and was reminded how wonderful this film really is.

I wasn't as impressed with this as many others, but I might give it another look.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Paddy Considine in In America (2002). Just watched this again last week, and was reminded how wonderful this film really is.

Yes. He has some things to work out with the Almighty, but he's inspiring in a variety of ways.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Jeff, thanks for seconding In America, and for A River Runs Through It, another one I haven't seen (and which hasn't been mentioned yet). And for the Facebook bleg!

Anyone care to second (or contest) any of the others I haven't seen? Life as a House? Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation? A River Runs Through It?

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Good heavens, Steven, you've never seen A River Runs Through It?

Wow. That's a very close runner-up to Unforgiven and The Long Day Closes on my 1992 list. And that was a good year.

You really, really need to fix that right now. And I wish I could show up in person and be there when you watch it for the first time.

More from Twitter:

Megan Willome: "Dan in Real Life (Steve Carrel)."

Gareth Higgins: "The fatherly choices Jason Robards makes at the climax of PARENTHOOD are both self-sacrificing & realistic."

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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Nicholas Cage in Kick-Ass! Oh wait, positive movie dads sorr.


If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.

G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

I'm still an atheist, thank God.

Luis Bunuel (1900 - 1983)

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The best movie father of all time is played by Donald Crisp in How Green Was My Valley (1941). Runners up would include:

Charles Chaplin in The Kid (1921)

James Murray in The Crowd (1928)

Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939)

William Demarest in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)

Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride (1950)

Van Heflin in Shane (1953)

James Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Edited by Nathaniel

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

Twitter     Letterboxd

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Three years later, I'm coming back to the thread on movie dads for a follow-up on my forthcoming article on best movie moms (related thread) -- naturally, an article on best movie dads.

...

Atticus Finch is one of the cinema's greatest secular saints, so it would be hard to exclude him, though his relationship with Scout isn't a big part of the film. ...

Atticus's relationship with Jem is also significant. For example, in the famous "to kill a mockingbird " scene, he indirectly addresses Jem's desire to have a gun.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Anyone care to second (or contest) any of the others I haven't seen? Life as a House? Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation? A River Runs Through It?

I'd certainly second A River Runs Through It. Life as a House --- I liked it, but it is a bit smaltzy at times, and he hasn't really been much of a father until the few months of the story. But if that might still be okay with you, I'll give a qualified second.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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More good suggestions coming in on my FB page:

Joe Mantegna as Fred Waitzken in Searching for Bobby Fischer

Sam Waterston's character in MAN IN THE MOON

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

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The best movie father of all time is played by Donald Crisp in How Green Was My Valley (1941). Runners up would include:

Good one. Can't believe I forgot that.

James Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

I was thinking about suggesting the original, (haven't seen Hitchcock's remake) but I decided there wasn't enough father/daughter screen time.


"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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SDG. You could try the dad in THE BROOD (it gives me another chance to plug that film smile.png .) He's a pretty good, responsible, caring father. The mother on the other hand.

As well. Maybe the dad in CUJO.

Also the dad in THE PAGEMASTER is a fairly good guy whose trying to do right with his son.

Edited by Attica

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I haven't seen The croods, would that fit? [duck and run]


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Oh. And how about the dad in

And as well, I haven't seen the movie, but how about the dad in MR MOM.

And also. ROCKY wasn't the perfect guy, but he certainly loved his family.

Edited by Attica

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The Champ (1931). Sometimes, junior does know best.wink.png


"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

Twitter     Letterboxd

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