Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Movie Dad?

man-of-steel-kevin-costner-1Father’s Day was this past weekend, and the megaplex also offered us a great new cinematic Dad in the form of Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent.

Fathers in movies run the gamut from the caring (Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”) to the kick-ass (Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills in “Taken”). Some are sacrificing everything to make a better life for their children (Will Smith as Chris Gardner in “The Pursuit of Happyness”) others bumble and stumble along so much you wonder how they managed to keep their kids alive this long (Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold in any of the “Vacation” movies).

From the evil (Darth Vader) to the funny (Steve Martin in “Parenthood”) to the protective (Viggo Mortensen in “The Road”), Hollywood has all the angles covered when it comes to movie Dads.

Who’s YOUR favorite? Michael Keaton’s “Mr. Mom”? How about Jim’s Dad from the “American Pie” series?

There’s no shortage of them out there, folks, let’s hear it!

Who’s YOUR favorite movie Dad?

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123 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Movie Dad?

  1. This one a toughy Dad; I had to consult my movie lists to come up with some answers. I did that, and selected about 40 or so, top ones for me. This was tough; they’re aren’t actually a lot of great fathers, and I tried to narrow it to biological fathers to eliminate cheating, so that knocked our “Jerry Maguire” and Liam Neeson’s character in “Love, Actually, etc. After that, I wanted to pick father characters, based on action on film. So I knocked out Darth Vader and John MacLaim right for those reasons. Being a father, had to germane to the plot of the film, and not-so-much, a story-marker, for me. Although that said, I know Clark Griswald’s gonna be popular to mention, but if you really want to see lousy, funny parenting on film, W.C. Fields. You know, I think we forget about him sometimes, but I’ll take a random film of his, over a “Vacation” film any day, even the first one. I almost found a spot for his role in “The Bank Dick”, didn’t quite make it, but his films where he’s a parent and dealing with children, would be interesting to compare with the Griswalds.

    I’ll also through in my #11, which I think deserves a special mention, George McFly, Crispin Glover in “Back to the Future”, for one of the more, unusual circumstances father characters. So here’s my Top Ten.

    1. Furious Styles-”Boyz n the Hood” I’m glad a few people mentioned him, this should be an obvious choice, but gets overlooked too often.
    2. Guido-”Life is Beautiful” I cry every time. Should’ve been mentioned already.
    3. Matt Drayton-”Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” If you don’t have a Spencer Tracy character up this high on this list, you’re not watching enough movies.
    4. Atticus Finch-”To Kill a Mockingbird” Easy choice, can’t argue it much.
    5. Master Chef Chu-”Eat, Drink, Man, Woman” One of Ang Lee’s very best films, a great family drama, great food movie, and poor Chu, spends all his days, making these unbelievable dinners and all his daughter, barely bother eating them, and they always have an announcement at dinner.
    6. Lester Burnham-”American Beauty” Can’t believe no one’s said him yet!
    7. Ted Kramer-”Kramer vs. Kramer” Agree, still holds up. Great film, great performance.
    8. Matt King-”The Descendants” Surprised in terms of recent ones that Clooney’s performance here doesn’t get mentioned. There’s a couple good recent fathers, but to see his struggling father, in the worst of situations, i felt the most for him. Another great film.
    9. Don Vito Corleone-”The Godfather” It’s been mentioned, great pick.
    10. Cosmo Castorini-”Moonstruck” Vincent Gardenia, trying to parent his daughter for having an affair, while on a date with his mistress. There’s so much in “Moonstruck” that I think Vincent Gardenia’s character gets overlooked sometimes, but I think he’s gotta be up there.

    • Got a whole top ten list going there, huh, Dave? I love Matt King, he’s a great character and “The Descendants” is a great movie. I gave it “Best Movie” the year it came out. So, nice choice. ;) I love Moonstruck, too, but I don’t think there’s all that much evidence there of Cosmo being a good Dad :( I’ve never seen Eat Drink Man Woman, but I bet with Ang Lee involved its an excellent film. LOL I can’t believe no one mentioned Lester Burnham either. Maybe because of the whole gets high with the boyfriend, tries to sleep with your friends bit ;) LOL though what a great movie!

      • Well, the category is technically “Favorite Movie Dad”, so I wasn’t completely considering “Best”. I think it helps, but I also think you need to see a variety of Dads, and not just a bunch of Atticus Finch’s on here, so I was looking through, good, but I was looking for some flawed Dads as well, hence Burnham and Castorini. Yeah, I loved “The Descendants” as well, I had it #8 on my Top Ten list of 2011, and I thought Clooney should’ve won the Oscar that year for his performance. That is a great film. As is “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman”, that was a Foreign Language Oscar nominee, in ’94, and-eh, I guess I would argue it’s Ang Lee’s best film. There’s an American remake called “Tortilla Soup”, that also good, but I would search out the original.

    • Two solid choices on the opposite end of the spectrum.

      Smith’s character works his ass off to make a bad situation good.

      While Clark Griswold could take a good situation and foul it up without even trying! LOL

      • Yeah, he’s the dad. I think the movie perfectly captures the relationship between father and son, while at the same time the son being able to have conversations he never could have had because he wasn’t around anymore.

  2. Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire/Stanley Tucci in Easy A and the guy that plays Juno’s Dad in Juno! Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music also! You know I can go on..so I’ll leave at that. All different charisma but all so loving in their own way ;)

    • LOL. I was wondering if anyone would mention Mrs Doubtfire! :D 8O Kind of a lunatic person, but, I guess at the end of the day, the paternal instinct shouldn’t be questioned. :D

      JK Simmons I believe played Juno’s dad, and as always, he was awesome in that role :D

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