With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought I’d highlight just a few of the best and worst dads the world of film has ever seen. So, without further ado…
Chris Gardener – The Pursuit of Happyness
A film about simply doing what you have to do to provide for your family. Gardener (Will Smith) faces setback after setback in trying to provide a life for his family but never gives in. His wife leaves him, he’s investigated by the IRS and he and his son are evicted and have to sleep in a subway toilet. All in all, pretty rough stuff. Still, Gardener defies all the odds to turn his life around and make a better life for him and his son. There are plenty of reasons why this is such an affecting film, namely because it’s based on a true story, so all this crazy stuff actually happened. Also, it teams up Will Smith with his real-life son Jaden, adding that extra bit of chemistry between the two.
Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus (Gregory Peck) doesn’t directly do a massive amount for his children in To Kill a Mockingbird. He doesn’t save their life or anything like that, but, instead, shows them that decency and standing up for what you believe is right are some of the most important traits a person can have. Atticus puts himself on the line for something he believes in and shows his children what being a compassionate and caring human being is all about.
Bryan Mills – Taken
First of all, having Liam Neeson as your dad would be pretty damn amazing in itself. However, when he’s a CIA agent capable of taking out numerous armed thugs en route to rescuing his kidnapped daughter, you’ve got probably the coolest dad ever. Parents often say they would do anything for their kids. Well, in Taken that has never proved quite so apt.
Harry Stamper – Armageddon
Bruce Willis lands on a motherflippin’ asteroid and saves the Earth! Although he does effectively condemn his daughter to a life of living with Ben Affleck, so this one is 50/50.
Mufasa – The Lion King
Mufasa does his best to teach his little lion cub Simba the ways of the world but is tragically killed saving his son’s life in one of the most tear-jerking Disney moments to that point. Whilst many dads would have simply passed unto the void, Mufasa has the goodness to appear to his son as visions in the sky and cloud formations. Parenting from beyond the grave; now that’s dedication.
Before he even becomes Vader, Anakin Skywalker does his best to kill his wife and unborn child. He then lops off his son’s hand and does his very best to finish the job. You could argue that he is redeemed by saving his son’s life at the end, but that hardly makes up for the years of genocide and planet destruction. Ghost Yoda and Obi Wan at the end of Return of the Jedi are far too forgiving.
Humbert Humbert – Lolita
Not technically a father, but Humbert (James Mason) does act as the devious little nymphet’s guardian after her mother is hit by a car. This is after he has become so besotted with Lolita that he agrees to marry her mother just so he can be close to her and her sunbathing, hula hooping, ice lolly teasing ways. Humbert’s relationship with his ‘daughter’ is a little too close for comfort and, well, let’s just leave it at that.
Teaching your son to shave, teaching your children to ride a bike, playing football in the park; all good fatherly things to do. Trying to hack your wife and son to bits with an axe? Not so much.
These are just a few famous film dads, but there are countless more, so hit us up with your suggestions for the best and worst.
Happy Father’s Day!