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Favorite movie dads


sandykaypax
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In honor of Father's Day, I thought that it would be fun to discuss some of our favorite (and not-so-favorite, as well) Movie Dads.

 

Of course, one of everyone's fave dads will probably be Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. He was kind, just, and taught his kids by example. He allowed them to ask questions about adult matters and he tried to answer them.

 

Another dad that I love is Spencer Tracy in FATHER OF THE BRIDE. Such a perfect, understated performance.

 

As a kid, I loved Clifton Webb as the efficiency expert father in CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN. I love the scene where he decides to get his tonsils out because the kids are getting theirs out, too. He was a sometimes exasperating, but loving dad and husband.

 

Lastly, I like 2 of Henry Fonda's performances as fathers--the first is the widowed father in YOURS, MINE, AND OURS. The second is as grumpy Norman Thayer in ON GOLDEN POND. I like the way the film explores the difficult relationship between the father and adult daughter, played by his real-life daughter, Jane.

 

What movie dads do you like?

 

Sandy K

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My favorite by a country mile would be Atticus Finch. He is the ideal father with unlimited patience and an infinite capacity for understanding.

 

More typical are the gruff movie fathers with a heart of gold. Standouts include William Powell in Life with Father, as well as Donald Crisp in How Green Was My Valley.

 

DavidE

http://www.classicfilmpreview.com

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One of the best examples of how not to be a good father is found in the W.C. Fields' character (Harold Bissonette) from the movie It's a Gift (1934). Here's a sample of the dialogue:

 

[at breakfast, Norman takes the plate of bacon before Harold can get it]

Harold: Hey, put it down!

Norman: What's the matter, Pop? Don'tcha love me anymore?

Harold: [he raises his hand to hit Norman] Certainly I love you.

Amelia: Don't you strike that child!

Harold: Well, he's not gonna tell me I don't love him.

 

DavidE

http://www.classicfilmpreview.com

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Cool topic for the week of June 18th, Sandy.

Let's see...my favorite movie dads...well, this time I'll pick...

 

A Good, but Kind of Dumb and Lovable Dad:

Fred MacMurray in Father Was a Fullback(1949), in which Fred has the good luck to be married to Maureen O'Hara and the bad luck to be the father of a precocious tomboy cutie named Natalie Wood and a real pain-in-the-tail teenager, Connie Cooper. Oh yeah, to keep Fred surrounded by women within his home, he also has that little acting dynamo, Thelma Ritter as the family maid. He's a college football coach who can't win a game to save his life. Even Thelma places bets against Fred's crew of fumblers. Honest, it sounds cornball, but it's terribly funny in some scenes.

 

A Bad, but Really Interesting dad:

James Mason in Bigger Than Life(1956), in which he plays a teacher who requires an experimental drug (cortisone) to overcome a life threatening disease. He's married to Barbara Rush, and the father of small boy, Christopher Olsen, (who seems more like a middle aged man rather than a real kid). They live a stultifyingly conventional life until dad's illness, and his recovery period, during which he starts to abuse the drug when Mason experiences a period of chemical psychosis. This leads him to almost reenact the Abraham & Isaac tale with his own lad and also gives the Mason a stupendous amount of energy and a clarity of vision about his own situation and the unimaginative world he lives in. Needless to say, in spite of a rather pat ending, Mason and his family's life will not be hunky dory again. Rather a brilliant movie directed by Nicholas Ray.

 

A Lost, but Well-Meaning Dad:

Danny DeVito in Jack the Bear(1993), plays a loving, creative dad who's also a loose cannon in early 1970s Oakland, California. DeVito is the host of a local tv horror movie show, a boozehound and the recent widower of the exquisite Andrea Marcovicci, whose Botticelli-like presence is glimpsed in flashbacks. His grief has caused him to often acquiesce the burden of his parental responsibilities. These have been picked up like dirty laundry by his appealing eldest son, (Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr.), who does the best he can with his younger brother, (Miko Hughes), a fragile, dreamy little boy with alot of well-founded fears. In the midst of their troubles, they live in a socially lively mixed neighborhood in which the boys make some good friends with kids who are even more in need of attention than they are during this period. In addition to this, there is also a strange, reclusive neighbor (Gary Sinise) who does not turn out to be

a kindly saviour like Boo Radley. A beautifully done little movie.

 

Dream Dads:

Fred Astaire in The Pleasure of His Company(1961). Who wouldn't want a deus ex machina father to sweep you away from reality--at least for a little while? Besides, isn't it often the case, no matter your age, that the child of almost every divorced parent I've ever known wishes, at one time or another, that his or her divorced parents might get back together? And you know, I hear tell that debonair boy could dance a bit too.

 

Tom Bosley in The World of Henry Orient(1964). Dad is an international businessman who remembers that he and his vain wife(Angela Lansbury--boo, hiss--at her evil best) have a bright girl of about 13 living in lonely old NYC. He swoops down into the life of his slightly addled but charmingly funny daughter (Tippy Walker) and her best friend (Merry Spaeth), helps them to step out of their mutual dream world, while he faces his own realities about his lousy marriage and his responsibilities to his daughter. One of the best movie depictions of the way that an adolescent girl sees life. And you just have to love old Tom when he admits to his daughter's friend's Mother, (Phyllis Thaxter in a very warm role), that he's really afraid of his own child. Good actor, good story.

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DavidEnglish, your choice was priceless. Loved it.

 

My first choice that comes to mind is James Dunn in "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn".

Mr. Dunn was outstanding as Johnny Nolan a warm and loving father, although a dreamer, who couldn't hold a job due to his drinking problem

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Somebody beat me to Donald Crisp in "How Green Was My Valley." He ran his house with a firm but loving hand. Required respect from his children but gave it as well.

 

One that comes to mind is Glenn Ford in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." I liked that he didn't treat his son as a kid. Tried to balance his own wishes with what was best for his son. He cared.

 

Odd name is John Wayne in "Hondo." I know he wasn't the boy's father but he certainly helped fill those shoes. Taught the boy things that his own father didn't take the time to do.

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I just saw Charles Winninger in a movie called Cafe Metropole (which I believe I captured from FMC--pardon, TCM!), and I was so impressed. For once he wasn't hamming it up, and he was most effective as the concerned father of Loretta Young. It was kind of like getting to see Edward Everett Horton play a more dignified sort of role in Holiday.

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I cannot believe that you have never seen "Shenendoah"! It's a really great family movie with an exceptional cast, you have Doug McClure who played Travis on the" Virginian" TV show, Rosemary Forsyth who used to play on" Days of our Lives" in the 70's, Patrick Wayne, the Duke's son (whatever happened to him?) and the great Katharine Ross who played in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Graduate". You have to see this movie, it's about maintaining the family ties when the odds are against it.

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I know it is a great film. I believe everyone and the critics. I would just rather watch a drawing room comedy or something about the rich! I love tuxedos and evening gowns, champagne and chandeliers. You won't find much of that in the old west, family values or not. But, on your advice, I will give it a shot next time I see it is on.

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My mother loves westerns! Everytime I go over to visit her, and she is 85, she has on some western channel. I think it runs all day. And, she knows I don't care much for them, but she won't change the channel. So, I have seen some that I never thought I would! HA!

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