It’s Father’s Day! Top 10 Movie Dads

Because it’s Father’s Day and just in case you need a reminder of how important dads are to everything, here, in no particular order, are our top ten fathers in film:

1. Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happiness)

Few people have faced the same hardships as Chris Gardner. Instead of giving up, he became a beacon of determination. After watching his business and marriage crumble, Gardner continues to persevere toward a better life for him and his son. His tender love, combined with his fierce determination, make his pursuit of happiness all the more poignant.

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2. Marlin (Finding Nemo)

This nervous clownfish doesn’t seem like the ideal parent, but the number one dad in movies is a fish. He’s overprotective, agoraphobic, and his jokes aren’t even that funny! But when his only son is kidnapped by divers, Marlin swims forward and reveals his true colors: first and foremost is that as a parent he will do anything for his child and that nothing matters more than Nemo’s safety. With his lovable sidekick, Dory, teaching him to “just keep swimming”, Marlin stands as proof that love can always overcome the greatest fear and that’s why he’s the best dad in film.

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3. Bryan Mills (Taken)

Bryan Mills is a father with a very particular set of skills. When his daughter is kidnapped by human traffickers in Europe, he sets out on a one-man rescue mission, and heaven help whoever stands in his way. While Taken is a gritty movie to watch, and Mills’ character is less than perfect, he nonetheless demonstrates the ferocity any father would show to save his child. Relentless and single-minded, Mills wont rest until his daughter is home safe.

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4. Jason Styles (Boyz n the Hood)

The aptly named “Furious,” Jason is a fierce defender of his son, protecting him but also teaching him to believe in himself. Styles explains, “Any fool…can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.” The guidance, attention, and example Tre receives from his father are what keep him safe while those around him get caught up in a tragic cycle of drugs and violence.

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5. Guido Orefice (Life Is Beautiful)

The Italian movie won three Academy awards and the hearts of millions around the world –largely due to the film’s father, a Jewish man living in Italy during the Nazi takeover. Not only does he radiate love for his son and wife throughout the film, but he protects his boy from the unbearable harshness of their reality. He shields him from the bleak truth of their situations by turning all things thrown at them into a celebration of the joys of humanity.

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6. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

What can we say about Atticus “Dead-Eye” Finch that hasn’t been said already? He raises two kids on his own and leads a quiet life during one of the most troubled times in history. He takes on the difficult tasks that nobody else has the stomach for and puts everything he has into what he does.There are many compelling characters in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but Atticus Finch, with his fatherly love and firm sense of justice, is one all Christian men can aspire to.

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7. Ted Kramer (Kramer vs. Kramer)

Workaholic father Ted Kramer is not even sure what class his child is in discovers what it means to be a father after his wife (Meryl Streep) leaves them. And then he discovers how much it matters to him when she returns returns seeking custody and he has to fight with everything he’s got to keep his son. The connection between them is heartbreakingly tender.

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8. Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather)

The ultimate family man – godfather to many, father to five. There’s literally nothing Don Corleone wouldn’t do for his kids. Sure, he was a man who made his share of mistakes: getting his sons into the family business was probably the biggest, and organised crime in general probably isn’t the safest environment in which to bring up children. But if he bends the rules in his business dealings — it’s all for the good of his family.

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9, Clark W. Griswold (National Lampoon’s Vacation)

Clark Griswold needs few words. He may not be the perfect father, but you can’t argue his passion for his family. He loves his family dearly, and just wants to give them a good vacation.If we’re giving points for enthusiastic parenting then he scores big. What’s so difficult about that? A lot, apparently. But hey, at least he’s trying.

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10. Jim’s Dad (American Pie)

There is none more honest and funny than Jim’s Dad in the American Pie movies. Just ask him advice on sex and you’ll see why. But, don’t ask about batting a ball against a wall. It’s a little weird when your old man talks about ‘petting the one-eyed snake’, but for the most understanding, well-meaning father in film, you need look no further.

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Happy Father’s Day!