This week, consider many different types of fathers and father figures. Celebrating Dad, these movies are in alphabetical order and most can be rented or bought on Amazon Prime:
“Beginners” (2010) snagged an Oscar for Christopher Plummer, playing an elderly father, diagnosed with terminal cancer, who comes out of the closet to his son (Ewan McGregor).
“Bicycle Thieves” (1948) is Vittorio De Sica’s Italian neo-realism classic, following a father and son searching for a stolen bicycle on the streets of Rome.
“Big Fish” (2003) is one of my favorite Tim Burton films. Billy Crudup stars as the skeptical son of Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), a teller of tall tales. When his fanciful father falls ill, he learns far more about his dad than he ever expected.
“Cheaper By the Dozen” (2003) stars Steve Martin as the patriarch of an unusually large family that’s forced to relocate, adjusting to a new town, new house, new school and new friends. But I prefer the 1950 version with Clifton Webb, Jeanne Crain and Myrna Loy.
“Daddy Day Care” (2003) stars Eddie Murphy as a jobless dad who decides to open a childcare center for his young son and other neighborhood children.
“Father’s Day” (1997) stars Billy Crystal as a cynical lawyer and Robin Williams as a depressed writer. When the teenage son of a woman (Nastassja Kinski) they each dated runs away, they’re faced with a paternity issue.
“Father of the Bride” (1991) stars Steve Martin as a dad whose daughter is getting married; Martin Short steals scenes as a wedding planner. I prefer the 1950 version with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.
“Fiddler on the Roof” (1971), stars Chaim Topol as Tevya, a poor milkman in the small Russian village of Anatevka who has five loving daughters and a devoted wife. Tevya feels a close bond with God to whom he looks for guidance as some of life’s dilemmas seem to overwhelm him.
“Friendly Persuasion” (1956), stars Gary Cooper as the gentle patriarch of a Quaker family living in Indiana in 1862. He’s a determined pacifist who refuses to take sides during the Civil War.
“He Got Game” (1998) stars Denzel Washington as a father-on-parole trying to convince his son (NBA player Ray Allen) to play for the Governor’s alma mater.
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (`1989), stars Harrison Ford as the iconic archeologist with Sean Connery as his intrepid father who goes missing while searching for the Holy Grail.
“Interstellar” (2014) stars Matthew McConaughey as a former pilot who joins a specialized team attempting to find another habitable planet while his daughter (Jessica Chastain) works out the logistics.
“Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) stars Dustin Hoffman as a dad fighting a custody battle with his estranged wife (Meryl Streep).Read Full Article
“Morris From America” (2016) stars young Markees Christmas as a 13 year-old black rapper from New York living in Germany who is relentlessly humiliated by his dad (Craig Robinson).
“Mr. Mom” (1983), stars Michael Keaton as a Detroit auto engineer who loses his job. When his wife (Teri Garr) goes to work, he takes over the household chores and managing three children.
“Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) stars Robin Williams as a divorced dad who dresses in drag and pretends to be an elderly nanny in order to spend more time with his children.
“Parenthood” (1989) stars Steve Martin as an overstressed sales executive who’s stunned when his wife (Mary Steenburgen) reveals that she’s pregnant with their fourth child.
“Taken” (2008) stars Liam Neeson as a retired government agent who must find his kidnapped daughter (Maggie Grace) after she’s abducted in Paris and auctioned off into a sex trafficking ring.
“The Birdcage” (1996) stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as an openly gay Miami couple confronted with hiding their relationship when the son they raised together plans to marry the daughter of a conservative politician.
“The Godfather” (1972) is Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan and Robert Duvall, evoking Mafia violence amid Corleone family politics.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006) stars Will Smith who is left to care for his five year-old son (Jaden Smith) after his wife leaves him, and they’re forced to find refuge in homeless shelters.
“Three Men and a Baby” (1987), stars Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson as New York City bachelors who discover that an infant has been left on their doorstep.
“The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), stars Gene Hackman as a trickster who uses the guise of terminal illness to bring estranged family members (Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson) together again. Filmmaker West Anderson also tosses in Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962), stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a gentle Alabama lawyer, the widower father of two, whose life is turned upside down when he defends an African-American man accused of raping a Caucasian woman.
“What a Girl Wants” (2003), starring Amanda Bynes as a young woman who has never met her father. She only knows he’s British nobleman Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), but he doesn’t realize she even exists until she appears one summer after graduating from high school.
Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.