In honor of Father’s Day, here are some classic movies about dads and daughters
My dad and I share a special bond.
It’s a bond rooted in common tastes in books, music and, most importantly movies — whether watched on the tiny black-and-white Zenith set in his workshop or the big, clunky television found in the family room.
My father helped shape my goofy sense of humor by exposing me to The Muppets, The Marx Brothers and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
He encouraged a nascent interest in sports — mostly Portland Trailblazers basketball games — and introduced me to screwball comedies (“Bringing Up Baby,” “His Girl Friday”), Westerns (“High Noon,” “Rio Bravo”) and war movies (“Braveheart,” “Das Boot” and “Patton,” to name a few). (It’s a tribute to my parents that I’ve never avoided a movie simply because it was silent, subtitled or in black-and-white.)
Although we don’t get many chances these days to watch movies together, I’ll always be grateful to my dad for sharing those moments with me.
Below are 10 of my favorite depictions of father-daughter relationships on film. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!
“To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)
Small-town attorney Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is the ideal dad: courageous, intelligent, principled and not afraid to stand up to bullies. Plus, he showers young Scout (Mary Badham) and her brother Jem (Phillip Alford) with love and support. Quite a guy.
“Father of the Bride” (1950, 1991)
Whether you prefer the original version, which starred Elizabeth Taylor as the bride-to-be and Spencer Tracey as her harried father, or the remake with Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, it’s impossible not to like this cozy comedy. Any dad who’s had to fiance his daughter’s wedding can sympathize with George Banks’ plight.
“True Grit (1969, 2010)
With his foul temper, slovenly appearance and tendency to tipple, one-eyed U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne in the original, Jeff Bridges in the remake) isn’t the kind of guy you’d trust with your kids. Still, he proves a capable protector for 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby/Hailee Steinfeld), who hires him to capture the man who killed her pa.
“Fiddler on the Roof” (1971)
Life in turn-of-the-century czarist Russia is tough for Jewish milkman Teyve (Topol), who struggles daily to provide for his wife (Norma Crane) and three daughters. He’s so devoted to his daughters, in fact, that he even fakes an elaborate dream to ensure that Tzeitel (Rosalind Harris) can marry the man she loves.
“Paper Moon” (1973)
This classic comedy stars real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O’Neal as Moses Pray, a Depression-era con man, and Addie, the orphaned girl who becomes his partner in crime. Echoes of the movie can be seen in 2003′s “Matchstick Men,” which stars Nicholas Cage as an obsessive-compulsive con man and Alison Lohman as his long-long teenage daughter.
“My Girl” (1991)
Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) is obsessed with death, and no wonder. Her mother is dead, her father Harry (Dan Akyroyd) is a mortician, and her best friend Thomas (Macaulay Culkin) is “allergic to everything.” Although their relationship isn’t always the strongest, some of the movie’s sweetest moments are between Vada and her dad.
“Million Dollar Baby” (2004)
Despite some early reservations, gruff trainer Frank Dunn (Clint Eastwood) becomes a surrogate father of sorts to boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hillary Swank), dubbing her “Mo Chuisle” (Irish Gaelic for “my pulse”) and securing her a fight with one of the sport’s best. It’s only at the end of the film that we realize the heart-wrenching depths of his devotion to her.
“Pride & Prejudice” (2005)
Country patriarch Mr. Bennet (Jim Broadbent) has five daughters, but he shares a special bond with Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), who shares his intelligence, wit and sarcastic sense of humor. He’s also the only one who backs her decision not to marry her clergyman cousin, Mr. Collins.
“Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)
Unconventional pageant contestant Olive (Abigail Breslin) is lucky enough to two loving father figures in her life: her struggling motivational speaker dad (Greg Kinnear), and her foul-mouthed grandfather (Alan Arkin), who uses his age to excuse all sorts of questionable behaviors. Together with the rest of the clan, they set off on an once-in-a-lifetime trip from Albuquerque, N.M., to Renondo Beach.
When his daughter Kim is kidnapped by human traffickers in Paris, CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) embarks on a one-man mission to find her, free her and kill the men who took her. Never has fatherly devotion been so chilling, or so thrilling.
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