Everyone has a dad but not everyone has a father. Anyone can bring a child into this world, but it takes a true man to be a father. Fathers aren’t always perfect either, which is what makes them so special. They have their flaws just like everyone else – but they try to overcome those flaws for the sake of their children.
Movie fathers, for the most part, are exactly the same way. I’m not talking about the Al Bundy or Peter Griffin buffoon father figures that get laughs by acting un-father-like. I’m talking about the forthright, honest, dependable and yes, sometimes flawed men that have inspired us onscreen to be better fathers in real life.
So while we at Screen Rant take today to spend it with our fathers (if they haven’t passed away), and/or with our children, for your reading pleasure we’ve decided to list our 15 Favorite Movie Fathers…
15. Darth Vader (David Prowse / James Earl Jones) – Star Wars Saga
Now before you go all “fanboy” on me for putting Luke’s father on the bottom of our list just wait to see who made the top 3 and then tell me if you would put Skywalker above them. Anakin falls easily into the category of “Flawed Father.” He loves the mother of his children but ultimately kills her, hunts down his daughter and takes her into captivity, and then unknowingly cuts off the hand of his son. Way to go dad! But in the end, this father recognizes the error of his ways, turns from the dark side and sacrifices his own life to protect his children. And that’s why this master of the dark side of the force is on this list at all.
14. Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery) – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Professor Jones is another one of those types of fathers that means well and although he loves his son (Indiana Jones), he ends up ignoring him. But what he lacks in emotional nurturing he makes up for in intellectual nurturing as is evident by Indiana following right along in his father’s footsteps. For all their differences of opinion and banging of heads, the son still loves his father and vice versa – and both will do whatever it takes to protect the other. The moral here is: You don’t have to always get along with your dad to love him.
13. Jor El (Marlon Brando) – Superman
I know when it comes to my own children that I would sacrifice anything to keep them safe, including giving up my own life to save theirs. That’s what every good father would do in the same situation. The best example of this is Superman’s father Jor El. He gave his life to protect his son from a dying planet before it exploded – but he didn’t stop there! Jor El thought ahead and provided a new family and place of solitude for his son so that he wouldn’t ever be alone. Jor El provided for his son in death as he did in life. Jor-El sets a fine example of a father’s love.
12. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) – National Lampoon’s Vacation
Just because a father jokes around and gives his kids a hard time occasionally doesn’t mean he loves them any less. Clark Griswold may be a bit on the clueless side but all he wants is to give his family the vacation they so richly deserve. Every father ultimately wants the same thing for their kids. Nothing is going to stand in his way either – not the desert nor flat tires or even an amusement park being shut down… He is going to give his family a good time come hell or high water! I may never pull a gun on a security officer just to ride a theme park rollercoaster but I’ve done plenty of things I wouldn’t normally do just to make my kids happy; besides, that old woman in the toy line last Christmas didn’t need a Tickle Me Elmo anyway…
11. Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) – The Incredibles
Many young children look up to their fathers as superheroes, but only in movies and comic books can those fathers actually BE superheroes. Such is the case with Bob Parr: He loses his way and becomes self-involved with being a superhero, something that makes him feel good – while he neglects his wife and kids, shutting them out of his own little world. Ultimately, Bob realizes that it’s not what you do that makes you a superhero but rather who looks up to you – in this case his kids. This is a lesson that every father can learn, your children would rather spend time with you then watch you try to save the world.