For Father’s Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 7th, 2012 at 1:16 pm,

fathers day banner For Fathers Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

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

anakin skywalker For Fathers Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

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 henry jones For Fathers Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

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

jor el For Fathers Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

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

clark griswold For Fathers Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

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

bob parr For Fathers Day: Our 15 Favorite Movie Dads

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.

Continue to the Top 10 Movie Dads…

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  1. Being a Christian, I would have to say the Father in Greatest Story Ever Told, Jesus of Nazareth, Passion of the Christ, etc… would be the greatest father but I’m sure all Christians would say that.

    Every time Mr. Mom comes on, I just have to watch it. This film is highly under-rated, as well as the star of the movie.

    When Denzel Washington was nominated (and eventually won) for Best Actor, I thought it was going to be for John Q. There are only a few movies that actually made me cry (I got misty for many more) and John Q was one of them. I honestly can say that if a father didn’t get at least misty after that movie, he needs to check if he has a pulse.

  2. The two funniest ones people mentioned were The Comedian, and Dean Proffitt.


  3. If you’re gonna allow Disney characters u might as well put in all of them. King trident, the sultan from alladin, pongo from 101 Dalmatians. They all suffered or made some kind of self-sacrifice for their children. What about mom and dad save the world? The principal from ferris beulers day off.

  4. LMAO, Eddie!

    Btw the actor that played the principal in Ferris Beulers Day Off was arrested for having child porn,,,

    Whaaa waaaaaa,,,,

  5. Well I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest Paul Dooley, who played a couple of the best Dad’s ever…..

    his turn in Breaking Away as the used car salesman/retired stonecutter was a refreshing take on the realities of being a Dad….

    then his time in Sixteen Candles was also rather poignant in how he dealt with each child as the family Patriarch.

  6. John q is def. a good father,judging by the film ofcourse…..

  7. This list made me smile. Great list guys… and love the pics of the staff with their fathers.

  8. There is a hilarious error in your post. For “Captain von Trapp”: Max was his friend not his son. Max was older than von Trapp.

  9. Atticus Finch should be number one…there is no finer depiction of a father anywhere in literature or on film….I like most of your choices though….

  10. U must see PIRAVI(1988)…

  11. No Furious from Boyz N the Hood?