Top 6: Movie Dads

Posted in Top 6 at 4:59 am by Sam

A few weeks ago, we compiled our list of Top 6 Movie Moms for Mother’s Day. Now, with Father’s Day this weekend, we’ll honor the dads with our Top 6 Movie Dads list for Episode 37. Who are your favorites?

As always, we recommend listening to the episode before reading further.

  1. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, from the Star Wars saga (I, II, III, IV, V, VI)
  2. Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  3. John McClane, from Die Hard (1988)
  4. Henry Jones, Sr., from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  5. Antonio Ricci, from The Bicycle Thief (1948)
  6. Kyle Reese, from The Terminator (1984)
  1. Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  2. Thomas Dunson, from Red River (1948)
  3. Antonio Ricci, from The Bicycle Thief (1948)
  4. Stanley T. Banks, from Father of the Bride (1950) and Father’s Little Dividend (1951)
  5. Guido Orefice, from Life Is Beautiful (1997)
  6. Michael Bartel, from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)


  1. Jeffrey (84) said,

    June 12, 2007 at 10:43 am

    I had all of the names mentioned in my initial list (bar Kyle Reese and Michael Bartel). Great minds think alike.
    Yay, James Earl Jones appears two more times on my list. Here’s an extended list of fathers you guys missed:

    Jack Torrence - The Shining
    Don Vito Corleone - The Godfather
    George Bailey - It’s a Wonderful Life
    Mr Chu - Eat Drink Man Woman
    Marlin - Finding Neno
    Adam Trask - East of Eden
    Oh Dae-su - Oldboy
    Gepetto - Pinocchio
    Marcus Aurelius - Gladiator
    King Jaffe Joffer - Coming to America
    Mufasa - The Lion King
    Gomez Addams - The Addams Family
    Humbert Humbert - Lolita
    Furious Styles - Boyz N The Hood
    Jack Byrnes - Meet the Parents
    King Mongkut - The King and I
    Lester Burnham - American Beauty
    Nigel Powers - Austin Powers in Goldmember
    Noah Cross - Chinatown
    Kingo Gondo - High and Low

  2. joem18b (231) said,

    June 12, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Happy Father’s Day!

    1. Falling Down (1993) - D-Fens
    2. The Chosen (1981) - Reb Saunders
    3. The Quick and the Dead (1995) - John Herod
    4. The Stepfather (1987) - Jerry Blake
    5. At Close Range (1986) - Brad Whitewood Sr.
    6. Happiness (1998) - Bill Maplewood

    Honorable Mention to Bill Henrickson.

  3. WarpNacelle (48) said,

    June 12, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    No contest for me: Jim Braddock, “Cinderella Man”.

  4. Nyperold (116) said,

    June 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve made guesses, which I’ll get to.

    Ah! The father from Life is Beautiful! I should’ve thought of that one.

    Got Henry Jones, Sr. (though I didn’t know his first name)…
    Got John McClane…
    Got Darth Vader!

    Yeah, I was expecting Don Corleone.

    Other misses:
    * Michael Keaton’s Jack Frost from Jack Frost (NOT the horror movie, although you could ratchet up the… something… by saying Jack Frost from Jack Frost 2, the slasher flick set on a tropical island where… Jack has babies! Which means that either “Jack” is short for “Jacqueline”, or mutant killer snowmen reproduce asexually. Anyway. When the protagonists kill his babies, he goes on… well, even more of a rampage, or at least a more focused one.)
    * Ray Steam’s father (or his father), from Steamboy.
    * George Bailey, from It’s a Wonderful Life
    * The father, from Bambi II. Woo hoo!
    * Geppetto, from Pinocchio, the classic animated movie. I haven’t seen the live-action one with Roberto Benigni, and i’m not sure about Drew Carey’s Geppetto.
    * The President, from Independence Day. Leader of the free world, fighter aircraft pilot, good public speaker, leading a bunch of pilots in the war against hostile alien invaders… inherent public scrutiny aside, who wouldn’t want that kind of guy for a father? A more subdued choice might be the father of the Jeff Goldblum character, for little touches like… well, there’s this scene where he’s leading a bunch of people in the 16th benediction of the Shemoneh Esrei. There’s this other guy… “I’m not Jewish.” “…Nobody’s perfect.” It’s mildly funny. :)
    * Mr Banks, from Mary Poppins. I’m not sure why I thought of him. Maybe its for what happened after he came around? Or maybe I was just filling it out so I have 12.
    * King Triton, from The Little Mermaid. I haven’t seen II or III, and I’m sure they’re real original classics, but that means I only have the first to draw from. I mean, he’s the king of the undersea world, he’s got the trident of power… maybe you might think he has a rotten temper, but he has a bunch of teenage daughters, one of whom likes to break surface against his wishes, so perhaps that’s understandable.

    Hmm, rock & roll movies, huh? I can’t really think of many outside of the ones reviewed at IABBBBM…

  5. Grishny (156) said,

    June 12, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Usually when I participate in a T6, I try to come up with a fairly good-sized list to choose from, but this time I decided to just go with the first six that came to mind and then rate them one to six. And here they are.

    6. James T. Kirk (William Shatner) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - Captain Kirk gets last place on my list because honestly, he wasn’t a very good dad. I mean, his son never even knew who his father was until he was, what, thirty years old? And then of course we know what happened to David in Star Trek III, and how it was all Kirk’s fault. He may be a legendary captain, but as a papa, he ain’t got the right stuff.

    5. Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzeneggar) in True Lies - Another dad who rates high on cool but low on being a very good dad. He tries his best, but the demands of his job as a top secret super-spy plus the requirement that he keep it a secret from his family means that he has to be a fairly distant father figure without much quality time for his daughter. Still, in the end, he did risk his life to save hers, so that earns him a spot one higher than Captain Kirk.

    4. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle (Fred MacMurray) in The Happiest Millionaire - Who doesn’t wish they had a wealthy father who keeps pet alligators and teaches a combined Sunday School - boxing class every week? Despite his oddities, it’s hard not to like Mr. Biddle, and he does a great job as a father in this film, providing his children with everything they need and making sure his daughter’s suitors measure up to his expectations.

    3. Tevye (Topol) in Fiddler on the Roof - “I have FIVE daughters!” exclaimes Tevye in the opening number to this favorite musical of mine, and throughout this movie he wrestles with finding compatability between modern ideas and old traditions while trying to provide the best he can for his daughters’ futures. He has to make many hard decisions, and all against the backdrop of political turmoil and the persecution of his people by Czarist Russia. Tevye is far from perfect, but in my book he is a good papa.

    2. Georg von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) in The Sound of Music - Captain von Trapp, like Tevye, has five daughters, and two sons to boot. He’s also a single father, and has for the most part successfully raised his children, although he is just a little too strict with them. Over the course of the movie he learns that they need his love as well as discipline, and at the end makes some major sacrifices in order to protect them from the Nazi regime encroaching upon their native Austria. He also finds them a new mom, so he’s definitely a good dad in my book.

    1. Marlin (Albert Brooks) in Finding Nemo - He may only be a tiny little clownfish, but I can’t think of a better movie dad than Marlin. Just like Georg von Trapp, he’s a single father, and he’s determined to protect his son from life’s dangers no matter what the cost. He conquers his own fears time and time again, crossing the ocean and braving a multidude of dangers in order to rescue Nemo from harm’s way. He also learns along the way that he needs to give his son a little breathing room and let him learn to do some things for himself. Now that’s a great dad.

    After making my list, I thought of a couple more that probably would have bumped my original #5 & #6 off the list, although I’m not certain where they’d fall:

    Geppetto, from Pinnochio. He’d be vying for the top spot on my list with Marlin; I mean, they both risked their lives for their respective sons. In a way, Finding Nemo is almost a retelling of the Pinnochio story, except without the fairy tale magical element.

    Chris Gardner, as portrayed by Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. I just finished watching this movie last night, just in time for Father’s Day! I was already somewhat familiar with his story from the Reader’s Digest article about him. I was really impressed with the man’s dedication to taking a vital role in his son’s life, and not giving up despite all the hardships they went through. I also appreciate all the little moments thrown in the film to show that he was far from perfect, but still tried to do his best.

  6. Jeffrey (84) said,

    June 13, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Here’s some more:
    Ran - Lord Hidetora
    Mrs Doubtfire - Daniel Hillard/Mrs Doubtfire
    Superman: The Movie - Jor-El
    Road to Perdition - John Rooney
    The Royal Tenenbaums - Royal Tenenbaum
    The Night of the Hunter - Preacher Harry Powell

  7. Ferrick (140) said,

    June 13, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    My favorite movie dads that I came up with are:

    Darth Vader

    Darren McGavin as the dad in A Christmas Story. He taught Ralphie how to weave a tapestry of swear words, among other things.

    Dan Hedaya as the father in Clueless. Don’t mess with his daughter.

    Mel Gibson’s patriarchal character in The Patriot.

    And, finally, Mike TeeVee’s dad in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. No boy of his can have a Colt .45. At least not until he is twelve.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.