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Happy Father’s Day, dads in film

In honor of Father’s Day on Sunday, I figured there have been some pretty cool or pretty bad dads in film. Whether they sucked as people or made us cry, let’s reflect on those that made a difference in some of our favorite films.

Rocky Balboa in Rocky Balboa

Rip out our hearts and make us cry, Sly Stallone. This film helped revive the Rocky franchise. But we all know which scene gave us goosebumps, a scene between father and son.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

UGH, is someone chopping onions in here?!

Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness

Yet another father, played by Will Smith, that is working tirelessly to make his son’s future bright. In this particular scene, we see the extent of Chris Gardner’s love for his child. With nowhere to sleep, he must mask their homeless situation by pretending to play with imaginary dinosaurs.

Ben Parker in the Spider-Man films

Look, look — yes, Uncle Ben is an uncle, but he’s practically a father to Peter Parker, so we’re including him in this list. Ben Parker, played by multiple actors over the years, took the time to tell Peter the most important advice of his lifetime: “With great power comes great responsibility.” That alone gives him a gold star in parenting.

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Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

This maaaaay have a tad bit of spoilers, so skip over this entry if you haven’t seen Guardians Vol. 2.

Ego (Kurt Russell) is Starlord’s father, and hey, he seems like a cool dad … until his true intentions are revealed and we see him for the power-hungry man he is. Hey, no dad’s perfect, but most dad’s do not eat whole planets.

Max Rockatansky in Mad Max (1979)

Rough, tough and willing to lay it on the line for his family, Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) defended his town and family from biker gangs in the self-destructive world of Mad Max.


Photo: Kennedy Miller Productions

Unfortunately, biker gangs fueled Max’s vendetta that takes place throughout the film by slaying his family. Hey, this list wasn’t going to be all roses and sunshine!

Juan in Moonlight

Juan, in a loose sense, is the father figure to young Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert), so let’s include Mahershala Ali’s Academy-award winning performance on this list. In a time where young Chiron is being bullied by classmates and made fun of for being gay, Juan and his girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monáe), decide to help raise him. The waterworks were strong with this one.

Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise

I love it when you call me Darth Vader

Well, that may not be the exact lyric in Notorious B.I.G’s “Big Poppa,” but Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen/ James Earl Jones [voice], David Prowse [actor]) was definitely a father worthy of this list.

Once the good guy, Skywalker was swayed by the Dark Side and, well, killed a bunch of jedi in his power-hungry quest. However, his fatherly instincts kicked in just before his death and made his son, Luke Skywalker, feel remorse for his pops.

These are only some fathers in the wide world of film, so if you’ve thought of any while reading that were left out, drop ’em in the comments! ❤


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