This being my first Father's Day celebration as a dad, I decided to put together a list of the best cinematic fathers for June's Movie List of the Month (May's list). Since being a dad is hard work and time consuming, this was a spur of the moment list and one that I may have missed some notable choices. Feel free to comment below with some of your personal favorites and ones I've regretfully omitted. Happy Father's Day to anyone out there who's performing a father-like role!
Honorable Mention: Bill Nighy - About Time, Eugene Levy - American Pie, Ray Liotta - Blow, Stanley Tucci - Easy A, Sean Connery - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and J.K. Simmons - Juno
#5. (Voice of) Albert Brooks - Finding Nemo (2003)
I'm going to kick off my Top 5 with the animated film Finding Nemo, which tells the fantastic story of a father who goes to great depths to save his son. After Nemo becomes captured by a boat full of scuba divers, his father, Marlin (Brooks), teams with a forgetful Blue Tang (Ellen DeGeneres) to rescue him from impending doom at the hands a dentist's reckless, brace-faced niece. Marlin never gives up in his quest for Nemo and even learns a few positive parenting tips along the way.
#4. Liam Neeson - Taken (2008)
Looking back at another heroic father whose love for his daughter knows no bounds, Liam Neeson reminds everyone to make sure that a girl's father doesn't know "a particular set of skills" before kidnapping her. Retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Neeson) learns that his daughter's been abducted on a European trip and travels the globe to kill her captors and hopefully find her alive. Not only is Mills an absolute killing machine, but he also has a soft spot for the special young lady in his life.
#3. Marlon Brando - The Godfather (1972)
Not all dads can provide positive influences in every aspect of life, some are saddled with a darker side. Yet, no one can ever question Don Corleone's (Brando) love for his family. As the patriarch and head of an organized crime empire approaches the latter stages of life, he tries passing the immense responsibility and leadership onto his reluctant son Michael (Al Pacino). The Godfather isn't just a gangster-film masterpiece, it's a beautiful examination of loyalty and family-commitment through and through.
#2. Robin Williams - Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Here to lighten the mood is the late Robin Williams' masterful performance in Mrs. Doubtfire. After a fed up mother (Sally Field) decides to divorce her hilariously childish husband (Williams), they embark on a bitter custody battle that provider her full custody and leaves him with Saturday visits only. He decides to do whatever it takes to see more of his children, even if it means dressing in drag and posing as their new British nanny. This clever and comical story simply revolves around the boundless love between a father and his three kids.
#1. Chevy Chase - National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Finally, The National Lampoon's Clark Griswold (Chase) takes the top honor as cinema's greatest dad. Clark's patriarchal conquests (or lack thereof) span a collection of films, but I'll focus on his humble beginnings when a family road-trip to the Wally World theme park tests his patience and sanity. Life isn't always too kind to Clark, but he's been blessed with a (sometimes) loving family whom he cherishes. And through these ups and downs that the world constantly throws his way, Clark reminds us all that family is the most important thing we have.