Tap to Read ➤

Best Movies about Fatherhood

Mrunal Belvalkar
"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." What an absolutely extraordinary quote by Sigmund Freud! It aptly depicts how important a father is to his child. Here are some movies that celebrate fatherhood.
There simply cannot be a sight as charming, melting and heart-warming as that of a man playing with his kids. I remember going to work once and chancing upon a young man playing with his son - I arrived at office with a stupid smile on my face, grinning ear-to-ear like an idiot! Everything about becoming a parent is so nice, isn't it?
Yes, the initial years (and quite a few of them!) are full of challenges and trials and tests of all sorts. After all, you get only one life, you have no experience to prepare yourself for all the kinds of things that happen to you for the first time.
Your first time trying to ride a bicycle, your first poetry recitation competition, the first time you face the camera (even if it is only for a college project), the first time you fall in love, the first time you become a parent - these are things that one can never be prepared enough for. We stumble, we fall, and together we learn.
I believe it is slightly more difficult for a man to become a father than a woman to become a mother - for the maternal instinct is too strong in a woman to be missed. But undoubtedly, becoming a father brings out the mush in even the most matter-of-factly a man! No matter how old we grow, our Dads always hold a special place in our lives. Here is an account of some of the best movies about fatherhood that celebrate one of the most beautiful relationships in the world!

The Kid

Year: 1921
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Star cast: Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan

Alright, probably you have a raised eyebrow on your face by now. Yes, I agree that the Tramp is not really the Kid's father, but in this brilliant silent movie, Charlie Chaplin has very sensitively explored the bond seen in a father-son relationship.
The movie tells the tale of undying love that a father will always have for his son, and who better than the king of pantomime to direct such a film, full of laughs, and perhaps a tear as well?
The most endearing scene in the entire movie is when the Tramp and the Kid are eventually united forever, and Charlie hugs Jackie Coogan like his life depends on it! The Kid is indeed, one of the best films in the history of silent movies; I could not have picked a better movie to start my list with!

Bicycle Thieves

Year: 1948
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Star cast: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola

They say desperate times call for desperate measures. This is quite effectively depicted in this Italian flick that was later dubbed in English. The best part of the movie is to realize how the son and father stick by each others side through tough times.
That is how it is with every kid I suppose - no matter what situations challenge the family, a child will never lose faith in his/her father.
The scene in the movie where Bruno (Enzo Staiola) sees his father being slapped for attempting to steal a bicycle is brilliantly executed - especially in spite of the immoral act, the child's faith in the father is not lost; they both walk away from the scene together.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Year: 1962
Director: Robert Mulligan
Star cast: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford

To Kill A Mockingbird is a poignant film about growing up and learning about the realities of life. So perfect is the casting of Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus that you would think Harper Lee unknowingly prophesied it when he wrote the novel.
Being a father who encourages learning and growing up through experience and not mass thinking, Atticus' way of bringing up his children is transparent and sincere. Atticus is the kind of father who allows his children to explore life on their own - a rarity in those days.
Even American Film Institute recognized this in 2003 and honored Atticus Finch with the title of, "the greatest movie hero of the 20th century". The movie was selected for preservation at the United States National Film Registry.

The Godfather

Year: 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Star cast: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino

Apart from all the remarkable and memorable dialogs and quotes of the movie, the following one definitely shows Don Corleone to be a 'family man' - "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
The Godfather is about fatherhood in ways more than one - it is also a movie about one of the greatest father-figures. The way the people of the town and city revere The Godfather is a remarkable show of respect, though probably incited by fear.
However, the best moment in the film is when Michael (Al Pacino) decides to join the family business; also when he eventually steps into his father's shoes towards the end of the movie. The film won such honors as Best Picture, Best Writing (adapted screenplay) and Best Actor in a leading role.

Three Men and a Baby

Year : 1987
Director : Leonard Nimoy
Star cas t: Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson

Throw together three sworn bachelors - who know a thing or two about women, but nothing about fatherhood - and a cute, adorable little baby girl, and you have a movie that is going to leave you rolling on the floor with laughter.
Three Men and a Baby was the biggest hit at the box office the year it was released. Who doesn't like a good laugh after all, right? The movie explores all the joys and possible tears of frustration brought upon a father learning to bring up a baby and hence makes a good watch.
It is one of the most hilarious movies about fatherhood and raising babies that I have ever seen - film critic Roger Ebert also noted the film to be a 'heartwarming entertainment'.

Father of the Bride

Year: 1991
Director: Charles Shyer
Star cast: Steve Martin, Kimberly Williams

Hahaha! My! Even the memory of this one sets me into uncontrollable fits of laughter. Steve Martin - man I love him! He is the best Dad in the world (second, of course, to my own Dad)!
The movie depicts a father's desperate attempt to deal with the void that the marriage of his daughter is going to create in his life. Oh, how my heart sympathizes with the father of every bride! The sequel of this movie was also a hit (directed by Robert Townsend).
The twist in the tale was that George Banks (Steve Martin) was shown to be an expecting grandfather AND father! Attending to a pregnant wife and daughter only made the life of this man trickier than juggling 5 champagne bottles perhaps - but all's well that ends well, isn't it?

Mrs. Doubtfire

Year: 1993
Director: Chris Columbus
Star cast: Robin Williams, Sally Field
Probably a jack of a husband, probably not; but one thing Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) surely is, is the most loving Dad in the movie world.
Mrs. Doubtfire depicts the longing of a divorced father to be with his children, and how it makes him try anything and everything to be able to spend time with them, to the point that the man becomes a housekeeper and a caretaker in his own house!
An endearing performance by Robin Williams, and bagful of humor makes this an extremely likable funny movie. The movie won some of the most coveted awards that year - Best Picture (Musical / Comedy), Best Actor (Musical / Comedy) both at the 51st Golden Globe Awards, and Best Makeup at the 66th Academy Awards.

Life is Beautiful

Year : 1997
Director : Roberto Benigni
Star cast : Roberto Benigni, Giorgio Cantarini

What do you do when you are a Jew and have to move with your family to a concentration camp on your son's birthday? You move. You have no other option. But how do you explain this to a small boy?
However, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) manages to do it all - and without losing faith in himself and the faith that his son Giosuè (Giorgio Cantarini) has in him.
An Italian film that won the hearts of audiences all over the world, Life is Beautiful is all about how a man helps his wife and son keep faith in a bright future through tough times, against the background of the second World War.
The movie won Best Actor, Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Foreign Language Film awards at the 71st Academy Awards. It is one of the best 90s movie.

Pursuit Of Happyness

Year : 2006
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Star cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith

Even reading that name after all this time makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Who thought the street-smart West Philadelphia chap from The Fresh Prince of Bel-air could deliver a performance of such depth, conviction and tenderness?
And the kid - hugs and kisses to the darling! Real life father and son duo shined bright in this 2006 flick about a man and his son and their journey through a period full of trials and tests; indeed one of the toughest times in their life.
Pursuit of Happyness is the kind of movie that gives you immense hope and makes you want to believe in such things as good fortune, luck, fate and the goodness in life. The last scene of the movie totally tugs at your heartstrings!
Phew! All that Dad-talk has made me rather mushy. I wonder how I am going to manage through the rest of the day. I guess I will pick up one of the above movies (yet again) and take it home and see it with Dad - of course not before I give him a big bear hug! Hope you find some major bonding time with your Dad too. Honestly, Dads are the BEST!