Cinedraft’s Top 10 Most Memorable Fathers

How do we at Cinedraft celebrate Father’s Day weekend? By having completely unproductive arguments about Father figures in movies, that’s how. (That’s right our movie arguments are seasonal.) And, because posting lists on the internets is the cool thing to do these days, (i’m looking at you Buzzfeed) we have taken our arguments, done some very unscientific polling of our writers and created a list of CINEDRAFT’S TOP TEN MEMORABLE MOVIE FATHERS. Take a look at our list below and let us know how we screwed it up.

*Note of clarification: When voting for this list we were instructed to vote for the most MEMORABLE movie fathers. (Actually, we were instructed to do many things, often directly conflicting, but we settled on memorable.) Not necessarily BEST fathers, but most memorable. Some of the fathers on our list may not be winning any Father of the Year awards anytime soon, but they sure were memorable.


10. Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather I and II)

What makes Don Corleone memorable? His very quotable advice (“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”). Always coming home to his children (after murdering a local mob boss). And, being such a positive role model, that everyone calls you the Godfather. Also, managing to look like Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro helps.


9. Old Man Parker (A Christmas Story)

A prime example of the classic American dad, back when men were men, and boys were men too. More than willing to give his kid a weapon to shoot his eye out with, and deeply concerned with the welfare of his son’s eyeglasses when said eye-shooting occurs. On a daily basis he would descend into the depths of his basement to do battle with the smoke monster that was his furnace (before Lost made smoke monsters cool), teaching his kids new and colorful words all the while. (Even if those words did lead to soapy mouth-washings.) Of course his linguistic talents included his complete mastery of the Italian language, allowing him to properly decode the exotic “fragile” on his major award’s delivery crate. And holy cow, did that man love his turkey…


8. Noah Levenstein AKA Jim’s Dad (American Pie Series)

(Warning: Video probably NSFW…unless your job is awesome…in which case, good for you.)

For every one of Jim’s embarrassing moments, Jim’s Dad was there to provide fatherly advice, sometimes ill conceived, but always well intentioned. And while it’s not shown in the above clips, Jim’s Dad was about more than just embarrassing advice and oversharing. He was also always supportive and loving, (no matter what Jim did to that poor pie) which, in all seriousness makes him a pretty great dad.


7. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Atticus Finch is one of the greatest heros in cinema history for his defense of a wrongly accused African-American man in the deep south, while not being intimidated by angry mobs, and still teaching his kids what is wrong and what is right. And his Gregorian Gravitas, Atticus has that too. (Get it? ‘Cause his name’s Gregory.)

(On a personal note, I’m very upset that Atticus stole Lawrence of Arabia’s Oscar. Peter O’Toole was robbed!!!)


6. Harry Stamper (Armageddon)

Some fathers work very hard to give their kids a better life. Harry Stamper threatened to kill Ben Affleck, became an astronaut, nuked an asteroid to save every single person on the planet, and even gave his own life to make sure his daughter’s fiance made it home. Beat that!


5. Henry Jones Sr. (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

When you can call Indiana Jones “Junior” and get away with it, you’re pretty badass. Add to that sending your son a diary with clues that would lead to the Holy Grail before Dan Brown knew how to write (Editorial Note: Some would argue Dan Brown STILL doesn’t know how to write…), judicious use of seagulls as anti-aircraft weaponry, banging hot Austrian Nazi spies, and his keen sense of hat fashion, and it more than makes up for shooting down his own plane.


4. Mufasa (The Lion King)

When your son was born, you made all the animals come from near and far and show their respect. You can beat up hyenas at will, and just when your son thinks you are indestructible, you use that moment to teach him about mortality. And, when your son loses his way as an adult, you come out of nowhere and appear in the clouds to remind him to be himself. I’ll repeat that for emphasis: You come out of NOWHERE and APPEAR IN THE CLOUDS to remind him to be himself. How awesome is that? That’s right, ALMOST as awesome as having James Earl Jones’ voice!


3. Marlin (Finding Nemo)

It’s not easy being a single dad, especially when your wife’s death leaves you with PTSD and a general fear of life. And yet, Nemo seems to grow up okay. But what makes Marlin memorable is that he leaves his comfort zone, travels through the endless ocean, outsmarts sharks, surfs with turtles, gets swallowed by a whale, out-flies seagulls, and makes a friend, all to save his son. Absolutely, memorable! (Unless you’re Dory.)


2. Darth Vader (Star Wars IV, V, IV…but not I, II and III)

Imagine, working hard with your boss to fulfill your lifelong project of ruling a galaxy far, far away, when out of the blue, the Death Star that you worked really hard on gets destroyed by your estranged son, cuz he’s in that Rebel Alliance phase. When you finally confront him, yes you go a little overboard by cutting off his hand, but it’s the 70’s, it’s not that touchy feely parenting, Luke needed to learn. And you did offer to rule the galaxy, as a father and son, that’s better than any game of catch! (Which would be pretty hard given that your son only has one hand…) So, when he meets your boss, and tries to murder him, you defend your son by throwing your boss into a pit, and die in the process. (Although, you may have done that to avoid explaining to your boss why the Death Star still has all those huge design flaws). Darth is such a memorable dad that George Lucas decided to make 3 more films about his upbringing, even if it meant bankrupting him, and in no way, shape, or form resembled a giant money grab. (That’s completely different from a giant money crab.)


(Dear Disney, Please don’t have us killed.)


1. Clark Griswold (National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies)

Yes, it may be unfair that the most memorable movie father on our list is on there for playing the same character in like 87 movies (That’s an estimate. I’m really bad at estimating. I lost count after National Lampoon’s Ethiopian Vacation and the 5th Rusty) but he’s number one for a good reason…we are bad at scientific polls…wait…no…that’s not it. I think a lot of us can relate to having a Dad that’s at least a little bit like Clark Griswold. A devoted and loving family man, a tad bit goofy, often times embarrassing, but generally well-meaning. Things don’t always (or hardly ever) go his way, but he does his best to learn, grow and move forward to be the family man that he knows his loved ones deserve. (But seriously, I don’t think we’re very good at scientific polls, we’re not entirely sure anyone actually voted for him…)

Fathers Day

So? How’d we do? Who’s your choice for Most Memorable Movie Father?  Did we leave anyone out of the Top Ten that deserved a spot? Include someone that didn’t deserve it? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below. Surely we are forgetting someone.


Felix Ortiz (3 Posts)

Felix Ortiz is the winner of the coveted Cinema Draft Racso Award. More About Me