Films for my father

Posted by · 7:48 am · June 20th, 2010

Last year, Kris celebrated Father’s Day with a lovely list of films that are, for him, inextricably connected to his old man. That day has rolled around once again, and because I’m lazy, I’ve resorted to a poster tribute instead. What follows are 10 titles that I have, in my mind, re-dedicated to my own father for one reason or another. Some are old favorites that he introduced to me, others are newer discoveries we made together. One is the first film he ever took me to see on his own, another is the first I took him to see after I’d left the nest. I only chose on the former occasion.

All are films he’s very fond of, or at least claims to be; I can’t quite say the same, but I’ll keep trying with “Where Eagles Dare.” Happy Father’s Day, Tom.

Your turn. Please share your own favorite dad-related movies, or movie memories, in the comments.

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38 responses so far

  • 1 6-20-2010 at 7:55 am

    Rae Kasey said...

    My dad and I have watched Shane and Dr. Strangelove over and over again for years.

  • 2 6-20-2010 at 7:58 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Funny, “Shane” could easily have made my collective too. Wonder if we’ll find many consensus ‘dad movies.’

  • 3 6-20-2010 at 8:04 am

    The Irishman said...

    Oh, man… my dad introduced me to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when I was four, and even though all I really got out of it that first viewing was that Cowboy Han Solo was awesome and HOLY CRAP THAT GUY’S HEAD JUST EXPLODED, it’s been my uncontested favorite movie of all time ever since. Also, for years and years he insisted that the line is “Why does it always have to be snakes?” whereas I said (correctly, I might add) that it was “Why’d it have to be snakes?”. That’s probably our longest-running in-joke. Thanks a lot for this, Guy; really gets me thinking back, as you can see.

  • 4 6-20-2010 at 8:06 am

    Patryk said...

    My Dad’s favorites, some he took me to see, and some, if he was still here, I know he would have loved

    “The Godfather”

    “The Anderson Tapes”

    “Gunga Din”

    “Beau Geste”

    “The Exorcist”

    “Dr. No”

    “The Beguiled”

    “Planet of the Apes”

    “Pulp Fiction”

    “The Bourne Trilogy”

  • 5 6-20-2010 at 8:13 am

    Chase K. said...

    I love the heck out of “Where Eagles Dare,” another one of those great suicidal men-on-a-mission WWII films.

    It has that spectacular Ron Goodwin score, the unique pairing of Burton and Eastwood and that wonderfully convoluted Alistair MacLean script. I watched it twice in the span of 72 hours and had it on as white background noise a third time – can’t get enough of it.

    As for my father? His favorite film right now would be a tie between “Taken” and “The Rundown”. We have an inverted father-son cinematic relationship, where I’m the one opening him up to classic films like “The Train,” “Where Eagles Dare” and a bunch of Anthony Mann westerns.

  • 6 6-20-2010 at 8:14 am

    Patryk said...

    Oh, and for my grandfather, who also took me to many a matinee and drive-in.

    “One Million Years B.C.”


    “The Guns of Navarone”

  • 7 6-20-2010 at 8:20 am

    Bobmcbob said...

    “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is without question the greatest father-son live-action film ever made.

  • 8 6-20-2010 at 9:02 am

    Filmoholic said...

    That is one gorgeous collection of posters. Looking at these reminds me of the sad present state of poster art.

    Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes is one hell of a movie title. Does the film live to it, Guy?

  • 9 6-20-2010 at 9:03 am

    Filmoholic said...

    *live UP to it.

  • 10 6-20-2010 at 9:18 am

    Anthony B. said...

    My dad’s favorite movies are:

    Pulp Fiction
    Over the Edge
    King of the Mountain
    Kill Bill Vol. 1

    I wish I could remember the first movie we went to see in theatres, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he won’t remember either. But, it was definitely my dad who got me into movies by amassing a huge collection of used VHS tapes from the video store across the street from where I grew up.

  • 11 6-20-2010 at 9:33 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (My dad’s favorite Bond film. Where’s the blu-ray?)

    2. Indiana Jones 3 (Of course)

    3. Master and Commander: Far Side of the World (A masterpiece, no?)

  • 12 6-20-2010 at 9:33 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Filmoholic: If the title floats your boat, you’ll probably like the film — it’s capital-Z Zany. My dad tried very hard to make me and my brother love it as kids, but he never quite succeeded.

  • 13 6-20-2010 at 9:37 am

    Al said...

    Bullet and The Great Escape. My dads a McQueen man.

    I’d put Gran Torino on that list too, a recent film he really seemed to love that I caught with him in theaters.

    Go Dad!

  • 14 6-20-2010 at 9:43 am

    Mickche said...

    My dad fondly remembers seeing Haneke’s Hidden when i saw it with him in cinemas. Firstly, for the opening shot, he thought somethign was wrong with the projector and kept looking at the back to see whats wrong with the picture… it wasn’t moving.
    Secondly, in the climax scene, his popcorn flew into the air spreading everywhere. Roughly translating his words, “to go from slow to that shocked me”
    btw, my dad’s favourite response to a movie whenever i ask him is “slow”.
    What did you think of Bright Star – “slow”

  • 15 6-20-2010 at 9:48 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Al: Yeah, “The Great Escape” is kind of the ultimate dad movie, isn’t it?

    Mickche: I love that. Frankly, if I’d been eating popcorn during “Hidden,” I’d probably have done the same.

  • 16 6-20-2010 at 9:52 am

    Jim T said...

    1. Many Disney movies as well as Toy Story.

    2. Batman Returns

    3. Jurassic Park (the second one with mom)

    4. Out of Sight

    5. Talented Mr Ripley

    6. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

    6. Phantom of the Opera

    It’s funny because LA Confidential is a dad movie for a friend of mine. I think it’s the only movie they’ve seen together.

  • 17 6-20-2010 at 9:52 am

    Nick Davis said...

    ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is also, by far and away, my dad’s favorite film and the most important cinematic link between us. But he was also my date and accomplice to The Last of the Mohicans, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (which he hated), Apollo 13, Nixon, The Crucible, Titanic, Air Force One, and more recently … uh … the thing with Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper and Laura Linney. Breach. I can feel senility coming on…

  • 18 6-20-2010 at 10:52 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Titanic” were also date-with-dad movies for me. Actually, we’ve ended up going to see an awful lot of Michael Mann movies together over the years — including, strangely, the South African premiere of “Ali” (I was the +1, not him) — which is odd, since I wouldn’t say either of us is a die-hard fan.

  • 19 6-20-2010 at 11:26 am

    Speaking English said...

    “Star Wars,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Annie Hall.”

  • 20 6-20-2010 at 11:41 am

    greg said...

    true lies, the godfather trilogy, zelig zelig zelig, evil dead, the good the bad and the ugly, and ed wood, and countless others.

    In regards to ed wood, I jokingly blame my dad for turning me gay bc he had me watch that movie when I was nine years old. I tell him that it “awoken” me hahaha. I love ya pops! greatest dad a (gay) kid ever could ask for!!!!!

  • 21 6-20-2010 at 11:44 am

    Checko said...

    sometimes.. although a movie doesn’t belong to your own tastes.. when you watch it feels like you were watching a masterpiece because what it means to you.. and that’s the case for me when i watch “Cellular” with kim basinger, because my dad loved so much that film, and go to see it was the very last thing we did together before he died… so just for that deserves a place algonside citizen kane to me.

  • 22 6-20-2010 at 12:03 pm

    James D. said...

    The Departed was probably the last film my dad liked. Outside of Scorsese gangster films, he doesn’t really care for movies too much.

  • 23 6-20-2010 at 12:06 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Checko: I love that you shared that, and I know exactly what you mean — it’s impossible to view something simply as a movie in that context.

  • 24 6-20-2010 at 12:11 pm

    Mr. F said...

    The only movies that my dad truly loves are the Rambo movies and a handful of Mexican movies.

  • 25 6-20-2010 at 1:07 pm

    Hero said...

    My dad was a manly man. He inherited the family roofing company and was an on-the-job boss right up until his death. Yet this man with busted finger nails from hitting them for 45 years with hammers, clothes perpetually covered in tar, liked nothing so well as watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice with me over and over, and it was always his idea.

  • 26 6-20-2010 at 1:16 pm

    Nick Duval said...

    My father loves documentaries. I saw “Exit Through the Gift Shop” and “Man on Wire” with him, and he loved both. Also “Synecdoche, New York,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Deliverance,” “Night of the Hunter,” etc.

  • 27 6-20-2010 at 1:21 pm

    Edward L. said...

    My dad loves the Godfather films, and he got me into them as well. A memory from my teenage years: I was off school after an ingrowing toe-nail operation, and my dad had stayed home from work to look after me so I didn’t have to hobble about on my own. We started watching The Godfather Part II on VHS. When it got to the scene where Hyman Roth celebrates his birthday and hands round the cake, we stopped the film, my dad went down the road to buy a nice cream sponge cake, and we watched the rest of the film eating slices in the Roth fashion.

    Where Eagles Dare and the original King Kong are two other films I’ll always associate with my dad.

    Our most recent cinema trip together: Shutter Island.

    Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere!

  • 28 6-20-2010 at 1:40 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Edward: Your dad is officially awesome.

    That goes for all your dads, actually. This is now one of my favourite comment threads ever.

  • 29 6-20-2010 at 2:15 pm

    Bradley said...

    My dads favourites are The Wizard of Oz, A Clockwork Orange, Breakfast on Pluto, Blade Runner, Tommy, The Cook The Thief His Wife And Her Lover, The Hairdressers Husband, Hedwig and The Angry Inch and most recently In The Loop, Bronson, Inglourious Basterds and Up. I’ve seen thousands of films but I still can’t brung myself to watch Oz or Clockwork for fear of disappointing him… The arguments we had over him not liking films I like, like Grosse Point Blank, A Serious Man and Mulholland Dr for instance are so intense I could never love those films as much as he does…

  • 30 6-20-2010 at 2:21 pm

    Bradley said...

    Oh and last cinema trips together were The Killer Inside Me and Four Lions, the first films he took me to underage were Elizabeth as a 15 and Traffic as an 18 certificate. My favourite moments were both London Film Fest related, the first watching Shortbus, and the second at the midnight screening of The Rules of Attraction. His favourite was last year when managing a cinema I put on a double bill screening of Blade Runner and Tommy 35 mm prints I’d loaned for Fathers Day…

  • 31 6-20-2010 at 4:56 pm

    Adrianna said...

    My father is restless and easily bored, so he rarely goes to movies. Ones that we’ve watched together on television (or DVD) are old ones that make him laugh. He’s laughed at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Seventh Year Itch (we laugh every time at that one), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World, the Spencer Tracy Father of the Bride, and Support Your Local Sheriff (he loves that one). For a family member that likes more serious artistic movies, I have to go with my brother.

  • 32 6-20-2010 at 5:42 pm

    Andrew F said...

    My father and I have only ever seen one film together, just the two of us: The Bourne Ultimatum. I was relieved when he said he liked it! My father is a man of very few opinions, and isn’t much for culture: he rarely goes to the movies, reads even less, doesn’t have a particular favourite meal, and is rare to be heard giving praise other than “It’s okay” or his trademark “It’ll do.” Nevertheless, he does have some favourite films –ones that he is happy to quote and watch over and over again– and that make him suddenly snap out of daydreaming whenever I use as an example.

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    The Fifth Element
    The Princess Bride

    We also have a running gag reference to Back to the Future. Someone mentions a road, either purposely or by chance. “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” he’ll bellow.

    But a few years ago I discovered something that really surprised me, and made me look at my father in a sort of new-found respect. He loves “Citizen Kane”.

  • 33 6-20-2010 at 5:48 pm

    Andrew F said...

    I just remembered something else film-related that has to do with my father:

    When “Pulp Fiction” was released onto VHS, he rented it and invited me to watch it with him. They had just gotten to the quarter pounder with cheese speech when my mother begins to walk down the stairs. “What are you watching?” she asks in her curious, sweet voice as she descends.

    I’ll never forget her scream of realization and the chastising my father received (“Alfie, what are you showing him?!?!”). What was the big deal?

    I was 9.

  • 34 6-20-2010 at 6:30 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    The movie I most associate with my dad (even though we’ve only watched it once) has always been “Purple Rain.” I know it’s not a terribly good film, but gaining his appreciation for Prince and being able to share that with him has been one of those things we’ve been able to bond over.

  • 35 6-20-2010 at 8:01 pm

    Danny King said...

    My dad is a big Eastwood fan, and a few years ago I think I actually saw him shed a tear during the credits of “Gran Torino.” Can’t say that I blame him; we’ve watched it a few more times since.

    Other ones we have re-watched many times over the years: “Hoosiers,” “The Natural,” “Minority Report,” “Catch Me If You Can,” and, rather appropriately, “Toy Story.”

  • 36 6-21-2010 at 3:14 pm

    half empty said...

    I’m late to the party here, but I had to respond. I’m surprised at all the dad love for Where Eagles Dare. It’s probably my dad’s favorite movie. I got him the DVD for Christmas this year (probably the best gift I ever gave him) and he had it on constantly throughout the holidays. I’ve been home a couple of times since then and both times he’s insisted that we watch it again. The first time I said, “But we just watched that.” His response: “That was two months ago.”

    When he finds a movie he likes, he watches it over and over again. When The Sum of All Fears (Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan if you understandably forgot) came out on DVD, he bought it on the way home from work and watched the 2nd hour of that movie probably 5 times over the next week. That movie is clearly a turd, but I’ve got a soft spot for it because of that.

  • 37 6-21-2010 at 7:14 pm

    Me. said...

    My Dad’s favorite movies :D:

    Sophie’s World
    The Tree of the Wooden Clogs
    Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears
    We All Loved Each Other So Much

    among others. My father is quite an intellectual lol

  • 38 6-22-2010 at 3:12 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    @Half Empty: Actually, I’m with your dad on The Sum of All Fears. Gets an undeservedly bad rap, I think.