With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, it seems only fitting to pay homage to some of film’s greatest dads. What makes a great dad? The example they set for their children, or the way they express their love? No matter how you answer that question, these Dads have proven themselves as top notch father material.
10. Vito Corleone (The Godfather: 1972)
Coming in at the number 10 spot is Don Corleone. To this man, family is everything. He might have an odd way of honoring his sons, but he cherishes them. He wanted more than a life of blood and bullets for his favorite son, Michael, hoping he’d go into politics. Don Corleone might be a mafia mastermind, but he knows a thing or two about family.
Why we like him: “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”
9. Jack Walsh (Pretty in Pink: 1986)/Noah Levenstein (American Pie: 1999)
Tying for the number 9 spot we have Jack Walsh and Noah Levenstein. In our book, these dads play similar roles, only one has a son, the other, a daughter. Both dads selflessly help their teens through their embarrassing angst.
Why we like them: Not every parent would take their kid to the ER without question…
8. Marlin the Clownfish (Finding Nemo: 2003)
Swimming in at number 8, Marlin the clownfish! This Dad goes to great lengths (hundreds of miles, really) to get his son back. He battles some of his greatest fears, turns enemies into friends, and learns what it means to live a little.
Why we like him: He goes against insurmountable odds to save his son
7. Mac Maguff (Juno: 2007)
In the face of teenage pregnancy, J.K. Simmons not only holds it together but does so with humor. He supports his daughter, and even has the compassion to ensure her that someday, she’ll be back in the delivery room when it’s the right time.
Why we like him: Encouraging his pregnant teenage daughter to find the right person who thinks the sun shines out her ass isn’t something every dad would do.
6. Bob Ivanovich (My Life: 1993)
The number 6 spot goes to Bob Ivanovich. Playing parent to a video camera, Michael Keaton earns a spot on our list for being proactive. This heart wrenching story should be a lesson to all dads-to-be. In the face of a terminal illness, Keaton films himself teaching his unborn son everyday life lessons.
Why we like him: He does his best with the time he has.
5. Ted Kramer (Kramer vs Kramer: 1979)
Workaholic-turned-full time dad Ted Kramer shows us what true love is. After being thrust into single parenthood, Kramer forms an unbreakable bond with his son. Making it into the top 5, Ted Kramer becomes a role model dad.
Why we like him: He overcomes his selfish tendencies to turn into a custody-fighting super dad
4. Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness: 2006)
Chris Garnder knows what it really means to be a good person. While having very little material wealth, this patriarch is swimming in moral integrity. He wants nothing but success and happiness for his son and does what he can to provide it.
Why we like him: “Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?…If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”
3. Jason “Furious” Styles (Boyz in the Hood: 1991)
Owning the number 3 spot on our list is Furious Styles. In a sea of violent and drug-addicted men, Jason “Furious” Styles stands out as a role model. Knowing what it takes to be a man, he teaches his son the value of honesty and a work ethic.
Why we like him: “Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children.”
2. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird: 1963)
A beacon of civility and equality, Atticus Finch is not just a stellar dad, but an honorable person. If being a single dad wasn’t hard enough, Finch managed to raise his kids with decency and honesty in the Deep South in the 30’s. Integrity and morality are just a few reasons he’s on our list. Teaching his kids that everyone is created equal in a town that went against his beliefs proves Atticus is a real man.
Why we like him: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
1. Guido Orefice (Life is Beautiful: 1997)
In the midst of one of histories greatest atrocities, Guido Orefice manages to protect his son and convince him that the concentration camp they’re in is just a complicated game. Making up rules and guidelines his son must follow in order to “win” (or-stay alive), Guido plays the role of a lifetime. Shielding his son from the horrors of their reality in order to keep him alive earns him our number one spot.
Why we like him: He turned a concentration camp into a game to protect his son’s innocence. Obviously father-of-the-year material.
Honorable Mention: Mufasa (The Lion King: 1994)
Preparing young Simba to rule the Pride Lands is no easy feat. Especially when you have a vindictive brother trying to strip you of your crown. Mufasa captures the respect of every creature under his reign, and exudes masculinity and strength. He handles both fatherhood and his royal duties with passion, dignity, and grace. We couldn’t imagine a list without him, so he gets our Honorable Mention!
Why we like him: “I’m only brave when I have to be. Simba, being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.”
Well there you have it! Our Top Ten Fathers in Film! The competition was stiff, but these Dads stuck out in a way that earned them their spot. Now go and tell your Pops how much he means to you!