Retro Styler Blog

Top 10 Film Father Figures of All Time

Top 10 Film Father Figures of All Time

Well folks, whether you were prepared for it or not, today is Father's Day... 

In my opinion, there is nothing better than spending quality time with the family and in case you're lacking some film inspiration, I have compiled a list of my favourite retro films which feature the most heroic and strong father figures. 

Must-See Classic Retro Films Featuring Some Awesome Dads!

In no particular order...

 1. Chief Brody - Jaws (1975)

Chief Body dons the father figures in Jaws

Pushing himself to his own limits to help make Amity Island a safer place for his own kids and others, Chief Brody is the epitome of a protector as he faces his personal fears of the sea to risk his own safety to battle the infamous Jaws.


2. Clark Griswold - National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) 

Clark Griswold proves there is nothing he isn't willing to do for a perfectly normal Christmas vacation

Maybe his ways are a little "out of the ordinary", but there is no doubt Clark Griswold is a family man. He is so insistent that his family will have the holiday of lifetime, he even pulls a gun on a security officer to ensure they get a ride on the rollercoaster. As I said before, his ways may be a slight wayward, but you cannot deny that Clark's strong family values make him an awesome father figure.


3. Daniel Hillard - Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Mrs. Doubtfire pushing the boundaries to become the most deserving Father

Perhaps one of my favourite films of all time, we see how Daniel Hillard is willing to push the boundaries to spend more time with his children. Possibly the most dedicated and determined father in film history, the film sees Daniel Hillard split up from his wife. To see his children more often, he dresses up as Mrs. Doubtfire and gets hired by his ex to be the nanny to their children. With it's awesome humour, this retro classic is a firm family favourite and celebrates just how far some dads may go for their kids!


4. Marlin - Finding Nemo (2003)

Marlin and Nemo just keep swimming through the trials and tribulations of life with an unbreakable bond

When you're thinking of father figures you're probably not expecting to see Marlin's name crop up. But, when I was brainstorming the strongest father figures, I decided that he did indeed deserve a spot on this list. When Coral (Nemo's mum and Marlin's wife) is tragically killed at the beginning of the film, it is up to Marlin to step up and become both Mother and Father to his beloved son. Despite Nemo struggling to fit in because of his small fin and although Marlin feels extremely protective over Nemo, Marlin becomes the star of the show as nothing stops him from hunting down his clownfish son. Yes okay, Marlin may be just an animated fish, but the story represents much more than that and celebrates fathers who have to step up and provide everything for their kids.


5. Darth Vader - Star Wars (1977 - 1983)

Darth Vader may not be the most obvious of Father figures

So there is little doubt that Darth Vader definitely embodies all things evil in the Star Wars franchise, but little is ever mentioned of how he makes amends by laying down his life to save his son, Luke, and defeat Emperor Palpatine. Just like Marlin from Finding Nemo, Darth Vader is perhaps not one of those you'd expect to see on this list. But being the iconic bad guy he is, we couldn't leave him off!


6. John McClane - Die Hard (1988)

John McClane kicks ass in Die Hard, a firm family favourite

At the beginning of Die Hard, it is hard to imagine that John McClane will become dad of the century. Consumed by his work, John struggles to keep the peace at home and the relationship between himself and his family deteriorates. As Hans Gruber's gang threaten the McClane's family Christmas, John steps up and proves nothing was going to stop him to protect those most dear to him and for that, surely he deserves a spot on our list...


7. Mufasa - The Lion King (1994)

Mufasa is much more than a Father as he mentors Simba through life and death

There is very little doubt that Mufasa is anything less than a truly wise and noble king. Mufasa is also portrayed as an unbelievably loving dad as he takes time out to play fight with his son, Simba, whenever he gets the chance. Perhaps one of the most horrifying film moments of my childhood was when Mufasa is tragically killed, and it was clear that the loyal king was willing to lay his life down in order to save Simba. Despite Mufasa not being around anymore, he continuously guides Simba through his life as Simba grows to become a junior to his wonderful father. 


8. Henry Jones Sr - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Henry Jones Senior and Indiana Jones show that the bond between father and son is forever

A retro classic, we cannot get enough of the Indiana Jones franchise and this particular installment is no exception. Forming an iconic and comedic double act with his son, Indiana Jones, Henry Jones Senior had to be on this list. Although both Indiana and Henry drift apart and their relationship is anything but easy, a casual near-death experience helps to strengthen their connection. Although perhaps a tad over dramatic, this relationship just goes to show that no matter what trials and tribulations father and son may go through, their connection will always remain. 


9. Noah Levenstein - American Pie (1998 - 2012) 

Noah Levenstein proves that it's not only your dad who is incredibly embarrassing!

Okay so Noah Levenstein doesn't put his life on the line like Mufasa does for Simba, but is probably the most relatable and hilarious of all the father figures mentioned on this list. Jim's dad proves that although he is embarrassing with his inappropriate life advice, he is still willing to do everything to help his son find his place. Even though Noah's advice generally ends up being more embarrassing than helpful, Mr Levenstein has only good intentions and still sustains a strong bond with his son. Put it this way, not every dad would take their son to A&E to get their penis unglued from their hand without at least one remark.


10. Bryan Mills - Taken (2008)

Mills is a retired CIA operative and has some home issues with his ex-wife (as many of these protagonists do!). His daughter, Kim, goes on a trip to Paris but plans to see U2 perform around Europe, much to Bryan's dismay. Whilst Kim is in Paris, herself and her friend meet Peter who seems like a nice guy but actually turns out to be working for an Albanian trafficking ring (casual...). To cut a long story short, Mills has to step up in order to help find his beloved daughter and makes it very clear that he is willing to go to any length to do so. Proving that there is no love quite like a dad and daughter's, Bryan Mills brings Kim back safely and has earned more respect from his ex-wife and her partner. 

Bryan Mills will take on anybody to rescue his daughter, Kim, in the classic Taken film

Perhaps one of my favourite quotes:

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you." - Bryan Mills to Kim's kidnappers.

What Will You Be Doing Today for Dad?

So if you're taking Dad out for a slap up meal or cooking him a homemade feast, we want to know.

Perhaps we've left off your ultimate on screen father figure, or got it completely wrong with Darth Vader? Take 5 and write about all your thoughts on Father's Day in the comments below...

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