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Father's Day: Best Classic Movies about Father

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published May 13, 22, updated Feb 29, 24

Dads play a large role in our lives, but they are sometimes underappreciated for all the things they have done for us. Even so, every once in a while we should spend some quality time with our dads and reminisce on all the great things we have done together. For example, it can be as touching as writing a creative father's day card, or as hilarious as sharing jokes with father. In addition, enjoying a movie about a relationship between a father and his children with your dad can be a great way to spend this Father’s Day.

But when it comes down to actually finding the best movies for Father's Day in this regard, you can face quite a lot of challenges. We’ve come up with some of the best Father’s Day movies that explore the complex bond between fathers and their children.

Part 1: 17 Best Father’s Day Movies That Will Burst You into Tears

1. Dangal

Release date: 21. December 2016

IMDB Rating: 8.4/10

Dangal is a biographical sports drama that tells the story of an Indian wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who trained his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become world-renown wrestlers.

Mahavir was an armature wrestler, who at one point was a national champion in the Pahlawan style of Indian wrestling, but he eventually had to give up the sport and find a full-time job. After abandoning his dreams he pledged that his children will accomplish what he couldn’t. He starts coaching Geeta and Babita using unorthodox methods that were met with criticism by the entire community.

The girls are selected to participate in the Commonwealth Games, and they continue their training at the National Sports Academy. Unhappy with the new coach’s approach girls turn to their father once again which eventually leads them to win the tournament and become the first Indian wrestlers to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth games.

Favorite quote: If you win the silver, sooner or later people will forget you. But if you win gold, you will become an example. And examples are given, not forgotten.

favorite quotes from dangal

2. The Pursuit of Happyness

Release date: 15. December 2006

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

The growing financial issues create marital problems for Chris Gardner, a San Francisco-based salesman who invested his entire life savings into portable bone density scanners. However, Chris is having trouble selling these scanners, and his wife Linda decides to head over to New York in hopes of landing a better job. She leaves their son Christopher Jr with his dad, who continues to struggle financially.

Chris manages to lend an unpaid six-month internship, and during this time he and his son are forced to stay at homeless shelters. His hard work finally pays off, when he is offered a job at the company which resolves Chris’ financial struggles and helps him to get his life back on track. The Pursuit of Happiness is a movie about a loving father who strives to do better in order to secure a good life for his son.

Favorite quote: Don't ever let someone tell you, you can't do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it.

quotes from the pursuit of hppyness

3. Cinema Paradiso

Release date: 23.February 1990

IMDB Rating: 8.5/10

Written and directed by one of the best European film directors of our era, Giuseppe Tornatore, Cinema Paradiso is a filmmaker’s coming of age story. A famous film director Salvatore Di Vita finds out one evening that his childhood friend Alfredo has died, which brings up old memories.

Salvatore discovered his love for movies at an early age, which led him to become a friend with the projectionist of the local Cinema Paradiso. He saves Alfredo’s life by rescuing him from the burning cinema, which further strengthens the bond between much older projectionists and young Salvatore. After the cinema is rebuilt, Salvatore becomes the new projectionist, because Alfredo lost his eyesight in the fire, and nobody else in the town knew how to operate a projector. Cinema Paradiso is a story of an unlikely friendship between a blind projectionist and a child who fell in love with the magic of motion pictures.

Favorite quote: ‘…You're young and the world is yours. I'm old. I don't want to hear you talk anymore. I want to hear others talking about you. Don't come back. Don't think about us. Don't look back. Don't write. Don't give in to nostalgia. Forget us all...’

4. La Vita é Bella (Life is Beautiful)

Release date: 12.February 1999

IMDB Rating: 8.6/10

This is probably one of the funniest movies about the II World War ever made, that rightfully deserved all three Oscars it won. Roberto Benigni who co-wrote the script with Vincenzo Cerami delivers an emotionally charged performance of a father who wants to protect his son from the horrors of the war. It’s a movie about the holocaust, but it does show how a father wants to protect his son from everything bad that is happening at that particular time. It really shows fatherly love taken to an entirely new level, and that’s what makes Life is Beautiful so interesting and exciting.

Set in Arezzo, Tuscany the story follows a young Jewish man who falls in love with a girl named Dora. The couple gets married, opens a book store, and gets a son Giosuè just before the war breaks out. Their entire family is seized and sent to a concentration camp, where Guido persuades his son that they are actually participating in a game. He promises him a tank and manages to make everything look like a game until the very end when he is murdered by one of the guards. La Vita é Bella is a masterpiece that has secured its place in the history of cinema as one of the best war movies ever made.

Favorite quote: You can lose all your points for any one of three things. One: If you cry. Two: If you ask to see your mother. Three: If you're hungry and ask for a snack! Forget it!’

5. Big Daddy

Release date: 25.June 1999

IMDB Rating: 6.4/10

This is one of the movies that launched Adam Sandler to stardom, as it was a major box office hit, and it is still one of the most successful movies of Sandler’s career. A rather innocent series of events leads Sonny Koufax, the character portrayed by Sandler, to adopt a child and prove to his girlfriend Vanessa that he can act like a grown-up. 

Koufax is a 32-year old law school graduate who refuses to take the bar exam and become a lawyer. Instead, he lives off the money he won in a lawsuit, while avoiding responsibilities. He turns his life around one morning when he finds a five-year-old boy in his apartment and realizes that he need to take care of him. Over time, Sonny becomes fond of Julian and goes through a transformation in order to take legal custody of the boy. His life is forever changed by Julian and Sonny ends up finding a new purpose in life.

The favorite quote: ‘Having a kid is great…as long as his eyes are closed and he’s not moving or speaking.’

6. Taken

Release date: 30. January 2009

IMDB Rating: 7.8/10

Taken is an absolute treat for action-movie fans who enjoy car chases, martial arts, and explosions. Brian Mills is a retired CIA agent who moved to California in order to be able to see his daughter Kim more often. Soon after Kim leaves for Paris with her friend Amanda, where they encounter members of the Albanian mafia. Amanda accidentally reveals that the girls are alone and the gang members decide to kidnap the girls.

The last person Kim talks to before she is kidnaped is her dad, who quickly realizes what is about to happen. After the kidnappers ask him for ransom, he goes on a quest to rescue the girls from being sold as sex slaves. Taken is a dynamic movie that shows a father is ready to risk his own life to keep his daughter safe. Liam Neeson delivers a remarkable performance is this action-filled thriller and takes you on an emotional roller-coaster.

Favorite quote: I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're 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 will 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.’

7. Road to Perdition

Release date: 12. July 2002

IMDB Rating: 7.7/10

Road To Perdition shows that being a son can be challenging and when your child’s life is at stake, you have to do all in your power in order to win. It’s a life-changing story for sure, one that does deserve your time and attention.

Sam Mendes has directed several masterpieces during his career such as American Beauty and recently released war movie 1917. Road to Perdition is his second feature film that takes place during the Depression Era in the United States. The movie tells the story of Mike Sullivan and Connor Rooney are biological and adopted sons of Irish mob boss John Rooney.

Mike lost his parents as a child and he was raised by John Rooney who favors him to his own son. Filled with jealousy Connor orders Mike’s execution who manages to kill the people who were sent to kill him, but Connor shoots Sullivan’s wife before going into hiding. The superstar cast features Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Daniel Craig, Paul Newman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh among others. This is a brilliant period piece that tells the story about betrayal and love in an unconventional Irish family that makes its living through organized crime.

Favorite quote: I saw then that my father's only fear was that his son would follow the same road. And that was the last time I ever held a gun.’

8. I am Sam

Release date: 25. January 2002

IMDB: 7.7/10

An intellectually impaired father struggles to keep custody of his daughter as he is deemed unfit to be a parent by the authorities. Sam Dawson, portrayed by Sean Penn, has to take care of his daughter Lucy after her mother abandoned her and he does so with the help of his neighbor Annie.

After facing the possibility to lose the custody over Lucy, Sam hires a lawyer Rita Harrison who takes the case pro bono and tries to help Sam win the legal battle. Lucy is taken into a foster home, but she continues coming back to Sam without the consent of her foster parents. Eventually, they realize that Sam is a better parent for Lucy and they decide to allow him to keep the custody and help him build a better future for Lucy. I am Sam is a beautiful story about father’s love for his daughter that will remind you just how much dads care for their children.

Favorite quote: ‘You don’t know what it is when you try, and you try, and you try and you never get there.’

9. Finding Nemo

Release date: 30 May 2003

IMDB Rating: 8.1/10

Seeing the interaction between a clownfish dad and his son is amazing. Despite being an animation destined for kids, Finding Nemo has all the ingredients of a great movie. The connection between father and son feels real, plus there are many other things at stake. There’s a massive emotion and the entire experience is nothing short of impressive, so you should totally see this movie with your dad.

Finding Nemo is an entertaining story about an overprotective father Marlin who lost his wife Coral and all of their eggs in a barracuda attack. All he has left is his son Nemo who is a curious clownfish that likes to explore around the Great Barrier Reef. On his first day of school, Nemo is embarrassed by his father in front of the entire class, and he sneaks out towards a speedboat where he is captured by scuba divers.

Marlin realizes what happened too late, but he still starts searching for his son. He meets Dory a Blue Tang that suffers from short term memory loss who becomes his only companion on the quest to find Nemo. After many ordeals, Marlin finally manages to rescue his son from becoming an aquarium fish and they return to the Great Barrier Reef safely. Finding Nemo is probably one of the funniest movies you can watch on Father’s Day.

Favorite quote: ‘When life gets you down, you know what you have to do? Just keep swimming.

10. Big Fish

Release date: 9. January 2004

IMDB Rating: 8.0/10

If you are a fan of Tim Burton’s movies you shouldn’t miss his 2004 drama Big Fish that takes you into a phantasmagorical world that is so characteristic of Burton’s films. Albert Finney plays Ed Bloom Senior who has been telling unbelievable stories as if they were true his entire life. His son, Will finds these stories hard to believe as they include witches, giants, and werewolves.

Ed tells his life story at his deathbed and takes the audience on a remarkable adventure, while his son investigates their validity. To his surprise, Will finds out that everything his father was saying was true and returns in time to visit him at the hospital. All of the characters from Ed’s stories show up at his funeral, which leaves his son shocked. Big Fish is a fairytale with a strong message about facing the mortality of our parents and preserving their memories as our own.

Favorite quote: When a man’s stories are remembered, then he is immortal.

11. O Brother, Where Art Thou

Seeing how a father wants to reunite with his daughters will make your heart melt. It’s certainly the ingredient of a very good movie and the end results are nothing short of astonishing to say the least.

12. Boyz in the Hood


Sure, this is a different movie when compared to the others that you can find out there, but it does show that even in a NY gang you can care about your son. Boyz in the Hood is a great movie nonetheless and it does feature some great moments.

13. Kramer Vs. Kramer


The relationship of a couple and how that affects their son in the long run is one of the main ideas here. Plus, Kramer Vs. Kramer really manages to step up the plate when it comes to being a great action and thriller movie as well.

14. The Godfather

Despite being a movie about the mob, it’s also a movie about a father that is indeed very good with his son. It’s a wonderful story with some interesting premises and the action is stellar. That alone makes this movie well worth your time investment.

15. Kick-Ass


Some kids want to become a superhero because of their relationship with their dad. Kick-Ass does explore that quite a lot and you can easily see why we recommend this movie!

16 Gladiator

Having your child and wife die leaves you with anger. It might be a grim movie at times, but Gladiator is also a masterpiece that you should watch with your father whenever you can. It’s a solid action movie too, especially when it comes to the end.

17. Batman Begins


The beginning of the new Batman trilogy is about fatherhood as well. Seeing Alfred taking the role of a father for Bruce is amazing and it does set the pieces for some interesting and fun action as well.

As you can see, there are tons of movies that you can watch with your father. It all comes down to your personal preference but one thing is certain, all of these are some impressive movies that you do not want to miss. Just give them a try and you will not regret it! 

Part 2: Make a Mashup Video from Father’s Day Movies with Filmora 

If you like some of the movies and want to create a mashup video with creativity, I highly recommend you to try Wondershare Filmora, an easy to use yet powerful enough video editing software available on both Windows and Mac.

Download Filmora9 Win Version Download Filmora9 Mac Version

Besides making mashup videos, you can also make a video with your family's happy times and memories in Filmora. Download the free trial version and start it today.


Watching any of these movies on Father’s Day with your dada is going to make that day a little bit more memorable. The stories about a father’s love for their children never go out of fashion, and there are so many great movies that cover this topic. Which of the best Father’s Day movies about fathers and their children are you going to watch with your dad? Leave a comment and let us know.

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