Er, in case you hadn’t realised, today is Father’s Day. If you’ve woken up in a panic because you completely, utterly, totally forgot (we’ve been there), or your planned breakfast for Dad has failed miserably (we’ve been there, too), worry not. We bet your dad would be happy if you just spent some quality time with him, whether that’s out fishing in Sai Kung, helping him fix up his old bicycle, or simply watching a movie or two in the evening. Here are seven films we recommend you tune into today to watch with dear old Dad.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
This movie would be required viewing even if it wasn’t Father’s Day. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is the third in a series which follows archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) as he journeys around the world rescuing valuable artefacts from villains. In this film, Jones reunites with his father, Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery), on a quest to find the Holy Grail, a cup which is rumoured to have once held Jesus’ blood. The dialogue between Indiana Jones and his dad will remind you of every father-son trip you’ve ever been on … except you’ve probably never had to fend off Nazis and centuries-old booby traps in holy temples.
The Lion King
The gold standard for animated films is also one of the greatest father-son films ever made. From the moment when Rafiki holds Simba up on Pride Rock and Mufasa looks on with … pride, to when Simba sees Mufasa in himself and accepts his royal identity, this film shows that a father’s love is so deep and abiding it transcends the ultimate distance of life and death.
A magical nanny who reforms naughty kids and their families? Sorry, but Mary Poppins isn’t on this list, despite being a fantastic movie; the movie is N anny McPhee, adapted from the Nurse Matilda series of books by Christianna Brand. Recently widowed undertaker Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has seven very naughty children, children he cannot bear to see. After a series of nannies are driven away by the children’s unruly and hostile behaviour, the mysterious Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) appears. With skill and not a little bit of magic, the nanny establishes order in the house, and ultimately in the harried father’s life.
The late Robin Williams has a treasure chest of a filmography (including an Oscar-winning turn in Good Will Hunting), but a film that remains close to many fans’ hearts is the 90s comedy classic Mrs Doubtfire, which featured Williams as a divorced father who wants to spend more time with his kids, even though his ex-wife would prefer him not to. Following the only logical course of action, he decides to dress up as a nanny, Mrs Euphegenia Doubtfire. The movie shows that a father’s love for his children knows no bounds, going so far as to do that unspeakable thing: put on a fake Scottish accent.
Cheaper by the Dozen
Not the original 1950 version, mind you, but the 2003 remake starring Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. While not the best film in either actor’s filmography, the movie gives you a sneak peek into the early careers of actors like Hilary Duff and Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki. The film concerns a couple (Martin and Hunt) whose TWELVE children rebel against their planned move to another city. Toilet humour and crass jokes abound, but if there’s one thing the film tells us is how a father’s love doesn’t, in fact, get cheaper by the dozen. Even if your children decide to smear their sister’s boyfriend’s underwear with ground beef, and sics the family dog on him.
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
Nothing screams father-son angst more than cutting off your kid’s hand and making them jump into the abyss of space. No, we’re not talking about a Shakespeare play gone horribly wrong; Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to the first film in the franchise, and follows the continuing journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he strives to discover his identity, and who his parents were. Unluckily for Dutch and German people, “Darth Vader” spoiled the twist way too early (vader means “father” in Dutch).
A Little Princess
This is a heart-wrenching story about a girl and her widower father, who disappears after leaving her at a New York boarding school and enlisting to fight in the first world war. Due to a mishap, the father (played by Liam Cunningham – you might know him better as the mighty Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones) is misidentified as dead and comes back to New York with amnesia, while the villainous principal Miss Minchin puts our heroine, Sarah Crewe (Liesel Matthews) to work mopping floors. Directed by Harry Potter and Gravity auteur Alfonso Cuarón, the movie is sweet without being sappy, and magical without being flighty; a timely reminder of the love every father has for his child, spanning continents and surpassing obstacles.