Every once in a awhile, I like to do something different with the little thing we call Trailer Park. Seeing as today is Father's Day (in the US, anyway), I figured we ought to take a look back at some of the great movie dads over the years -- dig up some old trailers and pay tribute to the man, the myth, the legend -- the Dad.
Like with real fathers, movie fathers come with a whole host of flaws. These aren't the perfect men by any means, but if there's one thing they all have in common, it's that they love their family. Sure, they may not understand why their kids refuse to be around them and constantly argue their decisions but, at the end of the day, everything always seems to work out ... unless your last name is Corleone.
What follows are the trailers for five films in which Dad is the hero ... or villain, depending on how you look at things. Personally, these are some of my favorite movie fathers. While they may not be the greatest of all time, I've found something inside each one of them to connect with on, ya know, one of them higher levels. We're celebrating Father's Day in this week's Trailer Park:
- The Godfather - Without a doubt one of the more memorable movie fathers of all time has to be Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone. Heck, it can't be easy growing up in a mafia family, what with all the criminal activity and such. However, Vito is a stand-up guy who will do anything he can to make sure there's food on the table at the end of each day. He goes out of his way to teach his children what he feels are the two most important things in life: Loyalty and respect. Ya gotta love a guy like that.
- National Lampoon's Vacation - If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to choose one movie father as my personal favorite of all time, chances are I'd throw out the name Clark W. Griswald. If there ever was a Dad that consistently screwed up everything he set out to accomplish, yet did so with a lot of heart, love and good intentions -- it's this Dad. From Wally World to Europe to Christmas with the family, there isn't an adventure too big for Clark to ruin with a smile.
- Father of the Bride (1950) - Nothing beats a father preparing to marry off his little girl. In the original version of Father of the Bride, Spencer Tracy plays a Dad trying his best to come to terms with the fact that his baby girl is moving on and growing up. Not only that, but there's this wedding that needs to take place. And weddings cost money. And Dad's hate things that cost money. While Tracy shines in the role, Steve Martin later re-visited the character for a remake in 1991 and did a fine job in capturing the absurd number of emotions that are born out of this situation.
- Life is Beautiful - In this touching and poignant film, Roberto Benigni plays a father who is shipped off to a concentration camp along with his young son. In order to protect his son from the terror of such a place, Dad conjures up a series of games and convinces his little boy that the whole experience is just one helluva fun time. Here we have the ultimate in fatherhood: Sacraficing what could potentially be your life so that your child keeps smiling.
- American Pie - Okay, so there are a ton of other great movie fathers out there and you want to know why, out of hundreds of films, did I pick American Pie? Well, not only did it help re-define the teen sex comedy, but American Pie also features, in my opinion, one of the greatest Dads of all time -- Eugene Levy as Jim's Dad. Here we have a man that's doing all he can to help teach his son about sex, even after he happens upon the boy sticking his private into, well, a pie. In the role, Levy manages to capture the awkwardness, compassion and determination that go into a father/son relationship, while churning out a hysterical and memorable performance. He's got my vote for father of the year.
Okay, now don't forget to share some of your favorite movie fathers. Inquiring minds want to know.