In honor of Eddie Murphy’s new release, “Imagine That,” Father’s Day, and the two best dads I know, my own dear father and my darling husband, here’s a list of great movie dads and daughters.
1. A Little Princess I love all the film versions of the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett about the girl who is mistreated by her school headmistress after the death of her adored father but holds on to her dignity, her integrity, and her imagination. The BBC miniseries is the most authentic, but the 1995 film directed by Alfonso CuarÃ³n is beautifully done.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is not just a dedicated lawyer and a crack shot, he is one of the best fathers in movie history. Listen to the way he gently explains the importance of courtesy to his daughter and the look on his face as he watches her to make sure she understands.
3. “Our Vines Have Tender Grapes” Edward G. Robinson took a break from his usual tough guy roles to play the loving father of a little girl (Margaret O’Brien) in this gentle story of a Norwegian immigrant farm family living in Wisconsin. The movie is based on a book inspired by the childhood of the author’s wife.
4. Father of the Bride The original has Spencer Tracy as the disconcerted, sometimes choleric, but always devoted father of radiant bride-to-be Elizabeth Taylor.
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn The mother is the strong one in this story, based on the life of author Betty Smith, but her most precious relationship is with her father (Oscar-winner James Dunn), a weak man in some ways but one whose belief in his daughter never wavered.
6. Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls Tyler Perry’s best film is this story about a loving father (Idris Elba) fighting for custody of his daughters.
7. Paper Moon Real-life father-daughter team Ryan and Tatum O’Neal played two con artists in this classic Depression-era comedy/drama.
8. Love in the Afternoon Grown-up daughters need their fathers, too, and in this Parisian romance Audrey Hepburn plays the daughter of a private investigator (Maurice Chevalier), who knows more than he would like to about the dangers of romantic entanglements.
9. Monsoon Wedding At the heart of a multiple-storyline saga centering on a big wedding, the bride’s father (Naseeruddin Shah) must make a painful decision.
10. The Game Plan Duane “The Rock” Johnson plays a pro quarterback who finds out that he is the father of a little girl and that he has a lot to learn about little girls, about parenting, and about what really matters.