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Movies for the Dads

BattleofBritain.jpgWell with Father's Day just passing us by Dads everywhere will be getting back into the swing of things after enjoying a day of pampering, or at least hiding in the garage. Dads are strange, they seem to have an unusual taste in jumpers, socks, music and movies. Even stranger is that the more years I put on, the more I start to agree with my Dad's taste!

My aging taste aside, my Father does like his movies, and he has a quite large collection of films on videotape as well as DVD. From old war films to new Sci-Fi, he's quite a movies fan. So as part of Father's Day I asked him what his favourite movies were, and why he liked them.

The question is what films are your Dad's favourite and why, or what did you buy him for this Father's Day for him to watch, and why do you think he'll like it?

So it's over to my Dad.

Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.  A story set in the 1950's of a bachelor of advanced years who meets up with an American woman who subsequently divorces her husband. Initially they have a marriage of convenience to allow her to stay in the UK, but when she develops terminal cancer, he realises that he loves her [Sorry Dad, I've removed some for possible other spoilers - Richard]. I enjoy Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of C S Lewis (writer and Professor at Cambridge) whose life is turned around and Debra Winger's portrayal of the American. I have to confess that I am also attracted to this film by the fact that the railway station scenes were filmed at my home town of Loughborough in the Midlands of England, a station I knew well when it was still used by mainline trains, and later in life when it became a part of the preserved steam railway, the Great Central Railway.

The Hunt for Red OctoberSean Connery who plays the part of Captain Ramius in this film is not really an actor for whom I have a great liking, but in this film, I felt that he was well suited to the part and played it well. The plot is set in the Cold War, and apart from some inaccuracy from a technical point of view it is a good thriller. Alec Baldwin is well cast as Jack Ryan - other films based on Tom Clancy's novels were made poorer by his not playing Jack Ryan.

Battle of Britain. A great favourite of mine. Having experienced the latter part of the War, although still a young child, I am conscious of the massive debt we owe to those who lost their lives. The casting of this film was well done, and if one watches carefully, one sees a much younger "Fred Elliot" from Coronation Street as an RAF Officer! Years ago, when both my sons were still at home, I took great delight in playing the stirring music from the film at loud volume, which perhaps caused them to leave the family nest hurriedly! [He still does, sometimes down the phone line! However I must admit it is good music, but not as good as the Dam Busters theme, Dad I thought you would have had this one in too! - Richard]

The Railway Children (1970). A story set in Yorkshire of a family displaced there in poor circumstances when the father was wrongly accused of selling secrets. Perhaps the minus aspect of this film is the occasional attempt to inject humour into what is a sad but in the end a happy film. I have watched the recent re-make of this film, but in my opinion, it was not as good.

The 39 Steps. I have three versions of this. The first is the 1935 black and white Alfred Hitchcock version starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. Although I always considered Robert Donat to be a poor actor, I enjoyed his performance in this film. The second version is the 1959 one starring Kenneth More, again an enjoyable film, although not quite as faithful to John Buchan's original plot and time. The third version is a video recording from the TV starring Robert Powell. I am not so keen on him as an actor, but this one (again an Alfred Hitchcock film) tried to be true to the original plot and time period. [I hate to tell you Dad, they are working on another version, luckily this is going nowhere at the moment - Richard]

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Having been a fan of the original Star Trek series on TV, I never took to the later series. This film has the original cast, and I like it particularly because it has an environmentally conscious plot. In this film, instead of facing alien creatures from other planets, Captain Kirk and his crew were faced with the task of returning to Earth three centuries earlier than their current time. The environmental aspect of this film is that before the 23rd century, whales had been wiped out by whaling, and to save Earth, they had to retrieve two whales and bring them back to the 23rd century.

So those are my Dad's choices, films he really loves and watches again and again, and I can attest to that. Personally I find that Star Trek film one of the worst in the series, and as my taste changes in life I hope that this is one thing that doesn't!

So go and ask your Dad, if you're a Dad yourself you won't have to, what films does he really love and why? It'll be interesting to see if we find a common theme running through the older Fathers out there, and hopefully it will bring some surprises out. I wonder, if you did buy him a movie, did he like it?



How do you keep coming up with such cool features?

Our dads sound alike.

And an interesting comment about ageing tastes. My collection is fast filling up with the likes of The Guns Of Navarone and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to name but a few. I certainly do see my tastes change.

Bought him the complete Sharpe's series. Sean Bean's performances are stellar. Movies unto themselves, I'd love to see one made for theatrical release.

If only Fathers Day were as simple for me as buying a DVD but I'm afraid my Dad rather lets the side down here not being a big fan of movies - if it's not golf, he's just not interested! Although when the topic of favourite films comes up, he always mentions the same two movies, both from the 60s: 'The Great Escape' and 'Oliver!'the musical, both movies he watches everytime they are shown on TV. However, I did once catch him watching 'Happy Gilmore' whilst channel-hopping on Sky, but that was probably due to the golf theme more a potential love for Adam Sandler movies!

It´s easy: ANY film with John Wayne in it.

Papa Spidey likes nothing better than Die Hard. ;o)

My dad's favorite film for all time is "The Godfather", he quotes from the film like almost always. He made me read the book when I was 18, and made sure I saw the video right after, and boy did I agree with his choice! So I guess this was his legacy to me as the film is also one of my all-time favorites.

Quotes such as: "Make him an offer he can't refuse", "What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you." "Never let anyone outside the family know what you're thinking", are just but a few of his favorites.

Then of course there's his James Bond movies, with "Her Majesty's Secret Service" as his best Bond film. Any Western with Clint Eastwood in it will certainly make him all gooey. After watching "Saving Private Ryan" with him in the cinema which he really enjoyed, he then encouraged us to watch "The Longest Day", which was his favorite war film, I dont know, as it didnt really do much for me when I saw it a few years later.

Speaking of "Shadowlands" Rich, I just saw that film quite recently and absolutely loved it! I was bawling like a baby, I thought Anthony Hopkins was just BRILLIANT. One of my favorite love stories.

I must say Mr. Brunton, (and with that I meant your dad Richard) you should do some guest writing for the Filmstalker sometime soon sir, and give your son here a run for his money! ;-)

Anything Disney. And if he doesn't like it he soon will.


Sounds about right.

Got to admit I agree with Mr Brunton Snr there, especially over Jack Ryan. Ford just didn't cut it for me as much as Baldwin, maybe Baldwin had more of an energectic edge to his attitude.

my dad hasn't been to watch a movie in years.

something about people ruining the experience.

and his favourite quote when watching a film on the tv. "whats this rubbish?". hhhmmmm, where do i get my moaning from then???

i don't think i have ever seen him sit through an entire film, no unless he is reading a book at the same time....


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