Top 10 Father’s Day Movies Both Classic and Modern

Cheaper by the Dozen

It’s Father’s Day, so rent a movie to watch with your dad. Here’s my list of my 5 favorite classic and 5 favorite contemporary Father’s Day movies.

Top 5 Classic Father’s Day Movies:

1. Cheaper By the Dozen

Released 1950

Directed by Walter Lang

Starring: Clifton Webb, Myna Loy, Jeanne Crain, Betty Lynn

This is the best Father’s Day movie of them all. It’s touching, funny, sad, and nostalgic. If you haven’t watched this earlier version, you’re in for a treat.

2. The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

Released 1963

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Starring: Glenn Ford, Shirley Jones, Ron Howard, Stella Stevens

After his mother dies, a young boy plays matchmaker for his father. This is a great movie, but don’t watch it unless you have tissues handy. It’s a real tearjerker.

3. Three Godfathers

Released 1948

Directed by John Ford

Starring: John Wayne, Harry Carey Jr., Pedro Armenderez

This is a wonderful classic John Wayne movie where Wayne is an outlaw running from the law. He comes across a baby in the desert and becomes the child’s adoptive father. He risks his life and his freedom to save the child.

4. Life With Father

Released 1947

Directed by Michael Curtiz

Starring: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor

Funny movie about the exasperations of fatherhood at the turn of the century. William Powell is a hoot in this, and Irene Dunne should have been a blond.

5. The Champ

Released 1979

Directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Starring: Rick Schroder, Jon Voight, Faye Dunaway, Jack Warden

This version of the classic movie about a father of a boxer is better than the original 1938 version. Keep tissues handy. This is a tearjerker.

5 Favorite Contemporary Father’s Day Movies:

1. Courageous

Released 2011

Directed by Alex Kendrick

Starring: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Kevin Downs, Ben Davies, Robert Amaya, and Renee Jewel

When tragic loss hits, police officers learn what it means to be real men and real fathers to their children.

2. Pursuit of Happyness

Released 2006

Directed by Gabriele Muccino

Starring: Will Smith

The best movie about a father and son and about the perseverance of the human spirit ever made. This is based on the true story of Chris Gardner who went from rags to riches to make a life for his son.

3. Frequency

Released 2000

Directed by Gregory Holbilt

Starring: Dennis Quaid, James Caviezel

A great thriller movie about a father and son with a little sci-fi and time travel mixed in.

4. The Incredibles

Released 2004

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter

Great kid’s movie about the struggles of raising a family when you’re a superhero.

5. Daddy Day Care

Released 2003

Directed by Steve Carr

Starring: Eddie Murphy

Comedy about a father who starts a day care.

Bonus: The Hardy Family Movies

Another series of father/son movies not mentioned in the top ten list are The Hardy Family Movies made in the 1930’s and 1940’s. They star Mickey Rooney and are well worth seeing.


Lewis Stone as Judge James K. Hardy

 Mickey Rooney as Andy Hardy

Cecilia Parker as Marian Hardy

 Fay Holden as Mrs. Emily Hardy

A couple of the movies also star Judy Garland as a family friend and love interest of Andy Hardy.

You’re Only Young Once (1937)

Judge Hardy’s Children (1938)

Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)

Out West with the Hardys (1938)

The Hardys Ride High (1939)

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)

Judge Hardy and Son (1939)

Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940)

Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary (1940)

Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941)

The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942)

Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942)

Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (1944)

Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946)

Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958)



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