Movie Poll: Who’s Your Pick for Best Movie Father

Fathers Day Movie Poll

View Results

To see a complete list of all movie polls, click here

  • roy levering

    Tracy was better as a father in “Look Who’s Coming To Dinner”.

  • SMG

    My BEST pick would’ve been William Powell as Clarence Day in ” Life With Father” !

  • Joe Glaeser

    How about Tom what’s his name for being the dad in the worst remake of a good movie, War of the Worlds? The movie was soooo bad it ALMOST made him look good.

  • Joe Glaeser

    OK, for real this time. I thought Nicolas Cage, in The Family Man, became a wonderful father in the movie. So much so that it was one of the reasons he wanted to have things stay as they were. A Dad with warmth and humor, a good Dad.

  • Ross Biondo

    When I saw Steve Martin’s name on the list,
    I thought it would be for Parenthood. He gets my
    vote for that movie. It’s one of my favorite comedy/drama father movies. Ron Howard directed a great cast , including Jason Robarts as Martin’s dad. It always seems to be on one or more cable channels during Father’s Day weekend, and I look forward to rewatching it.

  • Pat

    Hey, how about Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man? Also Jim Corbet in Ramona and Bezzeus?

  • Bobby T

    what about the father in “It’s a wonderful life”?

  • Ellen Badders

    Atticus Finch(Gregory Peck) from To Kill a Mockinbird tops my list. William Powell from Life with Father is a close second. For pure entertainment value, I pick Stanley Holloway as Alfred P Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

  • Jim C

    What about Pa Kettle?

  • Gary Vidmar

    Gene Wilder in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

  • ann

    Edward G. Robinson in Our Vines Have Tender Grapes

  • version

    Id’ say many were missing from the list. Peter Falk in the in-laws; Henry Fonda – Yours,Mine and ours; Sean Connery in the Family Business & Last Crusade & the Rock; Father Goose; Bob Hope from the 7 Foys.

    Anthony Hopkins in the Legends of the Fall.

  • version

    Oh – I almost forgot Capt Von Trapp!

  • Dennis P. Harrington

    Apart from the public-domain Love Laughs at…, only one of the Andy Hardy series has been issued in dvd. Isn’t it time for a set?

  • Wayne Hunt

    my favorite Dad was not in the poll. Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah. The civil war movie about a father going to collect his son from being mistakenly taken by the Union army.

  • Rob in L.A.

    Gomez Addams!

  • John mulrenin

    Agree with SMG—–William Powell was priceless in “Life With Father”!!

  • Tallywhacker

    Dads don’t get much better than Christian Bale in “3:10 to Yuma.” Total self-sacrifice, instant poverty relief and a family legacy all in one neat package.

  • Kai Ferano

    As soon as I read the question, I immediately thought of Sam Elliott in the delightful Christmas movie, “Prancer.” He portrays the faux-cranky, protective, loving father of eight-year-old Rebecca Harrell. This movie came out in 1989 and also featured Cloris Leachman and Abe Vigoda.

  • Rita

    Some hard choices to make here but I went with Lewis Stone. My all-time favorite dad would have been Percy Kilbride in the Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

  • David

    Percy Kilbride is entertaining but I would go with Clifton Webb #1 (Cheaper by the Dozen), Henry Fonda #2 (Yours, Mine and Ours) and then William Powell #3 (Life with Father).


    Harry Shannon(Played everyones father from Kanes dad in Citzen Kane to Elvis Presleys dad in Wild In The Country.

  • sugarpussoshea

    Of all the sauve, debonaire and devil may care parts Cary grant played, his characters as a dad is my choice. Okay, he didn’t always get it right at first – but eventually he did and the movie ended with tears in my eyes for Penny Serenade and Room for one more. He did pretty well for himself as well as his kids in Houseboat and came around most reluctantly in Father Goose.

  • Rick Hirsch

    The rather endearing fatherly qualities that Sarah Connor documents in T2 about (“would-be” fathers) and her son’s (John) subsequnt bonding to such qualities really impressed me. It was either good script writing or an intentioanl sub-lot that gave this sci-fi flick some real pathos.

  • Rich

    I saw a movie on TCM quite awhile back about a family that runs a resort. A memorable scene was a fireworks mishap. The father in that was great, any help with the name of the movie?

  • RogerZ

    Tough choices here. What about Leon Ames in Meet Me In St. Louis ?

  • Jennifer

    Darren McGavin as Ralphie’s dad (The Old Man) in A Christmas Story.

  • Angela

    I agree with SugarPussOshea, Cary Grant’s father roles were touching. Who wouldn’t cry when he dances with young Jane at her first dance in “Room For One More”?
    Yes, it took a while and with leading lady coaches, he came through as a #1 Dad in my books.


    Mr. Peck gets my vote. Atticus was not only a great father, but also a great man.
    How about Dustin Hoffman in KRAMER VS KRAMER?

  • hiram grant

    Not on the list, but my vote goes to Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People.

  • Jack Fitzpatrick

    Sean Connery as Indiana Jones’ father.

  • lemchek

    I voted for Liam Neesen in Taken. Not only does he show concern and offers sage advice here’s a father who talks the talk and walks the walk. Don’t mess with daddys little girl!

    What about Don Vito in the Godfather?

  • Laura B.

    I was torn between Gregory Peck and Lewis Stone, but I went with Gregory Peck. Glad to see that they were ranked 1 & 2. I also agree that Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People should have been on the list.

  • Lord Belchmore

    Darren McGavin in Christmas Story. Shepherd trumps all. Flick lives!

  • version

    oh yeah great call – Darrin McGavin – his string of curses hung like blue cloud;

    And Marlon Brando – ‘Look what they’ve done to my boy’ How about Tom Hanks in Perdition –

    The Vacation movies were mentioned, Chevy was fun but how about the Quaid fella? “dad said I was best french Kisser in the 8th grade”

  • Bonnie

    Max von Sydow in “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. What a fabulous performance!! the film can be hard to take but I would recommend it just for the father character played by MvS.

  • thedon

    I would also like to place a vote for Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People. I’m happy to see others mention him.

  • stephen Farris

    Hey Brian, thanks for the Elvis input.
    How about Bing Russell in “ELVIS”, with {son} Kurt as Elvis.

  • stephen Farris

    That’s Bing as Elvis’ dad [Vernon]. Real father playing father to his own son.

  • Evie

    I have to agree with Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man as 2nd best father, next to Atticus. Kind of the Urban Depression era’s answer to the rural South’s version.

  • joewoodrow

    It’s counter-intuitive, but I keep thinking about the father that could-have-been… Dennis Quaid in “Frequency.”

  • lemchek

    Gregory Peck was a good man and lawyer in To Kill A Mockingbird but a better father in The Yearling.
    What about:
    Burl Ives as Big Daddy in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
    Ryan ONeall in Paper Moon
    Melvyn Douglas in I Never Sang For My Father

  • Roger Phillips

    The best father in a movie is Pierce Brosnan in “Evelyn”. This is a true story in 1950′s Ireland where the mother of three children walked out. The father had to temporarily put his children in orphanages but fought to the Irish Supreme Court to get them back. Pierce cries for his children and does a really emotional part in this wonderful and family movie.

  • Talynir

    How about Dennis Quaid or Brian Keith in either version of the Parent Trap?

  • Talynir

    Claude Rains in Four Daughters?

  • Mike Feeney

    Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is an excellent choice, but may I suggest Donald Crisp as head of the Morgan family in How Green Was My Valley and his other fatherly roles over the years?

  • Rufnek

    There are many better alternatives to the more recent father roles that were left out. For instance, Fredric March portraying fathers in “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Death of a Salesman,” and particularly as Dan Hillard in “The Desperate Hours.”

    DeNiro did a great turn as a working father proud of his ability to provide for his family in “A Bronx Tale.” I mean, how many dads would have the moxey to go into a mob hangout and tell gangster Sonny LoSpecchio to leave his son alone?

    Personally, I’ve always liked Robert Duvall’s portrayal of Lt. Col. “Bull” Meechum in “The Great Santini,” giving us the realistic image of a certain kind of father with all his faults and all of his virtues. Too rough on a son who he loves, but brave enough to give his life riding his malfunctioning fighter to the ground to save lives in a nearby neighborhood.

  • C Robinson

    I voted for Peck in To Kill… but he was also an excellent choice for his role in The Yearling.

  • Rufnek

    Also must mention Edward G. Robinson’s great roles as fathers in some of the most dysfunctional families on film: The war profiteer responsible for his own son’s death and his partner’s imprisonment in “All My Sons;” the dishonest banker who uses his 4 sons and turns them against each other in “House of Strangers,” winning a Cannes award for his role (later played by Spencer Tracy in a 1954) remake as a Western, “Broken Lance”); and the suffering Jewish businessman father of “bum” Frank Sinatra in the very comic “A Hole in the Head.”

  • Rufnek

    Also must mention Edward G. Robinson’s great roles as fathers in some of the most dysfunctional families on film: The war profiteer responsible for his own son’s death and his partner’s imprisonment in “All My Sons;” the dishonest banker who uses his 4 sons and turns them against each other in “House of Strangers,” winning a Cannes award for his role (later played by Spencer Tracy in a 1954 remake as a Western, “Broken Lance”); and the suffering Jewish businessman father of “bum” Frank Sinatra in the very comic “A Hole in the Head.”


    How about praise for the GRAND fathers? One in
    particular is Lionel Barrymore in “You can’t take
    it with you”. Unusual, for sure – you had to be,
    with his mixed up family under one roof!! Kudos!!

  • C Robinson

    Oh, I almost forgot about Will Smith’s protrayal of Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happiness.

  • Arnold

    Edward G. Robinson was the Brother of Frank Sinatra in “A Hole in the Head”, not a Father. But still a good choice as a father figure!

  • Andrew

    How about the Oscar winning performance of Burl Ives as Rufus Hannassey, the rough but, sesitive
    father in “The Big Country”.

  • Richard Finn

    Lots of great fathers. I don’t recall the actor’s name, but he played the father in the movie “Meet Me in St Louis”. He gives up a great promotion which would require a move so the family can remain in St. Louis.

  • Martin Stumacher

    Without a doubt, Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. He stood high above on the screen and in real life. Fredric March would be my second favorite for “The Best Years of Our Lives”.

  • Chris A.

    Pa Kettle, was one of the greatest.

  • Ryan

    Claude Raines in Mr. Skeffington and Herbert Marshall in The Little Foxes – both of them the antitheses to the self-center mothers in each film (excellently portrayed by Bette Davis in both).
    The most tender, tear-jerking, and real performance of all has to be Edward G Robinson in Our Vines Have Tender Grapes.

  • Cynthia LaRochelle

    Went with Atticus also,,, but Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah, was next in line. I agree Wayne Hunt.

  • Peter Epstein

    I would agree with those who mentioned Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People and Samuel S. Hinds as Peter Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life.