The Most Inspiring Fictional Movie Dads

Nope.  It’s not Father’s day or anything like that.  However, since we’re still close to the holidays I figured I would tie in the theme of “inspiration” to make all of you feel all warm and cozy inside.

And since It’s a Wonderful Life is on my mind I wanted to focus on a subject we should all find dear:  inspiring fathers.   Unfortunately we don’t have too many of these guys out there and it’s nice when movies portray them so eloquently.

Here’s a look at the most inspiring fictional movie dads….

Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird


As a man who takes the moral high ground even when it leaves him largely outnumbered, Atticus was a role model to his children and bestowed lessons of equality, courage, and empathy during the most critical points in their development.  More importantly, he was able to do it while still encouraging their individuality and giving them the freedom to make up their own minds.  P.S. he took on an entire town of racists.  Pretty impressive.

Jack Butler – Mr. Mom


When Jack Butler decided to be the stay at home father while his wife went to work, he thought it would be an easy walk in the park.  However, as he soon realized there is more to raising your kids during the day than just making a peanut butter sandwich and tossing around some juice boxes. In a way, Jack made a very selfless sacrifice because even in today’s politically correct world, men who stay at home are often poked fun at and thought to be less manly.  Not the case in this movie.  From woobies to corporate fun races, he’s getting his fill of work as a dad.

George Bailey – It’s a Wonderful Life


In one of the most iconic roles in film history, Jimmy Stewart portrays George Baily – a man who has always had larger than life dreams and ambitions despite being raised in a small town.  However, time and time again he ends up choosing self-sacrifice for the well-being of his family, friends and his town over his own desires.  While this view nearly destroys him (at the hands of his one rival, the evil banker Mr. Potter),  it’s through this close call with destruction and the realization of what the world would be like had he never been born that he comes to realize the value of his life and what he has meant to his family and friends.

John Quincey Archibald – John Q


John Archibald’s son meant the world to him, and when he collapsed during a Little League baseball game, John did not have the insurance to cover a forthcoming heart transplant. Some men would give up, but not John Q.  He took the hospital hostage until someone would listen to him.  But it wasn’t a crime he committed rather an uproar from media and even the doctors would eventually attend to his son.  Don’t give up folks.  Don’t ever give up.

Guido Orefice – Life is Beautiful


Guido Orefice is one of the rare movie fathers that was genuinely good from start to finish. Even through the atrocities of the Holocaust, he found a way to keep a smile on his young boy’s face.  This was one of the most creative and light hearted depictions of the Holocaust even though audiences knew how serious the situation truly was.  No matter the cost, he was committed to psychologically and physically protecting his son during one of the most horrifying events in human history.

Captain Von Trapp – The Sound of Music


During WWII he walks a tightrope of diplomacy with the Germans. He falls in love with the governess he hired (Julie Andrews) to look after his children, and when they return from their honeymoon they find that Austria has been annexed by the Nazis. They want him to serve in the German navy, but while he has been trying to get along, he is vehemently opposed to Nazi ideals. He forms a plan to escape with his entire family and plans to leave everything behind despite the fact he is a wealthy Baron.  Bottom line?  To give up your entire life for your family is something that deserves commends.


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  1. Alex January 14, 2011
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