Thursday Movie Picks #42: All in the Family Edition – Father-Daughter Relationships (Biologically Related)

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy Thursday everyone! This is another entry to the weekly Thursday Movie Picks that’s spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog. Here’s the gist:

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. Every last Thursday for the first nine months of 2015 I’m running the All in the Family Edition and today the theme is… 

Father/Daughter Relationships (Biologically Related)

I actually don’t really have much experience or memories of father/daughter relationship, as my dad was never really part of my life after my parents split when I was three. I was raised by my late mom and strong-willed grandma, the latter was a successful businesswoman revered by her family and peers. So in a way she’s as close to a father to me given her strict rules and occasional anger outbursts that used to petrify me but now that I look back, I find it kind of endearing.

Despite not having a biological father present in my life, I certainly appreciate father/daughter relationships in movies, here are three that left a big impression to me:

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

ToKillAMockingbirdI didn’t get to see this film until my intense Gregory Peck obsession days, but it’s truly the moment when the actor became the character. Talk about a dream dad. No matter how busy he is, town attorney Atticus Finch always have time for his kids and he genuinely enjoys their company — he doesn’t see time for family as a chore.

I remember tearing up a few times as I watched Atticus interacting with his vivacious young daughter Scout (Mary Badham), displaying his affection and sharing his wisdom in the most natural way. It’s obvious that Scout needs her dad just like any young kid needs their father, but I think those moments are crucial for Atticus too, beyond just the familial bond. Being with his young daughter must’ve reminded Atticus of the purity and goodness of life amidst the darkness and brutality he faces every day in his job. I live vicariously through Scout in her moments with her beloved dad, and I certainly take his wise words to heart…

“…you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them…”

Apparently the father/daughter bond between Peck and Badham carried over beyond the film set. The two became close in real life and kept in contact for the rest of their lives, Peck always called her Scout.

Regarding Henry (1991)


People remember Harrison Ford mostly for his iconic action roles as Han Solo or Indiana Jones and granted he’s fantastic in those roles. But I absolutely love his performance in Regarding Henry, which is a wonderful story about second chances. One of my favorite moments in the film are the ones Henry spend with his young daughter Rachel (Mikki Allen).

In his *old* life prior to the event that transformed him, Henry barely had time for his family. Suffice to say he didn’t really know his one and only daughter, he’s too busy being a hot shot lawyer and having affairs with his secretary. Interesting that Henry’s also a lawyer like Atticus but clearly he’s got his priorities out of whack. But he’s given a second chance to make it right and his daughter helps him do that. I LOVE all the scenes where she teaches him the most basic things like reading, as he’s back to being a kid again, literally. Ford and Allen have a wonderful chemistry, their scenes together are endearingly funny and so full of heart.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Whenever one hears Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, naturally we think of Elizabeth & Darcy’s relationship. But in Joe Wright’s film adaptation, I love the depiction of Lizzie (Keira Knightley) and her dad Mr. Bennett (Donald Sutherland). Clearly she’s her father’s favorite and he understood her much better than her mother ever did.

I LOVE this quote when Lizzie’s mother insisted that she married Mr. Collins…

Mr. Bennet: Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins… And I will never see you again if you do.

The scene towards the end when Lizzy asked her father’s permission to marry Darcy is also wonderful…

Lizzy: He and I are so similar.. we’ve been so stubborn

Mr. Bennett: You really do love him don’t you?

Lizzy: Very much

Mr. Bennett: I can’t believe that anyone can deserve you.  It seems I am overruled.  So, I hardly give my consent. I could have not parted with you my Lizzy to anyone less worthy.

Veteran actor Sutherland portrayed Mr. Bennett so perfectly, with such calming wisdom and compassion. The scene of him crying is so utterly moving, once again the chemistry of the cast work beautifully here.

What do you think of my picks? Have you seen any of these films?


43 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks #42: All in the Family Edition – Father-Daughter Relationships (Biologically Related)

  1. I love that you chose Pride and Prejudice!

    I also love that you found a way to apply this despite your father not stepping up. Your mother and grandmother sound like strong people.

    1. Hi Drew! For some reason the final scene of P&P just popped in my head. Yeah, I wouldn’t trade my experience growing up w/ my mom/grandma for anything in the world, they made me who I am today.

  2. YAY I’m not the only one who picked To Kill A Mockingbird! Such a good movie, and such a great portrayal of a father-daughter relationship. I think we all want Atticus for a father.

  3. I haven’t seen To Kill a Mockingbird in a long, long time but do remember the father-daughter relationship being quite a touching one.

    The others, I have yet to see.

    1. Hi Myerla, I haven’t seen ‘Mockingbird’ in a while either but that father/daughter relationship is one I’ll never forget.

  4. Of course you had to pick To Kill A Mockingbird! It’s an epic film. I didn’t remember the father and daughter relationship in Pride and Prejudice, only the love story. Lol.

    1. Hi Andina! Yes it’s one that came to mind right away. I figure most people only remember the romance in P&P, but I think the father/daughter story is just as compelling.

  5. Agree on To Kill a Mockingbird and the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice (especially the ending scene you quoted).

    I’d suggest Fly Away Home (1996) as another movie with a great father/daughter relationship. Although not the centerpiece of the film, Whale Rider (2002) has a good father/daughter scene.

  6. Those are great choices although I’m very mixed on Regarding Henry as it’s kind of cheesy and sappy at times though I did enjoy those scenes of Ford with Allen.

    1. Yeah, there are some sappy moments in Regarding Henry but there are still a lot of things I enjoyed there, one of my fave roles of Harrison Ford actually.

  7. Wonderful choices! I thought I’d see Mockingbird in more lists but only Dan had it besides you. As I said there I really like it but don’t love it the way many do although it’s extremely well done I was never swept away by it. Love the anecdote about Gregory and Mary Badham.

    Regarding Henry is middling, mostly because of its rather ridiculous premise, but the cast is doing their best with the material and Ford and the young actress playing his daughter have a nice chemistry.

    P&P is my favorite of your picks overall and specifically because of the relationship between Lizzy and her father. Knightly and Sutherland play it so brilliantly and yet still no nomination for him. I don’t understand why after all these years and so many wonderful performances he’s still unacknowledged but I guess the same question could be asked about many great performers, Myrna Loy, Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, Alan Rickman, etc, etc.

    1. Hi Joel! I really thought it’d be a popular pick but I knew I had to include it in mine.

      I hear ya about Regarding Henry, not perfect but the father/daughter relationship did leave an impression to me.

      Glad to hear you like P&P, I figure most people didn’t think of it as the Lizzie/Darcy romance is so popular. Yeah it’s too bad Sutherland’s performance was grossly overlooked.

    1. Thanks Fernando! I saw someone included Paper Moon on this list, so I definitely need to check that out based on your recommendation.

  8. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Great, well defined and defended choices!

    ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ rightfully holds the top tier. And ‘Regarding Henry’ is surprisingly good. Not just for Harrison Ford’s range. Nut, father/daughter time is special for both in so many ways.

    I’d add Roy Scheider’s director/choreographer, Joe Gideon and his ore teen daughter, Michelle (Erzsebet Foldi) from Bob Fosse’s semi autobiographic ‘All That Jazz’ to the mix.

    Joe can’t lie to his daughter, who has him pegged from the start. Young Ms,Foldi possessed great talent, timing and moves. Easily keeping up with Mr. Schieder’s Joe. Divorced mother, Victoria (Deborah Geffner) and dad’s present girlfriend, Kate Jagger (Ann Reinking), I’m surprised hat she didn’t catch fire after the film!

    1. Hello Kevin! Glad you like my picks. It seems that Peck convincingly played dads on film.

      I haven’t seen ‘All That Jazz’ yet but from your description, seems that I should see it soon!

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth:

        Go to You Tube and search “All That Jazz Everything Old Is New Again”. A great, upbeat little clip and dance number.

        Mr. Peck could play anything convincingly on film. And excels as Atticus Finch!

  9. Pingback: APRIL Viewing Recap, Movie of the Month + Looking forward to 2015 Wizard World Minneapolis! |

  10. Regarding Henry is a lovely film and underlined how versatile an actor Ford is. It’s been years since I’ve even thought of this movie, though. Thanks for reminding me Ruth!

  11. Irene McKenna

    To Kill a Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice are perfect! I don’t remember Regarding Henry well, but I do remember that I liked it.

    1. Hey Josh! I think Regarding Henry is worth checking out, not only are Ford and Allen are great, but Annette Bening as his wife is terrific as well.

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