Father’s Day 2012: 7 moments from films that defined Fatherhood to me

Fatherhood used to be honored, venerated, respected. We even called God, “Our Father.” In the fifties, sixties, and early seventies, t.v. gave us images of wise, patient, intelligent Dads…..

This is the negative husband, rearing his ugly bald head into the fray, once again, and for no good purpose. Father’s Day is approaching, and I can’t help but gloat about it. Being a father is one of the very few positive things in my life. There is nothing short of knowing Christ that can compare with hearing your son call you “Dad.”

But those of you who know me best, or have followed this blog with extremely acute attention (and I know all of you revolve your lives around my blog) know that my own relationship with my father was…well…..less than positive.

With that warning/caviet, I’m going to write something just for fun. Hopefully, it won’t be quite as depressing as other things I’ve written.

So, without further ado….here are 7 moments from films that defined Fatherhood to me.

In reverse order.

7. Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind

Yeah, I know…everyone thinks of romance and burning Atlanta and Rhett carrying Scarlett up the stares for…..you know…..But I think of a heart-broken Rhett, who has lost the only child produced out of his union with the only woman he has ever really loved, and the grief that nearly shatters this rogue who we thought was so strong and heartless……

Times sure have changed….

Gone With the Wind-Bonnie’s Death 1939

6. Sean Connery teaching the Highlander

Granted, Ramirez isn’t Connor’s father in the movie, but he is his mentor. He’s very much like a Father to the young immortal in Highlander.
Indeed the message in the next clip is one that all father’s need to give to their children, “You have no knowledge whatsoever of your potential.”

Highlander-McLeod meets Ramirez

5. The Angel of Music

This one is a little darker than the rest. The Phantom of the Opera is one of the most complicated stories for all the intricate relations between Christine and the Phantom. But he is her mentor, and sometimes she thinks he is the Angel of Music sent by her dead father, or is indeed her father. The

Commodus killing his father, Marcus Aurelius. The sins of the Father’s are sometimes visited on the sons. And sometimes, it is the other way about….

relationship is darkly similar to the way parents and children sometimes love each other, and sometimes are very cruel to each other…..

Wishing you were Somehow Here Again

4. The Last of the Mohicans

I’ve always had dark dreams of being the last of my kind. Often I’d dream of being a lost elven prince, or the last noble member of a dead race. If ever there was a kick-tail dad up against hard odds, it is the father in this movie.

The Last of the Mohicans Final Battle

The last of the Mohicans avenging his son. How many people live to see the hopes and dreams of their children snuffed out….

3. Vader saving his son, Luke

What I loved about the trilogy, is that I had an alcoholic father. So I knew what it was to be disappointed in my parentage. I knew what it was to fear, and I’m sorry, but even what it was to hate, my father. And I know the deep yearning in a child or a young man’s heart that his dark father would change, and would love him. The ending for me was less bitter sweet….but that is for another post….another time….

Return of the Jedi: Vader and Luke

Luke’s two father figures duke it out…..if only more family disputes could be this simple….

2. The father from Apocolypto

One of the most important gifts a father gives to his son is teaching him to be a man. I got most of my lessons from movies and books (hence, this post). This lesson came to me late in life, but it was one of the most eloquent I have seen.

“Fear is a sickness…..I did not raise you to see you live in fear.”

Apocolypto-Fear

1. Osric in Conan the Barbarian

Most of you will be going, “What the huh!?” But this is the scene where I started to

The greatest line I’ve ever heard on cinema about fatherhood

love the movie. I pretty well memorized it. The line often goes through my head as I work. “There comes a time when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, and all that is left is a father’s love for his child.”

In the spirit of overkill, there are some honorable mentions.

Mel Gibson has two. The patriot, and, surprisingly, Longshanks.

Mel Gibson the patriot tomahawk fight scenes

Longshanks

To me, this was the greatest comic book of all time.

Last of all….Batman. The comic book at left I bought just after I had run away from home when I was seventeen. I know I was the “rebellious” son…but I found myself identifying with Batman. It is a symptom of being the child of an alcoholic, that you feel like the parent. I felt the duel edged pain of wondering if Dad even cared if I was gone….and the grief of being a “father” who has lost his “son.” A Death in the Family demonstrated that dark pain perfectly to a seventeen year old. I skipped a few meals, and bought the comic. Its one of the few possessions I still have from those times.

Happy father’s day, everyone……

Batman RequiemA Death in the Family

Ricky Skaggs Cat’s in the Cradle

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Father’s Day 2012: 7 moments from films that defined Fatherhood to me”

  1. Bitter Clinger

    “I knew what it was to fear, and I’m sorry, but even what it was to hate, my father. And I know the deep yearning in a child or a young man’s heart that his dark father would change”

    Yep, I understand that one perfectly. Pop and I even had our own battles. As much as I hated him I was still almost destroyed when he died.

    • awayinthemanger

      My Dad is actually still alive. He got saved about a year after I ran away from home. If this were a Hallmark movie, everything would have been just hunky dory after that. But this is real life. I won’t say I know your scars. But I have some of my own. And, like you, the amazing thing is that I get out of bed every day. The rest of the world is busy trying to buy Porches, pop, and Barbie Doilies. But my idea of a good day is one that doesn’t begin with nightmares…

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