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10 Movies to Stream on Father’s Day, Including ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ and ‘A Bronx Tale’

Fern Siegel

The relationship between fathers and their children is often dramatic. The heightened emotions, sometimes comedic, sometimes intense, often makes for movie/TV magic. The follow selections explore this dynamic in time for Father’s Day.

1. A Bronx Tale (Amazon)

It’s the Bronx in the 1960s. And a war is being fought over 11-year-old Calogero. The boy idolizes Sonny (Chazz Palminteri), a local gangster, while his bus-driver father (Robert De Niro), fights for the soul of his son. In a racially divided, working-class neighborhood, the two battle for Calogero’s future.

2. Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (Disney+)

Luke Skywalker discovers his archenemy, Darth Vader, is also his father. Luke trains to be a Jedi, learning the Force is with him, as he confronts demons both personal and political, in his struggles against the Galactic Empire.

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Netflix)

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), sexy archeologist and adventurer, is both academic and renegade — while the series is an homage to 1930s film serials. But his greatest challenge may be healing the estrangement with his historian father (Sean Connery). Together, the daring duo hunt for the Holy Grail, just steps ahead of the Nazis.

4. The Pursuit of Happyness (Netflix)

The film, based on a real story, is about an out-of-work salesman who accepts an unpaid internship, hoping for a full-time job. Meantime, he’s homeless and responsible for his 5-year-old son. Will Smith and his real-life son Jaden star. Failure and disappointment are ample, but so is a sense of possibility.

5. Eat a Bowl of Tea (Amazon)

Wayne Wang’s film is about a Chinese father who wants his American son to marry a nice Chinese girl and settle down. But in post WWII America, culture clash is inevitable. “Eat a Bowl of Tea” addresses the weight of tradition and parental expectation, as well as the generational divide.

6. The Godfather (CBS All Access)

Yes, it’s about the Mafia. But “The Godfather” is also a powerful story of Michael Corleone. Eager to distance himself from his crime-boss family, his life changes in one pivotal moment. Realizing his father’s life is in danger, Michael declares quietly by his hospital bedside: “I’m with you now.” The rest is cinema history.

7. A Better Life (Showtime)

An illegal Mexican immigrant Carlos (Demian Bichir) dreams of a better life for his son, but his struggles are mighty. Meantime, his son is succumbing to peer pressure. So Carlos decides to gamble on himself, fighting to secure the promise of America.

8. The Chosen (Amazon)

The story, a friendship between two Jewish boys, is set in 1940s Brooklyn. One is Hasidic, the son of a rabbi, the other, the son of an academic. Though they differ on ideology and parental experience, they bond at a critical juncture — when they must take a leap into an unknown future.

9. Fences (Amazon)

Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, sanitation worker (Denzel Washington) once dreamed of being a professional baseball player, but missed his chance. Now, his son has a chance at a football scholarship, but angry and jealous, the bitter father lashes out.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird (Amazon)

The brilliant screenplay remains a model of tight filmmaking. Is there a more touching scene between a father and daughter than Atticus Finch talking to Scout on the porch swing? He’s got a strong moral compass and a sense of dignity that is a role model for every child. And it doesn’t hurt that Gregory Peck plays him.

Photo credit: Lucasfilm, Ltd.

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