5 Tear-Jerking Father-Son Movie Moments

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Being a dad turns you into an ol’ softie. It starts with a light mist when your lady first tells you she’s pregnant. A drizzle when you see your bean sprout on an ultrasound. And scattered showers when you meet your baby in the delivery room. From there, a higher chance of eye precipitation becomes a permanent fixture. Your brain has officially been rewired. Don’t believe me? Watch these five epic father-son clips.

Warning: Spoilers ahead, obviously.

1. Anakin & Luke – Return of the Jedi

Let’s ease into this by whetting your eye-ppetite with a manly sci-fi classic. Toward the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth unexpectedly steps-up as a father and saves Luke from the Emperor’s wrath. But Darth is in rough shape and he wants to FaceTime with Luke during his final moments. Watching this scene has a different effect on me now that I’m a dad, my own father has passed – and I’m also a diaper Jedi.

2. Mufasa & Simba – The Lion King

After saving his son from a wildebeest stampede, Mufasa looks to his brother, Scar, for a helping paw. It doesn’t end well – Simba heartbreakingly discovers his father’s lifeless body. Not since Bambi has animation made the loss of a parent so sad.

3. Roy & Ted – The Natural

On the tail-end of a rough journey through the ranks of pro baseball, Roy Hobbs is reunited with a lost love. Eventually she reveals that she and Hobbs made a son before they lost touch. Fast forward to the closing scene: despite having recently been shot, Roy cranks the most epic home run in movie history. But after the light show is over, it’s the final scene with his son where things really go from pro-ball to bawl.

4. Chris & Chris – Pursuit of Happyness

4. Phil & Will – Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Originally I had slotted in the final scene from Pursuit where Chris gets hired as a broker then immediately runs to daycare to hug his son. But then I remembered this wasn’t the only sad father-son Will Smith moment. In the 1990s I got choked-up by the FPOB episode where Will’s father, Lou, abandons him, again. I know it’s TV, not a movie, but it hasn’t lost any of its ability to turn on the waterworks. This one has double-dad-drama potency: the heartbreak by Lou and the heart-mend by Uncle Phil. Plus it’s a shining moment in Smith’s early acting career that likely helped make his dramatic roles in film possible. And if you really want to be a stickler about the TV entry, fine – the Pursuit scene is here.

5. John & Ray – Field of Dreams

Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella loyally follows random instructions from a mysterious voice and ends up building a baseball diamond in his cornfield. By movie’s end he’s reunited with a young version of his father, someone with whom he never had a chance to make things right. Yes, the plot is way out in left field, but this touching scene helps make sense of it all.

There’s a handful of others I couldn’t include because the clips aren’t available on YouTube. If we do a part 2 post – what father-son movie (or TV!) moments had an impact on you? Chime in below…

Jimmy A.

Stay-at-home, try-to-work-from-home, father of two boys ages 4 years and 21 months. Exiled from Adventure Bay by the Paw Patrol, now chilling on Griffin Rock with the Rescue Bots.

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