Happy Father’s Day! Aren’t You Glad None Of These Guys Was Your Father?

The 10 Worst Father’s In Movie History

Maybe Not The Best Father

This weekend Adam Sandler is making a “bad dad” movie. You’ve seen “bad dad” movies before. From Mr. Mom and Kramer vs. Kramer where apparently men in the 1980’s were incapable of cooking, cleaning or caring for children to watching Royal Tenenbaum introduce his daughter as “my adopted daughter” to everyone he meets the “bad dad” movie have been a hollywood staple for years, but how bad are the dads in these movies? Generally the “bad dad” movie has at its center a dad who isn’t so much bad as utterly clueless who in the end learns that simply and truly putting your kids first, and in so doing making a visible sacrifice for their sake, is all the redemption these men need. The “bad dad” movie dads are nowhere near the worst dads. Do you want to see some really bad fathers? Here are the 10 worst movie dads of all time:

10. Darth Vader – The Star Wars Saga

Why Is He So Bad: Here is the truth, I can forgive abandonment, trying to turn your son evil, threatening to kill your daughter if your son doesn’t turn evil, revealing you are your son’s father after trying to kill him a whole bunch of times and all the rest of the Vader stuff from the original 3 movies. What I can’t forgive? Whiny Anakin. In the end Vader’s saving grace as a father isn’t that he kills the Emperor, it is that by believing the Emperor when he is told his wife and unborn kids are dead he unwittingly gives Luke and Leia a much better and less annoying childhood than Anakin Skywalker could have ever provided him.

9. Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfus) – What About Bob?

Why Is He So Bad: I am a therapist and my family is miserable, and I don’t care. My patients are miserable and I don’t care. One of my patients suddenly shows up and somehow starts to make my family happy and I try to kill him. I don’t know if it was method acting but apparently Dreyfus was such a jerk on set that Bill Murray truly and deeply despised him, just like anyone who watches the movie feels about his obnoxious Dr. Leo Marvin.

8. Lt. Col. “Bull” Meechum (Robert Duvall) – The Great Santini

Why Is He So Bad: Well, his teenage son beats him for the first time in a game of one-on-one and he proceeds to try to goad his son into a rematch by throwing the basketball at his son’s head and calling him a “mommas boy” and when his wife tries to interject herself into the situation old “Bull” says “who the Hell asked you anything?” and slaps his wife in front of his children. And, he is, in the end, supposed to be a semi-sympathetic character. Even more surprising is that Duvall is so good he actually pulls it off.

7. Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) – Mrs. Doubtfire

Why Is He So Bad: Let’s leave aside the whole “dressed up like a woman to fool your wife, guaranteeing that your son is destined to be the most screwed up high school student in San Francisco” thing. How about from the beginning of the film to the end pathologically undermining the spouse who is being responsible and caring for the kids, making her seem like the “stick in the mud” while you get to be fun and goofy, what do you suppose that is teaching the kids? Watch the movie again sometime and you will see that Daniel Hillard is a horrible person and parent. Scott Beale sent me this video of Mrs. Doubtfire as a horror movie:

Mrs. Doubtfire (Recut) from Peter Javidpour on Vimeo.

I say not only was he onto something, the truth is he didn’t need to recut the movie to make it a horror movie.
At Least He Doesn’t Kill Anyone
6. Lester Burnham and Col. Frank Fitts (Kevin Spacey and Chris Cooper) – American Beauty
Why Are They So Bad: Maybe the better question is who is the worse father? Is it the disillusioned man who starts lusting after his teenage daughter’s friend or is it the cold military man who gets so confused by his son that he actually tries being gay for half a beat before just killing his neighbor? They are both pretty awful as parents but Col. Fitts probably takes the cake as the worse human being. Here is the good Colonel in all his messed up, self loathing awesomeness:
5. Dr. Evil (Mike Meyers) – The Austin Powers Movies
Why Is He So Bad: Well, it’s in his name. And he is always undermining his only son and overtly choosing to be close to his clone rather than making any attempt to connect with his son. Also, I think it is reasonably safe to say that he is not being the best role model, what with holding the world hostage and all of that.
4. Abin Cooper (Michael Sparks) – Red State
Why Is He So Bad: Well, he murders in the name of God. He isolates his kids (and even kids who aren’t his) from society so that they may be appropriately brainwashed. He hates everyone and everything that doesn’t fit into his psychotically developed ideology. And he would rather his children die a violent and horrible death with him than survive in this world. He is charming in a really odd, kind of creepy way though, so that’s got to be one in the plus column, right?
3. Denethor (John Noble) – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Why Is He So Bad: He so overtly favored his oldest son that nothing his younger son does, no matter how valiant or sincere the effort, is good enough. All the ill that befall him and the people he rules he throws at the feet of his son. And, in the end, he wants to kill his son with him rather than face the prospect of fighting for not only their survival but the survival of all mankind.
2. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) – The Shining
Why Is He So Bad: Before he goes crazy and tries to kill his entire family, an act that may well have landed him on this list all by itself, he dragged his wife an son to a remote hotel where they had to live alone and isolated so he might finish a book. As someone who enjoys writing I get that you might need some peace and quiet but that is why you shut the door to the room where your typewriter is, you don’t force your family into exile so you can get some peace and quiet.
1. Noah Cross (John Houston) – Chinatown
Why Is He So Bad:
Not a “Bad Dad” Movie
Chinatown is a “Worst Dad” Movie
“She’s my sister.”
“She’s my daughter.”
“I said I want the truth!”
“She’s my sister and my daughter.” 
One of the most shocking reveals in the history of cinema adding a depth of perversion to the already despicable corruption that Noah Cross represents in Roman Polanski’s classic, Noah Cross may be the most unapologetically horrible human being and father that has ever been depicted on screen. It is that total lack of guilt, that total lack of anything even resembling a moral compass that sets Noah Cross apart. Chinatown isn’t a bad dad movie it is the worst dad movie.