Father films

A “Happy Father’s Day” to all the dads today. Last month, as you hopefully remember, we celebrated Mother’s Day, and as the other half of the parental duo, fathers too have an important role in this society and world and should also be celebrated.

In fact, the health and prosperity of a society is contingent upon how well moms and dads perform their jobs. They hold the task of diligently instructing their children through discipline, love, and grace. The relationship they have with their kids will inevitably be similar to the relationship their kids have with society. Not only do parents have the authority over their children to teach them virtues, but they also have the influence to shape their kids into who they will become down the road.

It was through my father that I became fascinated with films. Not that he was an avid movie lover while I was growing up, but simply because he engaged me with the films we watched together. Those exchanges caused me to take interest in the visual medium. Of course, he also shared a book with me that featured a pictorial history of monster movies, which was pretty exciting for me as a kid.

So, to repay (in a very small way) my father for all the life lessons he taught me, and the meals and shelter he provided me, I will publish a list of his favorite movies. Though some of the movies my dad would immediately suggest (Young Frankenstein, Monty Python and the Holy Grail) aren’t available to watch in the near future, I’m fairly certain these recommendations will entertain.

Father of the Bride

(G, 1950)

Not only is this one of my dad’s favorites, but it is also appropriate for the occasion, which is probably why TCM chose to show it today. Many may be familiar with the 1991 remake starring Steve Martin, but the first time around features Spencer Tracy taking the trip down the aisle with his daughter, played by Elizabeth Taylor. He stresses over and struggles with the logistical aspects of planning and paying for a wedding and reception as well as with the emotional battle of accepting that his only daughter has grown into a young (soon-to-be-married) woman.

Though there are some big laughs, not far under the surface lies an exploration on love and family. Turn it on this evening, at 6 p.m. on TCM.

Upstairs, Downstairs

(PG, 1971-1975)

This English television show ran five series/seasons on Masterpiece Theatre. It took place in Edwardian London and through the World War I and Interwar eras. Every episode, the main setting is the interior of a lavish townhouse in Eaton Place, where viewers look in on the lives of the aristocratic Bellamy family and their servants (whose quarters were located downstairs).

It’s a masterful period serial that plays out much like a stage drama. In fact, Upstairs, Downstairs has proven to be a strong foundational source for the currently popular Masterpiece series Downton Abbey.

See what’s going on upstairs and downstairs at Eaton Place any time you like on Netflix.

All About Eve

(PG, 1950)

Big time Academy Award winner and nominee, this movie was nominated for 14 Oscars. Betty Davis plays an acclaimed, but aging, Broadway actress named Margo Channing, who finds she has become somewhat of a mentor. Her understudy is Eve Harrington, played by Anne Baxter, who has all the potential and qualities of becoming the next “It” girl. At first, Eve appears to be a poor widow trying to follow her dream of becoming an actress. Quickly though, we learn Eve has a few nasty tricks up her sleeve as she concocts a scheme to upstage Margo in the theater and social spotlight.

The sharp script, filled with witty retorts, and characters fuming with ego and avarice, depicts the tale of a bumpy road to fame.

Fasten your seatbelts and stream it from Netflix.

(Reece Kelly, a native of East Liverpool, studied film at Regent University. He can be reached at ReecesReviews@gmail.com)