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Best movie dads of the 80s

Our favorite flicks in the 80s had many common elements: great music, daring teens who made light of life's most trying rites of passage and parents who were usually completely out of touch with reality.

But we if forced your feet to the fire, and made you pick one, whaddya say: Who was the best movie dad of the 80s?

Here are four top contenders (Click here to see four more):

Jack Walsh, Pretty in Pink (Harry Dean Stanton):
Upside: Completely devoted to daughter Andie (Molly Ringwald).
Downside: A jobless alcoholic.
Signature line: "Just because you love her doesn't mean she's gonna love you back. Doesn't mean she won't though."
Also known as: "Brain" in Escape from New York (1981); Bud in Repo Man (1984).

Jim Baker, Sixteen Candles (Paul Dooley):
Upside: Makes it through a wedding, in-laws, a drunken exchange student and 16th birthday without going homicidal.
Downside: Lest we forget, he forgets Samantha's (Molly Ringwald) sweet 16 birthday.
Signature line: "That's why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they'd call them something else."
Also known as: the reluctantly loving dad in Breaking Away (1979); Claude Elsinore  in Strange Brew (1983).

Rev. Shaw Moore, Footloose (John Lithgow):
Upside: Gives in and allows the town's youth, including daughter Ariel (Lori Singer), to attend a dance. Fights against book-burners.
Downside: Hits his daughter; convinced rock music causes fornication.
Signature line: "If our lord wasn't testing us, how would you account for the proliferation, these days, of this obscene rock and roll music, with its gospel of easy sexuality and relaxed morality?"
Also known as: Roberta in The World According to Garp (1982); George in Harry and the Hendersons (1987) and Dr. Dick Solomon in Third Rock from the Sun.

James Court, Say Anything (John Mahoney):
Upside: Willing to commit crimes to give his daughter (Ione Sky) a better life.
Downside: Hates her boyfriend (John Cusack) and ... ummm ... willing to commit crimes to give his daughter a better life.
Signature line: "I'm incarcerated, Lloyd!"
Also known as: Martin Crane on Frasier; Good Morning Grant in Reality Bites (1994); Kid Gleason in Eight Men Out (1988).

Dads barely missing the cut: Lyman Ward in Ferris Bueller's Day Off; David Ogden Stiers in Better Off Dead; John Ashton in Some Kind of Wonderful; Jeffrey Jones in Beetle Juice; Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom.

Time to vote! Leave us a comment. Who's the best dad?

(Nominate Stuck in the 80s for the annual Podcast Awards. Click here)

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:18pm]


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