abusive, absent fathers

by Eriko Tsogo | created - 20 May 2013 | updated - 12 Feb 2014 | Public

lives of absent/abusive fathers and their influence on the child/children who either choose to idealize or vilify in return with themes depicted central or incidental to the main plot.

1,2,3,4

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1. Bigger Than Life (1956)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon

Votes: 5,693

2. The Medicine Man (1930)

66 min | Comedy, Romance

The son and daughter of an abusive shopkeeper turn to a medicine show salesman for help.

Director: Scott Pembroke | Stars: Jack Benny, Betty Bronson, E. Alyn Warren, Eva Novak

Votes: 170

3. The Prince and the Pauper (1937)

Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

A poor boy named Tom Canty and the Prince of Wales exchange identities but events force the pair to experience each other's lives as well.

Directors: William Keighley, William Dieterle | Stars: Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Henry Stephenson, Barton MacLane

Votes: 2,039

4. The Dark Past (1948)

Passed | 75 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

An escaped psychopathic killer who takes the family and neighbors of police psychologist hostage reveals a recurring nightmare to the doctor.

Director: Rudolph Maté | Stars: William Holden, Nina Foch, Lee J. Cobb, Adele Jergens

Votes: 799

5. Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)

Passed | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

Boxer Rocky Graziano's biopic, based on his autobiography, from childhood to his World Middleweight Championship title win at age 28 in 1947.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane, Eileen Heckart

Votes: 6,341

6. The Singing Nun (1966)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Family

Young and inexperienced Sister Ann has just arrived at her next posting at Samaritan House, a Dominican order located in a disreputable neighborhood of Ghent, Belgium. Sister Ann is ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Ricardo Montalban, Greer Garson, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 986

7. Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968)

X | 87 min | Drama, Romance

A teenage goldsmith with a dark past tragically falls in love with a young nude model.

Director: Susumu Hani | Stars: Haruo Asanu, Kazuko Fukuda, Kuniko Ishii, Ichirô Kimura

Votes: 620

8. Boy (1969)

97 min | Drama

A young boy reluctantly aids his swindling father in a threatening scam.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Fumio Watanabe, Akiko Koyama, Tetsuo Abe, Tsuyoshi Kinoshita

Votes: 1,112

9. Brewster McCloud (1970)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Fantasy

An introverted loner living in the bowels of the Astrodome plots to develop - with the aid of a mysterious guardian angel - a pair of wings that will help him fly.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Bud Cort, Shelley Duvall, Sally Kellerman, Michael Murphy

Votes: 3,354

10. Mourir d'aimer... (1971)

GP | 101 min | Drama

A love story between a teacher, Daniele, 32 years and one of his students Gerard, 17 during the heated atmosphere of May 68. Daniele is a fiery young woman, very involved politically. ... See full summary »

Director: André Cayatte | Stars: Annie Girardot, Bruno Pradal, Claude Cerval, Jean Bouise

Votes: 213

11. Satan's Children (1975)

87 min | Horror

Runaway teen Bobby is given shelter by a cult of Satanists, but his presence and questionable sexuality leads to conflicts within Satan's Children,

Director: Joe Wiezycki | Stars: Stephen White, Eldon Mecham, Joyce Molloy, Kathleen Marie Archer

Votes: 285

12. The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976)

R | 83 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

A disturbed woman is haunted by memories of childhood abuse, which culminates in a murder spree.

Director: Matt Cimber | Stars: Millie Perkins, Lonny Chapman, Vanessa Brown, Peggy Feury

Votes: 1,090

13. Lasse & Geir (1976)

91 min | Crime, Drama

The teenagers Lasse and Geir are arrested after making trouble on a night bus into town. After a night in the slammer they go home. To Geir's alcoholic mother and to Lasse's father, who is terrorizing the entire family.

Director: Svend Wam | Stars: Torgeir Schjerven, Lasse Tømte, Kjersti Døvigen, Jorunn Kjellsby

Votes: 380

14. The Great Santini (1979)

PG | 115 min | Drama

As he approaches manhood, Ben Meechum struggles to win the approval of his demanding alpha male father, an aggressively competitive, but frustrated Marine pilot.

Director: Lewis John Carlino | Stars: Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe, Lisa Jane Persky

Votes: 4,974

15. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 715,473 | Gross: $44.02M

16. The Attic (1980)

PG | 101 min | Drama, Thriller, Horror

A librarian devotes her life to caring for her wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at the altar. She fantasizes about causing deaths of the men who most wronged her and ... See full summary »

Directors: George Edwards, Gary Graver | Stars: Carrie Snodgress, Ray Milland, Ruth Cox, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 513

17. Night of the Demon (1980)

Not Rated | 92 min | Horror

Professor Nugent and his students try to track down Bigfoot, but end up uncovering something more sinister at work.

Director: James C. Wasson | Stars: Michael Cutt, Joy Allen, Bob Collins, Jody Lazarus

Votes: 1,265

18. Purple Rain (1984)

R | 111 min | Drama, Music, Musical

55 Metascore

A young musician, tormented by an abusive situation at home, must contend with a rival singer, a burgeoning romance, and his own dissatisfied band, as his star begins to rise.

Director: Albert Magnoli | Stars: Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day, Olga Karlatos

Votes: 16,644 | Gross: $68.39M

19. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 295,336 | Gross: $45.88M

20. Desert Bloom (1986)

PG | 105 min | Drama, Family, Romance

The story involves Rose Chismore's youth. She flashes back and remembers her coming-of-age. Her recollections are sometimes less than sweet, particularly those of her troubled and alcoholic... See full summary »

Director: Eugene Corr | Stars: Jon Voight, JoBeth Williams, Annabeth Gish, Ellen Barkin

Votes: 831 | Gross: $0.42M

21. Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)

R | 97 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

After severely burning himself in a drug incident, a comedian has a near death experience in which he reviews his life.

Director: Richard Pryor | Stars: Richard Pryor, Debbie Allen, Art Evans, Fay Hauser

Votes: 1,319 | Gross: $18.03M

22. Bullies (1986)

R | 90 min | Action, Thriller, Drama

When the peaceful Morris family move to a small town and buy the town grocery store, they run afoul of the Cullen family. The Cullen's have been bullying the town's folk for years, and now ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Lynch | Stars: Jonathan Crombie, Janet-Laine Green, Stephen Hunter, Dehl Berti

Votes: 362 | Gross: $3.00M

23. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated | 83 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

80 Metascore

Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.

Director: John McNaughton | Stars: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles, Mary Demas

Votes: 26,319 | Gross: $0.61M

24. Deadly Friend (1986)

R | 91 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

After his friend is killed by her abusive father, the new kid in town attempts to save her by implanting robotic microchips into her brain.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Twomey

Votes: 5,647 | Gross: $8.99M

25. Paperhouse (1988)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Fantasy

A young girl lost in the loneliness and boredom of reality finds solace in an ill boy, whom she can visit in a surreal dream world that she drew in her school composition book.

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Charlotte Burke, Jane Bertish, Samantha Cahill, Glenne Headly

Votes: 4,649 | Gross: $0.24M

26. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)

PG-13 | 85 min | Drama, Music

83 Metascore

The second film in Terence Davies's autobiographical series ('Trilogy', 'The Long Day Closes') is an impressionistic view of a working-class family in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool, based on ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Freda Dowie, Angela Walsh, Dean Williams

Votes: 2,734 | Gross: $0.69M

27. Relentless (1989)

R | 92 min | Crime, Thriller

Two Los Angeles police detectives, cynical veteran Malloy and cocky rookie Dietz, hunt for a serial killer, an ex-cop named Taylor, whom randomly chooses his victims from a phone directory.

Director: William Lustig | Stars: Judd Nelson, Robert Loggia, Leo Rossi, Meg Foster

Votes: 1,104 | Gross: $6.99M

28. Poison (1991)

R | 85 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

67 Metascore

Three stories, each in a different genre, articulate Todd Haynes' idea of a queer cinema.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Norman, Millie White

Votes: 2,859 | Gross: $0.61M

29. Moy luchshiy drug, general Vasiliy, syn Iosifa (1991)

102 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

The film is based on a true story of a sport star Bobrov, who happened to become befriended by Vasili, the son of Stalin.

Director: Viktor Sadovsky | Stars: Boris Shcherbakov, Vladimir Steklov, Andrei Boltnev, Irina Malysheva

Votes: 180

30. The Lawnmower Man (1992)

R | 108 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

A simple man is turned into a genius through the application of computer science.

Director: Brett Leonard | Stars: Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright, Mark Bringelson

Votes: 30,347 | Gross: $32.10M

31. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

In Missouri, during the 1840s, young Huck Finn fearful of his drunkard father and yearning for adventure, leaves his foster family and joins with runaway slave Jim in a voyage down the Mississippi River toward slavery free states.

Director: Stephen Sommers | Stars: Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Robards

Votes: 6,860 | Gross: $24.10M

32. Fist of Honor (1993)

R | 95 min | Action, Drama

A martial-arts boxer working as a debt collector gets involved in a feud between rival Mafia families in L.A.

Director: Richard Pepin | Stars: Sam J. Jones, Joey House, Abe Vigoda, Harry Guardino

Votes: 144

33. Jack Be Nimble (1993)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

Jack and Dora, abandoned by their parents as babies, are desperate to find each other after years of adoption. Jack's young life has been spent with a sadistic family. Dora, whose life has ... See full summary »

Director: Garth Maxwell | Stars: Alexis Arquette, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, Bruno Lawrence, Tony Barry

Votes: 371

34. A Perfect World (1993)

PG-13 | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A kidnapped boy strikes up a friendship with his captor: an escaped convict on the run from the law, headed by an honorable U.S. Marshal.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther

Votes: 63,722 | Gross: $31.16M

35. Die tödliche Maria (1993)

106 min | Drama, Thriller, Fantasy

This dark psychological thriller draws us slowly but surely into Maria's strange world. Tension mounts as she is buffeted by interactions with her abusive husband, demanding father, and ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Tykwer | Stars: Nina Petri, Katja Studt, Juliane Heinemann, Josef Bierbichler

Votes: 779

36. Little Odessa (1994)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

Early 1990s drama about a family of Soviet Jews living in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach ocean-side neighborhood nicknamed Little Odessa.

Director: James Gray | Stars: Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Moira Kelly, Vanessa Redgrave

Votes: 6,235 | Gross: $1.10M

37. The Brothers McMullen (1995)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

Three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity.

Director: Edward Burns | Stars: Jack Mulcahy, Michael McGlone, Edward Burns, Shari Albert

Votes: 6,713 | Gross: $10.25M

38. Dolores Claiborne (1995)

R | 132 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

62 Metascore

A big-city reporter travels to the small town where her mother has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, Judy Parfitt

Votes: 32,593 | Gross: $24.36M

39. De tasjesdief (1995)

96 min | Drama, Family, Thriller

Alex is very close to his elderly grandmother partly because his busy parents seem to have little or no time for him. One day he surprises two boys from his school leaving her house and is ... See full summary »

Director: Maria Peters | Stars: Olivier Tuinier, Aus Greidanus Jr., Micha Hulshof, Myranda Jongeling

Votes: 1,220

40. The Neon Bible (1995)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama

60 Metascore

While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Jacob Tierney, Drake Bell, Gena Rowlands, Diana Scarwid

Votes: 683 | Gross: $0.03M

41. Shine (1996)

PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine, Sonia Todd

Votes: 46,647 | Gross: $35.81M

42. Mary Reilly (1996)

R | 108 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

44 Metascore

A housemaid falls in love with Dr. Jekyll and his darkly mysterious counterpart, Mr. Hyde.

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Julia Roberts, John Malkovich, George Cole, Michael Gambon

Votes: 12,732 | Gross: $5.60M

43. Foxfire (1996)

R | 102 min | Drama

The story of five teenage girls who form an unlikely bond after beating up a teacher who has sexually harassed them. They build a solid friendship but their wild ways begin to get out of ... See full summary »

Director: Annette Haywood-Carter | Stars: Hedy Burress, Angelina Jolie, Jenny Lewis, Jenny Shimizu

Votes: 7,606 | Gross: $0.26M

44. Bliss (1997)

R | 103 min | Drama, Romance

A newly married happy couple visits a sex therapist to determine why the wife can't achieve an orgasm with her husband. This causes a horrific suppressed memory to emerge and she becomes more and more distant.

Director: Lance Young | Stars: Craig Sheffer, Terence Stamp, Sheryl Lee, Casey Siemaszko

Votes: 1,855 | Gross: $0.21M

45. Campfire Tales (1997)

R | 88 min | Horror

A group of teens entertain themselves by telling an anthology of famous urban legends with a modern twist; including make-out-point, monsters, psychopaths, and ghosts.

Directors: Matt Cooper, Martin Kunert, David Semel | Stars: Jay R. Ferguson, Christine Taylor, Christopher Masterson, Kim Murphy

Votes: 3,289

46. Affliction (1997)

R | 114 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

79 Metascore

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Brigid Tierney

Votes: 12,975 | Gross: $6.30M

47. The Hanging Garden (1997)

R | 91 min | Drama, Romance

William, a once obese and depressed adolescent, is able to move past his teenage years when he moves to the city and comes out as being gay. When he returns home though, he can't cope with his memories.

Director: Thom Fitzgerald | Stars: Chris Leavins, Kerry Fox, Ian Parsons, Peter MacNeill

Votes: 2,656 | Gross: $0.93M

48. Suicide Kings (1997)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

43 Metascore

A group of youngsters kidnap a respected Mafia figure.

Director: Peter O'Fallon | Stars: Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Sean Patrick Flanery, Mark Watson

Votes: 23,809 | Gross: $1.69M

49. Annie's Garden (1997)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Thriller

In front of his 15-year-old son, a father loses his temper and strikes his younger daughter, thinking she's trying to run away from him. Jump ahead ten years: the dad is dead, the mom is ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Barnao | Stars: Keith Coulouris, Yancy Butler, Charlotte Chatton, Grace Zabriskie

Votes: 267

50. The Mighty (1998)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

Two young boys, both social outcasts in their small town, form an unlikely friendship.

Director: Peter Chelsom | Stars: Kieran Culkin, Elden Henson, Sharon Stone, Harry Dean Stanton

Votes: 11,226 | Gross: $2.64M

51. The Acid House (1998)

Unrated |