Dad (1989) Poster


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Very emotional
casey_choas668 July 2002
This movie hits, it hits very hard. No one is let off easy in this film about an old man (played to perfection by Jack Lemmon) who has his wife do everything for him. BUt his wife has a heart attack and is put in the hospital. His son (Ted Danson) has to return home to take care of his father. What comes from there is an adventure that will warm you heart as fast as it will break it. Jack Lemmon is very believeable as the father that you will believe that he actually is 85 years old and Ten Danson has never been better in a film. This film devlves into hard topics such as divorce, marraige and family relationships and none of these subjects are delt with lightly and is sure to bring a tear to the eye of everyone whether you can realte to these characters or not.
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this remains a powerful film
wisewebwoman9 November 2001
I think this is Jack Lemmon's greatest performance and the supporting cast are incredible, including Ted Danson who always appears to me to be slightly frenetic in a grim kind of way. Here he is truly believable and his scenes with his own son tug at your heart they are so real. No Hollywood quickfix here for the relationship, the boy is simply closer to his grandfather than he is to his own father and nothing will change that fact.

What I liked most about the film was that the theme in less worthy hands could have been made sloppily sentimental, but here it is totally restrained both in script and direction and it makes for a really meaningful movie. The characters remain real all the way through and the script does not transform them into wondrous saints by movie's end.

It is the wonderful understatement in it all that captivated me and made me weep at the end. Jack is truly unforgettable and Olympia magnificent in her dryness and cynicism. I have seen it 3 times and each time relished another scene a little more. This time around it was Jack dragging his wife around to meet the neighbours he was not even aware of before and her long suffering face at this new and reinvented Jack makes you laugh out loud. Bravo to all. An 8 1/2 out of 10. And that scene where they dance, oh me oh my......who needs naked bodies writhing on a bed, this has sensuousness, love and intimacy in it, the real kind. Oh for more of those scenes in movies!
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Solid Story-Telling.
tfrizzell6 July 2002
Genuine tear-jerker that has the elderly Olympia Dukakis falling ill and leaving husband Jack Lemmon in limbo. Dukakis has done all the work in the relationship and Lemmon is helpless, plain and simple. Son Ted Danson comes to the rescue though and Dukakis starts to recover slowly. However trouble looms as Lemmon will be diagnosed with cancer and go into an emotional tail-spin that could kill him. A sappy screenplay works to near perfection here and steady direction helps the film's cause as well. Watch for a young Ethan Hawke as Lemmon's grandson. Heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time. 4 stars out of 5.
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I admit. I initially only wanted to watch Dad to see a younger Ethan
jemps9181 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I admit. I initially only wanted to watch Dad to see a younger Ethan Hawke. Fifteen minutes into the film, I was bawling my eyes out. This is unusual for me, as I'm not exactly the weepy type and I only usually cry in tearjerkers featuring Old Yeller, Fluke and Free Willy (somehow, animals emote more convincingly).

I thought Dad would be a boring, heartwarming drama, but I pleasantly discovered that it had its share of laughs. This movie is excellently cast and well written. It jars the senses long after you've seen it because it forces you to face things you'd rather not deal with, ever, but will inevitably have to: losing someone you love.

The film opens with a young Jack Lemmon at sunrise, starting work at his ranch with his beautiful, supportive wife and kids. Then, a sequence to establish his present character: an old frail man being taken care of by his overbearing wife (convincingly played by Olympia Dukakis), from dressing him up, putting toothpaste on his toothbrush, to buttering his toast. He accompanies his wife, who drives them both to the grocery, where she gets a heart attack. He helplessly looks on.

While she is temporarily hospitalized, the children worry about their father. The son (Ted Danson) is a successful corporate type, who quickly flies in to see to it that everything's okay. He is met by his brother-in-law (Kevin Spacey), and his sister (Kathy Baker).

The absentee son is shocked to see how much his father has deteriorated, and so spends more time with him out of guilt. He doesn't intend to stay long as he has business to attend to, and so he makes sure that his father can be independent and take care of himself.

Pretty soon, Dukakis is back and is surprised to see her husband up and about. All is well till it's his turn to suddenly get hospitalized. The doctor suspects cancer. Soon, he's in a coma, and the son does everything he can to care for his father. Somewhere in the middle of this, his own son (Ethan Hawke), comes in. He is estranged from his father but is apparently very close to his grandfather.

After what seems like ages, and now in the hands of a more compassionate, competent doctor, the old man wakes up. He celebrates his new lease on life by being more carefree, lively and spontaneous. He has been diagnosed to be a bit schizophrenic, with the film's opening sequence revealing the dream life he's been living in his head to cope with his problems. His family is astonished, but humors him, except for his wife, who openly shows her displeasure at his apparent craziness.

But later on, it is his new zest for life that infects everyone and brings the family together. It helps the old couple open their world to new things and new people at that stage in their life. In the end, cancer does overcome his body, but not his spirit and of those around him.

I like how the movie finishes on a positive yet realistic note, without milking the situation with an embarrassing display of melodrama.

It's a scary thing to watch someone you've always known as strong slowly wither before you. It must have been excruciating for the son to watch his own father not be able to do the things that he used to do, not even dress himself up. This was also painfully illustrated in one scene where the son, angry at the poor treatment his father endured from the first doctor, carries his dad out of the hospital. The father's body appeared so weak and frail in his son's arms. This role reversal a la Pieta comes as quite a shocker, as it disturbs the equilibrium an awful lot.

As the eldest child, I've had the good fortune to enjoy my parents at their prime. I grew up content in the belief that I always had my strong, funny, patient father and my always organized and in-control mother to take care of anything, big or small. And then I aged in years, but still terribly spoiled and immature, while my folks seem to have silently been plateauing.

While my folks have not been as terribly sick as in the movie, the threat of it happening is always there. Dad has been a wake-up call for me to reevaluate what matters most in life and to reallocate my time to doing the things that are truly of value.

Everyone can relate to this film because everyone has parents, or someone they depend on or are close to. There is no big villain to hate or escape from in this film; no unrealistic and complicated plot twists, telenovela-style. Nothing, that is, except the bigger danger of apathy, the silent killer in each of our relationships. Therein lies the true conflict, and the earlier we choose to recognize it and act on it, the better our relationships can be.

Now who would've known such knowledge could stem from a desire to see Ethan Hawke?
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One of the best family films
r2a0129228 January 2006
Life is sometimes a hard thing. People must learn what is the most important thing in life. This film shows us how we must to face a critical situation. Perhaps when time is gone we try to recall that time too late. The family is the most important thing we have.

The Film : I think it's very crude and real. there are many old ones in abandonment situation and this film illustrates the necessary love for the greater ones of the family. Although TV is treated in format, the argument either is developed and distributed in the time with a crescendo of emotions very well displayed.

Jack Lemmon makes a magnificent work in Jake Tremont roll with such so pathetic depth that it seems real

Ted Danson is discovered like a good actor, not only for series of television, but also for cinema too. He plays more than credible son dedicated to his father treating to compensate the lack of affection felt in both directions in the past times
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Fantastic movie but a tear jerker.
Jon_Tees19 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'll just say that I recently saw this movie for the first time, and loved it. it's a little dated, but still good and the story overall is timeless as it relates to the love between fathers and their sons. I highly recommend checking it out. But be warned though it's a bit of a tear jerker, and also feels a little drawn out in certain areas. I give it a nine out of ten.

I particularly liked the ending where Ted Denson and his son make up and try and avoid the distance in relationship that Denson kind of had with his father played by Jack Lemmon. The cast all gives an amazing performance and I'm surprised this movie didn't make bigger waves when it initially came out its fantastic.
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Most moving movie I have seen in years.
lon-73 December 1998
I am a Ted Danson fan. However until today, I have never seen the Movie" Dad ". I sat in my chair and could not get up to do anything. I could have put the movie on still, but I just could not tear myself away from it. It is warm, moving, realistic and Ted Danson and Jack Lemmon had me convinced that they were actually living their roles. It has been years since I cried at a movie, but this one, my tears flowed like a stream. I cannot say enough about it. This is the very first time, I ever went through any trouble to give my opinion about a movie or an actor. I felt I had to tell you how it affected me.
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Still remember the music and the scenes after all these years!
FLY-93 July 2000
I saw this movie when I was an undergraduate student. Man, this has to be one of the most touching movie that I have ever seen! Even after all these years, I could still vividly remember the scenes and the music. Especially the music theme is turly well-done (simple tune, but very emotional and powerful!) this movie is one of my all time fave!
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One of the best family drama.
Hunky Stud11 May 2004
This movie is very 80's like. It instantly brought me back to the good old 80's. This is really not a comedy, but a very serious family drama. Almost every movie came out from Hollywood is for profit only, this movie is very touching, and purely family oriented. I don't know how much it has made so far, but I doubt that it is a popular movie for the general public.

Having said that, I think that this movie has touched a very deep part of our lives. All of us have to face the fact that our parents are growing old, and one day they will leave us forever. It is quite emotional. How many of the people living in the USA now have the courage, time and money to actually live with their older parents till the day they apart.

This movie brought three generations all together, and showed us a well-done drama. It does not have a happy ending. However, it gives us a very realistic feeling that we all have or had to face.

So watch this movie when it is raining outside. I am sure that you can have a good cry.
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This is one film that is a MUST-SEE!
brdlybaum19 September 2009
It is very rare that I give any film 10/10 but then it is very rare that I see a film that deserves it. This is one film that truly deserves it. the huge names that fill the main roles play their parts perfectly. I was surprised that neither this film nor the anyone in either the main two roles or the supporting roles was up for an academy award because they all should have been in my opinion. OK so maybe not all, but certainly somewhere along the line one ore more of the aforementioned list should have been This film was extremely heart-warming and tugged at the heart-strings in equal measures.

Ted Danson plays a man called John Tremont who rearranges his life when his mother, Bette, (his father, Jake, has allowed her to do virtually everything for him. He has therefore had his self-esteem whittled away over the last fifty years or more that they have been married including not having a lot of fun and driving him everywhere)has a heart-attack in a supermarket. Suddenly the high-powered business man has to find his relationship with his father again and he does this by giving back to him what is missing from his life. The bond they end up with is extremely strong. So much so that he stays with his father the whole time when he, after his mother gets well and comes out of hospital, ends up in hospital himself.

The supporting cast are just as good. You know instantly that daughter Annie is the one that normally looks after her elderly parents while John does the high-flying businessman bit only to then take more of a back-seat role when John rearranges his life. Mario, the third sibling, cannot be there to help as much as he would like due to living so far away does return to the family when there is need for him to do so. And then there is Billy who is obviously more attached to his Grandfather than his father This is a film that HAS to be seen.
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Jack, a true gentleman and fine actor!
norton2713 January 2009
First time I have watched this one and I was very moved. Never heard of this movie? Glad I stumbled across it. I love Jack Lemmon. Thought I had seen almost everything he has done? Ted Danson was terrific in this movie. I was really impressed with Ted's versatility, drama, comedy and real emotions. Great flick. Brought back many memories. Almost a mirror image of the last days I spent with my dad, especially the "hug" scene. In that generation we "quietly" showed our love for our parents and siblings. Really sad that folks wait so long to enjoy their families. I could really relate to this movie. They don't make em like Jack anymore. Really do miss him.
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My comment of DAD
vmm3512 August 2008
Today August 12, 2008 --- Imagine I may be a little late for a comment --- but I only saw this movie today --- It was so true to life, and tapped into every emotion that one could feel -- going through an experience of the like. I lost my dad, two years ago, and although there were difference in the story line...the essence of it remained the same.....I loved it --- Jack Lemmon was so believable, Ted Danson (who I admit never saw him act outside of cheers was amazing and Olympia (she's a classic --- and so underrated)...

My opine - a must see --- for life...

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Sensational, true-life!
bmelton3 January 2002
This movie was one of the most sensational drama movies I have ever seen. It is so true with real-life experiences, and it is sure to touch you emotionally. It is a story about how spending all of your life chasing the almighty $dollar$ and success can certainly have great drawbacks. It is a prime example of how success should not be determined by how much money you make, but by what you have to give up in order to achieve it. In this case, it was Ted Dansen's family that was given up. This movie can be related to on a personal level with almost anyone. It is certain to bring tears to your eyes, and make you want to pick up that phone...and make those calls you have put off for so long.
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A very very must see
FLY-921 January 2000
This is one of my favorite movies! I really think this is under-rated. Anyway, I could still clearly remember the story and the acting was really great! THe music is great too! Ah.. no wonder, it's James Horner (THE composer of Titanic).. funny thing is, I think Horner did a great job on The Mask of Zorro, and Titanic (1997) but NOT the "Deep Impact" (for some reason, I didn't think the music in that movie was really impressive).. anyway, this movie (DAD) is a must see, highly recommended.
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Coxer9918 August 1999
Jack Lemmon is magnificent in this touching family drama from television creator Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties) about an overworked son, (Danson) not having seen his father (Lemmon) for over two years, is shocked to discover how deteriorated his father has become under the over-protective eye of his mother (Dukakis). Lovely musical score provided by James Horner.
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A Tug at heart of Family
zelda196431 October 2007
A Family is so important in life,especially in times of crisis and turmoil.Danson(of Cheers fame),plays a divorced yuppie who must return home to care for his aging mother(Dukakis)and father(Lemmon).He has a son he hardly knows, and is overly obsessive in business.He is faced with the knowledge, of his father's shortcomings and weakness to stand up to a domineering wife.Lemmon plays a man resigned to her "take-over" attitude he accepts.

It is heart wrenching to face any diagnosis;Danson's character screams, when a doctor goes against his wishes of silence about the father's condition. It would show a poor lack of ethics in the medical community.I gather from the film, the importance of strengthening family ties and relationships. Life is unpredictable, but the certainty is true Love and compassion for others.
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Real emotion
khleophee6 July 2007
One of the most moving and delightful movies I've seen. Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson are superb. A good old fashion movie for the whole family. I wish they would make more movies like this. I lost my Dad to cancer a few years ago and I could relate to so many things in this movie that I shared with him. I only wish I would have done more. I think this picture will inspire many of us to realize just how precious the moments we spend with our aging parents are. Sometimes we take them for granted. I think we should spend more time having fun with them and let them enjoy the good things. Not spend all the time with medication and symptoms of aging. As I get older I realize someday it will be my turn and I hope I can see and enjoy my family till the end.
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Outstanding Movie
fredgullo18 September 2006
As the reviewer above mentioned, this movie is outstanding in every way and is a must see for anyone with aging parents. Ted Danson plays the role to perfection, as does Jack Lemmon. You will empathize with the entire cast and learn an important lesson - we are all responsible for taking care of our parents. I recently lost my father to a long illness, and I was very much in a similar position to the Ted Danson character. I wish I had seen this movie before my father became seriously ill, as it would have helped me cope with the situation. I don't know who wrote this movie, but it was clearly someone who had taken care of his sick father.
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One movie I will continue to talk about for years to come
ntagaloa-101-5091778 July 2011
I bought this VHS movie on sale for $5.00 along with other movies back in 2003. The first time I watched it, I couldn't stop crying. I would watch the movie at least once or twice a month. It didn't matter how many times I would watch it, either alone, or with my kids, each time it was as if I was watching it for the very first time. The comedy and drama of the story intertwined so well throughout the movie by the excellent actors and actresses. I loved how the movie touched on the various age groups of the family members and the challenges and humps they overcame throughout.

I will ALWAYS promote this movie!
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Dad- Father for All Time ***
edwagreen17 June 2007
This 1989 drama would have been even more effective had it dealt with the inadequacies of a hospital. It appeared to be going that way when Jack Lemmon, as an aged parent, goes into shock following cancer surgery and the hospital is ready to discharge him.

Lemmon gave another strong performance in his versatile career. The problem here is that the performance became lopsided somewhat when the focus of the picture changes to the idea that Lemmon, who comes out of a coma, has been hallucinating for all these years thinking that he has had an alternate life in New Jersey.

Olympia Dukakis stars as his elderly wife who just can't take his discussion of this life and in one scene, the emotional outburst between her and loving son, a very good Ted Danson, is truly memorable. Kathy Baker is wasted as Danson's divorced wife. The way the two acted towards each other, you are left wondering why they divorced to begin with.

Ethan Hawke is quite impressive as Danson's young son.

The film regains its quality when the cancer returns but seems to jump rapidly to Lemmon's demise and Danson taking leave of the family. Why was all this rushed up?
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Jack Lemmon's finest performance
caspian197816 October 2000
Jack Lemmon's performances in Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger don't add up to his work in DAD. There is only a handful of actors that can make you laugh and cry. Jack Lemmon shows his true acting ability in this film. Even with a weak supporting cast, Jack Lemmon makes DAD a film worth seeing again and again. 8 out of 10 stars giving all 8 stars to Jack !
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Very good.
afonsobritofalves12 July 2019
One of the best drama films ever, the story of the film is quite inspiring, captivating and interesting. In addition, the film was very well done and very well done. Highly recommend!
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Tremont Family Values
bkoganbing25 March 2018
Gary Goldberg's Dad only got Oscar recognition with a nomination for makeup. Surely deserved in the way Jack Lemmon was transformed into a henpecked old codger. But surely Lemmon and Ted Danson playing his son merited some Oscar consideration in 1989. So does Olympia Dukakis playing the mother.

Dad is a wonderful study of the issues in being a senior citizen and now that I am one can appreciate more now than in 1989 when it first came out. From the first you see that it's Dukakis wearing the pants in the family as they go grocery shopping. But when Olympia has a heart attack in the supermarket, Lemmon is kind of left to his own devices.

The children, Kathy Baker and Kevin Spacey, help to some degree. But it's there third brother who works for an investment firm who really pitches in. Ted Danson is a kind of Gordon Gekko of the West Coast, but as he pitches in and helps the two really connect and reestablish a relationship. I did love the scene where Lemmon just sits in on a board meeting comprehending more than Danson realizes about what he does for a living.

Ever since Lemmon retired from Lockheed years it's Dukakis who has become the dominant one. No longer earning and kind of under foot he becomes just an appendage. She treats him like a child.

Soon enough the roles are reversed. She comes home and he's diagnosed with cancer. The family then goes into crisis mode.

Dad has a nice constructed story with very well developed characters with the exception of Kevin Spacey who is given little to do with his role. Ethan Hawke is also in the film as Danson's son who has always had a great relationship with his grandfather.

Jack Lemmon was 66 when he made the film. But with makeup he looks more 86 and really makes you believe it in his performance. A whole lot like his buddy Walter Matthau when he starred in Kotch.

Dad is a wonderful film for the family about a family named Tremont.
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Vincentiu29 December 2014
not nice, not inspired, not beautiful or a good role for Jack Lemmon. but an useful film. useful for remind old, elementary fashion things about family links. useful for remind the role of miracles and the essence of freedom. useful for the viewer who rediscover memories about parents. useful and profound touching. sure, it is a good occasion for remind experiences from past for the survivors of them. for many - only a sentimental drama with few drops of comedy. sure, it is far to be a masterpiece. but important is its small status to remind the essence of family life not only as fruit of Christmas or another significant event but as root of everyday existence. short, three generations of good actors - few extraordinaries and a very useful story.
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