Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith have teamed up again for an action-packed father/son film, “After Earth.” This time young Jaden must save his father from the horrors of a post-apocalyptic Earth. Will and Jaden Smith certainly aren’t the first father and son to act in films together. Some of the biggest acting families have starred together in films, and sometimes father and son have acted together in a film but no one really realized it.
‘The Thanksgiving Promise’ – The Entire Bridges Family
The Bridges are one of the largest acting families in the world and they have been in several movies together. The made-for-TV movie, “The Thanksgiving Promise,” beats out those other films because it stars them all. The film has Lloyd, Beau, Jeff, and Jordan Bridges. Beau and Jeff are sons of Lloyd Bridges and Jordan is Beau’s son. It’s one big happy family in this tale about keeping promises. Jordan stars in the film as a boy who makes a pet out of the neighbor’s Thanksgiving dinner, a goose. “The Thanksgiving Promise” also featured Beau and Jeff’s mother Dorothy Bridges.
‘It Runs in the Family’ – Three Generations of Douglas’
“It Runs in the Family” is a story about three generations of the Gromberg family as they deal with each other and their personal life struggles. The Gromberg family is mostly played by the Douglas family. The film features three generations of the acting family: Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, and Cameron Douglas. Much of the film mimics real life. Grandpa Gromberg deal with overcoming a stroke, much like Kirk Douglas. Grandson Asher has drug problems, much like Cameron Douglas. A maudlin film makes family struggles excessively dramatic.
‘A Time to Kill’ – The Sutherlands
“A Time to Kill” is different from most father/son films because Donald and Kiefer Sutherland do not play father and son in the movie. Not only are they not related, they play enemies. Kiefer Sutherland plays the racist brother of a man who rapes a young girl. The girl’s father kills the brother and Sutherland’s character forms a KKK group to deal with him. On the flip side, Donald Sutherland plays a civil rights lawyer who is mentor to the the lawyer defending the father of the raped girl. They are complete opposites in this film.
‘Doctor Zhivago’ – The Sharifs
“Doctor Zhivago,” starring Omar Sharif, is one of the most famous films of all time. What many people don’t realize is that it stars father and son. Omar Sharif plays the main character, Yuri Zhivago. Yuri’s life story is told throughout the film, starting with his childhood. The actor that played young Yuri was Tarek Sharif, Omar’s son. While it certainly wasn’t a major role for the child, it is interesting because not many people know that boy is Omar’s son, despite the film’s large fanbase.
‘The Way’ – Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez
“The Way” stands out as a father/son film because Sheen and Estevez don’t act together much in the film, but they still worked closely together. How? Estevez wrote and directed “The Way” intending for his father to star in it. It is a story of enlightenment, of finding the way in life, and of dealing with loss. It is not an overly sentimental film despite the depressing plot.