Mothers and Sons
Many months ago, I wrote a blog entry about Fathers and Daughters. It’s high time that I looked at the subject of Mothers and Sons and how they are represented in the movies and on television.
The relationship between mothers and sons has been examined over and over again. It’s been categorized and analyzed and is considered a mystery that can never be solved. Which is just downright silly, if you ask me. Because each relationship is as unique as the people in it.
Naturally, Hollywood has had its share of films and TV series centered on mothers and sons. The Powers That Be have explored the good and the bad and sometimes the ugly. However, I am not going to focus on the latter two. In honor of Mother’s Day (yes, I know I’m late, but it kind of sneaked up on me this year), I've decided to draw attention to some movies and TV series that have given us a positive view.
Biographical Films – Sometimes it seems that Mom is the only one who has faith in us and our abilities. And they’ll push and fight and pray for the best for their children. These movies about successful men show how much they owe their mothers.
- Sergeant York (Margaret Wycherly and Gary Cooper)
- My Left Foot: the Story of Christy Brown (Brenda Fricker and Daniel Day-Lewis)
- Ray (Sharon Warren and Jamie Foxx)
- Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story (Kimberly Elise and Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
Nurturing and Protective – Ever wonder why all those athletes say, “Hi, Mom!” when the camera is on them? Or do you already know? I love movies that give us this side of mothers and how they take care of their children. You’ll find a couple of animated films listed here. But those titles really shouldn’t surprise you.
- A Christmas Story (Melinda Dillon and Peter Billingsley & Ian Petrella)
- Little Man Tate (Jodie Foster and Adam Hann-Byrd)
- Forrest Gump (Sally Field and Tom Hanks)
- Finding Neverland (Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore)
- Dear Frankie (Emily Mortimer and Jack McElhone)
From One Adult to Another – Relationships between parents and children change over time. Suddenly the children are adults, facing the same kinds of problems their parents faced. Sometimes, as adults do, they butt heads. But there’s still a clear distinction about who’s who. And we can see how the parents made the adult children who they are.
- Gentleman’s Agreement (Anne Revere and Gregory Peck)
- The Big Valley (Barbara Stanwyck and Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors)
- Mother (Debbie Reynolds and Albert Brooks)
- Burn Notice (Sharon Gless and Jeffrey Donovan)
- Castle (Susan Sullivan and Nathan Fillion)
- The Sons of Katie Elder (John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman, Michael Anderson, Jr.) -- Although we don’t meet Katie in this western, we see the influence she’s had on her sons’ lives and how much they revere her.
Not By Birth But By Love -- Finally, I had to acknowledge that a mother may not be the woman who gave birth to a child. She might be an aunt or a grandmother or even a stranger who reaches out and shares her love.
- Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell and Jan Handzlik/Roger Smith)
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Taraji P. Henson and Brad Pitt)
- The Blind Side (Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron)
I do have my favorites of the above: Sergeant York, The Big Valley, Auntie Mame, Dumbo. I'm sure you do, too. You might even think of a title I left out. If so, let me know.