When fathers and children work together on the same set -- ''Paper Moon,'' ''The Emerald Forest,'' and ''Mo' Better Blues'' are some examples

By Melissa Pierson
Updated June 14, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Honkytonk Man

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Talent in Hollywood often seems to run in the blood-think of the Hustons and the Fondas. And when fathers and children work together on the same set, it can result in a special familial film synergy. So, instead of tossing dad another necktie on Father’s Day, how about renting one of these videos for him-and maybe even taking the time to watch it together?

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
John Huston’s astute chronicle of the war between greed and humaneness in the gold fields of the Sierra Madre ends up being a pretty thorough argument against materialism. Among the three prospectors is a savvy old-timer — Walter Huston. Under his son’s direction he gives an Oscar-winning performance, the culmination of his career. A

Paper Moon (1973)
Peter Bogdanovich’s ’30s-retro, black-and-white homage to John Ford is a mite too charming for its own good, but it scored a casting coup with nine-year-old Tatum O’Neal as a pipsqueak con who upstages real-life dad Ryan — and became the youngest performer ever to nab an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. B-

On Golden Pond (1981)
This tale about reconciliation at the end of life is drenched with sentiment. Henry Fonda received a deathbed Oscar for his portrayal of a cutely cantankerous retiree, and Jane Fonda plays his equally angry daughter, though to less effect. C-

Honkytonk Man (1982)
Clint Eastwood’s ninth picture as director was a family affair off the screen and on, where he introduced son Kyle as an adoring nephew to his no-‘count country singer. Their Depression-era journey from the Dust Bowl to Nashville meanders a bit much, but the father-son team is naturally kinetic together. B-

The Emerald Forest (1985)
John Boorman directs his son Charley in the true story of an engineer whose young son was kidnapped by Indians in the Amazon rain forest. Ten years later the father finds his son, a teen-ager gone native. The fresh sincerity Charley brought to a difficult role — he is not a professional actor — is a standout in an otherwise embarrassing film. D

The Dead (1987)
In John Huston’s directorial swan song (he died before the film’s release), it’s not hard to see the appeal of James Joyce’s affecting story about life’s losses. It’s no mystery either why he chose daughter Anjelica Huston to be Gretta Conroy: The job she did for Dad was both elegant and eloquent. Son Tony Huston’s adaptation stays close to the original. B+

Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
The heart-felt depth of the opening scenes of Spike Lee’s jazz-world saga — a boy learns from his parents that music comes before all else — could only come from experience. Lee’s father, Bill, is a musician who not only influenced his son’s commitment to his art, but who also composed the score for his film. However, father and son share the same failings as well: The movie proves pretentious and slick. C

Honkytonk Man

  • Movie