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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gary David Goldberg
Produced by Gary David Goldberg
Written by Gary David Goldberg
William Wharton
Starring Jack Lemmon
Ted Danson
Olympia Dukakis
Kathy Baker
Kevin Spacey
Ethan Hawke
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Jan Kiesser
Editing by Eric A. Sears
Studio Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) October 27, 1989
Running time 117 min
Country  United States
Language English

Dad is an 1989 comedy-drama based on William Wharton's novel of the same name. The movie stars Jack Lemmon, Ted Danson, Olympia Dukakis, Kevin Spacey and Ethan Hawke, and was written and directed by Gary David Goldberg. It was produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures.



John Tremont is a busy executive. He learns during a meeting that his mother has collapsed and been rushed to the hospital.

Flying immediately to Los Angeles, he ends up becoming his father Jake's caretaker while Bette Tremont recovers from her stroke. A retired aerospace industry worker, Jake has become somewhat feeble and totally reliant on his wife, so John attempts to get him more involved in day-to-day things like taking care of the house.

Father and son bond. John invites his dad to a business meeting and takes him out for a Bingo game. They play catch with a baseball in the yard.

Late one night, college-aged grandson Billy turns up as well. John begins to appreciate while spending quality time with his dad that he has been neglecting his own boy.

Bette returns home from the hospital. She is a strong, willful woman with little personal warmth. Jake is very happy to have everyone around him again during family dinners with the kids, including daughter Annie and son-in-law Mario, but the glum Bette resents the intrusion.

One day, Jake Tremont finds blood in his urine and is taken to a doctor. John has a single request at the hospital—to avoid the word "cancer," which terrifies his dad.

An arrogant doctor named Santana who feels he knows what's best decides that a patient has a right to know. Jake immediately loses his bearings and ends up in a coma.

A fiercely protective John stays by his dad's side constantly and a more sympathetic doctor named Chad volunteers his help. Jake unexpectedly wakes up one day and seems perfectly fine.

Upon coming home, Jake acts reborn and reinvigorated. He confuses his wife by dressing in an odd manner, studying new languages, visiting the neighbors and even wanting sex at night. John feels his dad is just trying to enjoy life, something his bitter mother seems incapable of doing.

Something more is definitely wrong with Jake, however. He is having delusions about being the head of a different family, a far-away farm. A psychiatrist concludes that Jake sought joy in a fantasy world while being unable to experience a sufficient amount in his own.

Jake has a relapse. In the hospital, he reminisces with his son about things that made him happiest, like work and baseball, before passing away. John, a better man for the experience, returns to his old life.



Jack Lemmon received much critical acclaim for his performance. He was nominated for a Golden Globe.

The film was nominated in 1990 for the Academy Award for Makeup, which went to Driving Miss Daisy.

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