A father, a son, a lover, a husband and a friend — there are so many roles that men portray in their lives. Thanks to International Men’s Day that is celebrated annually on 19 November, the world gets to honour and appreciate men for everything they do for us. The day is also marked to raise awareness about men’s issues and to promote positive masculinity, with an aim to highlight the positive contributions men make to society. World Men’s Day is also observed to celebrate their achievements and milestones and promote gender equality. It also provides an opportunity to focus on men’s health, mental health, and well-being, and to promote positive role models for them.
Talking about positive role models, movies have often acted as a mirror of the society. There are several movies made on men that showcase true gentleman in the narrative, and each of these characters has something to teach. Many of these movies that are a perfect watch for International Men’s Day, have even gained cult classic status because of the beautiful stories narrated by the amazing male characters in these films.
From chivalry to empathy, from self-improvement to mental health — many movies have managed to capture the true essence of what makes a person a gentleman. As the world is all slated to celebrate International Men’s Day this 19 November, here are 10 movies that showcase what it means to be a true gentleman.
Watch these heart-warming movies to celebrate 19 November, International Men’s Day
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Directed by: John G. Avildsen
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith
Release date: 3 December 1976
Synopsis: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer and debt collector in Philadelphia, gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. Despite overwhelming odds, Rocky trains tirelessly, finding love and support from Adrian (Talia Shire), his shy love interest. The film explores Rocky’s journey from an underdog to a symbol of hope and determination, which makes this character so remarkable.
More about the film: Sylvester Stallone’s character and the movie’s theme song have become a pop-cultural phenomenon and an important part of 1970s American popular culture.
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson.
Release date: 23 January 1943
Synopsis: Set during World War II in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, the film follows Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical nightclub owner, and his former lover, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), who re-enters his life with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a Czech Resistance leader. Rick must grapple with his feelings for Ilsa and decide whether to help her and Victor escape from the clutches of the Nazis, showcasing themes of love, sacrifice, and honour.
More about the film: Casablanca won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. Michael Curtiz was selected as Best Director and Brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein alongwith Howard Koch were honored for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Directed by: Robert Mulligan
Cast: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Robert Duvall, William Windom, Alice Ghostley, Collin Wilcox
Release date: 25 December 1962
Synopsis: Based on Harper Lee’s novel, the story is set in the racially segregated American South during the 1930s. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), a principled lawyer, defends a black man, Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), who is falsely accused of raping a Caucasian girl, Mayella Ewell (Collin Wilcox). Atticus’s moral integrity and commitment to justice provide a powerful exploration of racial prejudice, empathy, and standing up for what is right.
More about the film: To Kill a Mockingbird bagged three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Gregory Peck, and was nominated under eight categories.
Directed by: Peter Weir
Cast: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero, James Waterston, Norman Lloyd
Relese date: 2 June 1989
Synopsis: In an all-boys preparatory school in the 1950s, a new English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), inspires his students to appreciate poetry, seize the day, and embrace the power of individuality. Keating’s unconventional teaching methods have a profound impact on his students, encouraging them to pursue their dreams despite societal expectations and the school’s conservative traditions.
More about the film: Dead Poets Society received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Williams. It also won the BAFTA Award for Best Film, the César Award for Best Foreign Film and the David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Film.
Directed by: Ron Howard
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, Christopher Plummer
Release date: 21 December 2001
Synopsis: Based on the life of mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe), the film explores Nash’s brilliant mind and his struggle with schizophrenia. Despite his mental health challenges, Nash overcomes personal and professional obstacles, eventually receiving recognition for his groundbreaking work in game theory. The film portrays his journey toward recovery, resilience, and the power of the human spirit.
More about the film: A Beautiful Mind grabbed four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Connelly.
Directed by: Joe Wright
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Pike, Simon Woods, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan
Release date: 11 November 2005
Synopsis: Based on Jane Austen’s classic 1813 novel of the same name, the film follows the Bennet sisters, particularly Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley), as they navigate societal expectations and romantic entanglements in 19th-century England. The story focuses on Elizabeth’s complex relationship with the wealthy and aloof Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), exploring themes of love, class, and personal growth.
More about the film: 20-year-old Keira Knightley received a nomination at the 78th Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role. This made her the third-youngest Best Actress nominee at the time.
Directed by: Gabriele Muccino
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandiwe Newton, Brian Howe, Dan Castellaneta, James Karen, Kurt Fuller
Release date: 15 December 2006
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film follows Chris Gardner (Will Smith), a struggling salesman and single father, as he faces homelessness with his young son. Despite numerous challenges, Gardner lands an unpaid internship at a prestigious brokerage firm. Through determination, hard work, and unwavering hope, he battles adversity to secure a better future for himself and his son.
More about the film: Will Smith bagged an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the movie.
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Cast: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke
Release date: 11 July 12014
Synopsis: The film follows the life of Mason Evans Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from childhood to adulthood. Filmed over 12 years, the story captures the challenges, joys, and transformations experienced by Mason and his family members as they navigate the passage of time. The film offers a unique and intimate portrait of growing up, exploring the complexities of identity, family, and personal growth.
More about the film: Boyhood was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards. It took home the awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. It also grabbed five BAFTA award nominations and won for Best Director and Best Film. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning Best Supporting Actress for Arquette.
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field
Release date: 6 July 1994
Synopsis: The film chronicles the life of Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a man with a low IQ but a good heart, as he unwittingly becomes a part of several pivotal moments in American history, from the 1950s to the 1980s. Despite his limitations, Forrest achieves remarkable success in various fields, always demonstrating kindness, loyalty, and unwavering optimism. The story explores themes of destiny, love, and the resilience of the human spirit.
More about the film: Forrest Gump won six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Tom Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It received many nominations including Golden Globes, British Academy Film Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Directed by: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm, Andrew Rannells, Adam DeVine, Zack Pearlman
Relese date: 25 September 2015
Synopsis: Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), a 70-year-old widowed man, becomes an intern at an online fashion retailer founded by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Despite the generation gap, Ben’s wisdom, kindness, and work ethic make him an invaluable asset to the company. Through their unlikely friendship, the film explores themes of mentorship, friendship, and the value of experience in the modern workplace.
More about the film: The Intern was planned to star Tina Fey and Michael Caine in the lead roles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
-What is the purpose of International Men’s Day?
The purpose of this day is to promote and celebrate the accomplishments of men.
-Is there an International Men’s Day?
International Men’s Day is a global awareness day celebrated annually on 19 November.
-Why is Men’s Day celebrated in India?
The aim is to celebrate the positive contribution of men.
-What are the 6 pillars of International Men’s Day?
The six significant pillars are — to promote male role models, to celebrate the contribution that men make, to focus on men’s health and well-being, to highlight discrimination against men, to improve gender relations and promote gender equality, and to create a safer world for everyone.
All Images: Courtesy IMDb