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World's Greatest Dad

World's Greatest Dad

3.8 6
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait

Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore


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A high school poetry teacher and single father discovers that the thing he covets most in life may not be what makes him truly happy in this pitch-black comedy directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, and starring Robin Williams. Lance Clayton (Williams) is a mild-mannered high school teacher from Seattle who was granted sole custody of his


A high school poetry teacher and single father discovers that the thing he covets most in life may not be what makes him truly happy in this pitch-black comedy directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, and starring Robin Williams. Lance Clayton (Williams) is a mild-mannered high school teacher from Seattle who was granted sole custody of his son, Kyle (Daryl Sabara), following a nasty divorce. As hard as Lance tries to connect with his hostile, loathsome son, all he receives for his sincere efforts are insults and scorn. The only things Kyle seems to care about are violent video games and internet porn, the latter obsession eventually serving to alienate the foul-mouthed teen from his sole friend, Andrew (Evan Martin). His books rejected by publishers and his poetry class on the verge of being canceled due to student disinterest, Lance does find a bit of happiness in his relationship with pretty art instructor Claire (Alexie Gilmore), though these days her gaze is drifting toward handsome young English teacher Mike (Henry Simmons), who recently celebrated the publication of his very first piece in The New Yorker. Then, one day, Lance discovers his son dead, the apparent victim of autoerotic asphyxiation gone horribly awry. In order to give the boy some dignity in death, Lance pens a suicide note before summoning the authorities. By chance, that note is published in Kyle's school newspaper, instantly transforming him into a misunderstood cult icon among the impressionable student body. Now, tragedy has become opportunity for Lance. Can the grieving father live with the knowledge of how he achieved such fame, or has he sacrificed his own soul in his blind quest to garner the kind of fame that has eluded him his entire life?

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
During a directing career of just a few features, Bobcat Goldthwait has shown a keen ability to normalize even the edgiest material, using a surprising sensitivity to make the taboo tolerable. He did it in Sleeping Dogs Lie with bestiality, and he does it in World's Greatest Dad with -- well, with a shocking second-act turn of events that's best kept secret, even though many synopses didn't show such restraint. This occurrence changes the film's tone completely, before a third tone emerges that a viewer can scarcely imagine would be possible, given the nature of what happens. Without getting too tangled up in talking about a thing without talking about it, suffice it to say that Goldthwait produces a black comedy that's both very funny, even though the subject matter is no joke, and very touching, all while steering clear of the maudlin misery that might arise from an ordinary treatment of this topic. He has Robin Williams to thank. Stuck in a deep rut of uninspired Hollywood tripe, Williams found his way clear to appearing in this brash and daring independent feature, which rewards both his director, and his own image among people who've grown sick of him. An unassuming schlub who lets life cuff him around, Williams' Lance Clayton takes control in a way that is totally crass, yet somehow laudable. Williams' subtlety as a performer does him a service here, in equal measure to the disservice his lack of subtlety has done him elsewhere. Not only does the viewer refuse to indict Clayton for his otherwise deplorable actions, but the character is effortlessly sympathetic, caught up in a snowballing disaster that stems from a series of small steps across moral lines. That's something with which most viewers can sympathize, making the film's title something more than merely ironic.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robin Williams Lance Clayton
Daryl Sabara Kyle Clayton
Alexie Gilmore Claire
Tom Kenny Jerry Klein
Geoffrey Pierson Principal Anderson
Henry Simmons Mike Lane
Toby Huss Bert Green
Morgan Murphy Morgan
Naomi Glick Ginger
Dan Spencer Dan Spencer
Zach Sanchez Peter
Evan Martin Andrew
Ellie Jameson Jennifer
Michael Thomas Moore Chris
Alles Mist Metal Kid
Jermaine Williams Jason
Lorraine Nicholson Heather
Mitzi McCall Bonnie
Rebecca Erwin Spencer Nosy Neighbor
Cheri Minns Nosy Neighbor
Zazu Nosy Neighbor
Tony V. Dr. Pentola
Krist Novoselic Newsstand Vendor
Mabel Mae Mabel
Zoe The Fighting Pug
Jill Talley Make-Up Woman
Deborah Horne Dr. Dana
Bruce Hornsby Bruce Hornsby
Riley Dean Stone Bruce Hornsby's Mic Stand

Technical Credits
Bobcat Goldthwait Director,Screenwriter
Gerald Brunskill Score Composer
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Lisa Fowle Sound/Sound Designer
Howard Gertler Producer
Edward H. Hamm Executive Producer
Tim Henderson Stunts
Bruce Hornsby Songwriter
Richard Kelly Producer
Ruth Lambert Casting
Horacio Marquinez Cinematographer
Robert McGee Casting
Sean McKittrick Producer
Cheri Minns Makeup
Mitch Mitchell Stunts
John Paino Production Designer
Tim Perell Producer
Sarah de Sa Rego Co-producer,Costumes/Costume Designer
Jennifer Roth Executive Producer
Jason Stewart Editor

Scene Index

Behind the Scenes; Outtakes; Deleted Scenes; HDNET: A Look At World's Greatest Dad; I Hope I Become A Ghost - Music Video By The Deadly Syndrome; ; Commentary With Writer and Director Bobcat Goldthwait


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World's Greatest Dad 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good movie, but it is difficult to watch in the wake of Mr Williams' passing.  I had not seen it prior to his death and there are some things in it that made it hard for me to watch in spots.  That might not be the case for everyone, but it was for me.  He gives a beautiful performance in this film and I'm really glad I watched it.  It made me think about the love parents have for their kids, and even when the kid is an absolute monster to them, the parent still loves his child and will go to any lengths to protect him and, in this case, his memory.  I highly recommend this movie.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well...it is called a black comedy for a reason. I thought this movie was absolutely wonderful and showed good plays on how fickle people really are. Best part - the ending. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brave_Horse66 More than 1 year ago
My boyfriend and I rented this, thinking it would be a funny movie with Robin Williams cast as the lead. We were sadly mistaken, and couldn't even finish the movie. Whoever proclaimed this "hilarious" and "wonderful" has a severely twisted sense of humor. There is nothing funny in the son's obnoxious, perverted behavior, which borders on a psychological disorder. Nor is his death anyway comical. I could only feel pity for Robin William's character; his life seemed very unfortunate. So unless the ending of this film changed drastically from the beginning and middle, it really isn't worth watching, though I doubt an excellent ending could have made up for its dark, twisted beginning. I really would only give it a half a star rating, but one is the lowest it goes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago