The best of Hollywood father/ son talents

Sharing the screen for the first time, Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland star in Emmy Award-winning Director Jon Cassar’s brooding western FORSAKEN.  A story of an estranged father and son’s reunion, the mending of old wounds and searching for redemption whilst tensions run high in a community besieged by ruthless land-grabbers, the stellar lead cast is completed by Brian Cox, Michael Wincott and Demi Moore.


In 1872, John Henry Clayton (Kiefer Sutherland) retires as a gunfighter and returns to his hometown of Fowler, Wyoming in the hope of repairing his relationship with his estranged father, Reverend Clayton (Donald Sutherland).

However, he soon learns the town is in turmoil, as the railroad will be coming through the area and a criminal gang controlled by ruthless businessman James McCurdy (Brian Cox) is terrorizing ranchers who refuse to sell their land.

Despite constant harassment, John Henry remains true to his vow to not wear his guns, ignoring the pleas of the townsfolk, who in despair have turned away from Reverend Clayton’s preachings of non-violence and urge his son to stand up to McCurdy and his thugs.

John Henry is conflicted.  By forsaking violence, he has finally received forgiveness from his father and after years of estrangement but one’s past has a way of being more than a memory that can just be forgotten.

Available on digital download from 4th July and Blu-ray™ and DVD from 11th July, FORSAKEN, starring real life father and son Donald and Keifer Sutherland, has got us thinking about other Hollywood father/ son talents. Here’s a look some of Hollywood’s finest actors, and the sons that continue to uphold their legacies.


The Sutherlands

Donald Sutherland

With over 50 years of film and television roles under his belt, at age 80, Donald continues to impress us with his work on earlier films such as Klute and M.A.S.H., to his award winning roles in the television mini-series Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Path to War, to more recent roles in box office hits such as The Italian Job, Pride and Prejudice, and The Hunger Games Trilogy. While this father / son duo worked together on A Time To Kill, their characters never interacted and so Forsaken marks the first film in which the pair act co-star. Donald has four sons, and each is named for a different director that he has worked with over the course of his career. Keifer is named after Warren Keifer, director of the first film Donald ever acted in Il castello dei morti vivi (Castle of the Living Dead).

Keifer Sutherland

Like his father, Keifer has enjoyed success in film and TV. Arguably his most memorable role to date, Kiefer’s performance as Jack Bauer across the show’s eight seasons earned the actor six Golden Globe® nominations, with one win. The actor also made a reported $40 million on the series over three seasons, making him one of the highest grossing television stars of all time. Other notable work from the younger Sutherland includes: A Few Good Men, Stand by Me, and The Lost Boys.

The Douglas’

Kirk Douglas

At the ripe old age of 99, few can top Kirk Douglas’ track record in Hollywood. Not only did he star in classics including Spartacus, The Bad and the Beautiful, Lust for Life, and the Champion, he is also one of the actors responsible for helping to end The Hollywood Blacklist in 1960. Having starred in a stage adaptation of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Broadway in 1963, the actor fell in love with the work and purchased the rights to the film, eventually handing the project to his son, Michael.

Michael Douglas

Kirk Douglas is a tough act to follow. Yet somehow, the Hollywood legend’s oldest son, Michael, rose to the challenge. After his breakout role in the TV Special The Experiment, the actor went on to produce his father’s dream project, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The older Douglas had hoped to play the leading role, but after some discussion, father and son agreed Jack Nicholson was more age appropriate for the role. Michael won an Academy Award® for Best Picture as producer of the movie, cementing the burgeoning star’s celebrity status. Michael’s work in front of the camera includes his Academy Award®-winning performance as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, Golden Globe® award-winning performance in the HBO’sBehind The Candelabra, and starring roles in acclaimed films such as Traffic, Wonder Boys, Fatal Attraction and many more. Both Kirk and Michael Douglas are recipients of the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe Award for Lifetime Achievement (1968, 2004).

The Sheens

Martin Sheen

Best known for his performance as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet in acclaimed political drama, The West Wing and roles in Francis Ford Copolla’s Apocalypse Now and Martin Scorcese’s The Departed, Martin Sheen has four children, all of whom are also actors -including Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. Martin has collaborated with his sons on numerous projects including The Way, directed by Emilio, and several guest star roles on television series with Charlie.

Charlie Sheen

Though he has famously struggled with substance abuse and mental health challenges, Charlie Sheen has contributed an impressive body of work to Hollywood. The star first started making Super 8 films with older brother Emilio, and classmates Rob Lowe and Sean Penn at Santa Monica High School in the seventies. After high school, Charlie launched straight into acting, eventually garnering roles in hits such as The Platoon and The Rookie, where he starred opposite Clint Eastwood. Iconic roles in nineties comedies such as Major League, Money Talks and Hot Shots! proved the actor’s gift for comedy, and in the 2000’s Charlie moved over to work on television sitcoms. Charlie won his first Emmy® for his reprisal of Michael J. Fox’s role in Spin City, and eventually took on a role in Two and a Half Men for which he was nominated for three Emmy® awards and two Golden Globe® awards. In 2010, Charlie became the highest paid actor on television, earning $1.8 million per episode on Two and a Half Men.

The Spalls

Timothy Spall

An officer of the Order of the British Empire for his significant contribution to the field of the Arts in Britain, English actor Timothy Spall got his big start on the hit ITV comedy-drama series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Following his rise to fame on the small screen, Spall received a Best Actor BAFTA® nomination for his performance in the 1996 British dramatic film Secrets and Lives. Other significant work includes The King’s Speech, Sweeney Todd, the Harry Potter series and The Last Samurai. Timothy has three sons.

Rafe Spall

While his father has made a brilliant career of playing primarily character roles, and supporting leads, Rafe is a true leading male. Rafe’s acting chops are a clear indication he is his father’s son. Significant work includes Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, and most recently the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ 2010 book The Big Short, based on 2008 housing crisis in the U.S. Though at 33, the young actor already has an impressive resume, Rafe is on the rise, and is definitely one to look out for. Rafe is named after the lead character in the play Knight of the Burning Pestle. Both Father and son have now played this role in their careers.


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