Father of the Bride (1950)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  16 June 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,390 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 26 critic

A father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, and the financial and organizational pain of arranging her wedding.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Don Taylor ...
Moroni Olsen ...
Melville Cooper ...
Mr. Tringle
Taylor Holmes ...
Paul Harvey ...
Frank Orth ...
Tommy Banks (as Rusty Tamblyn)
Tom Irish ...
Marietta Canty ...


Proud father Stanley Banks remembers the day his daughter, Kay, got married. Starting when she announces her engagement through to the wedding itself, we learn of all the surprises and disasters along the way. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You're invited . . . to a hilarious wedding ! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El padre de la novia  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The premiere of this film took place six weeks after Elizabeth Taylor's real-life May 6, 1950 marriage to "Nicky" Conrad Hilton Jr.. The publicity surrounding the event is credited with helping to make the film so successful. See more »


At the party to announce the engagement, Stanley is fixing drinks, and opens two Cokes which spray all over him. In both cases, but especially when he opens the second coke, it is obvious that the spray is coming from the wall cabinet, not from the coke bottle. See more »


Stanley T. Banks: No one paid any attention to the orchestra. Ellie could have saved that 85 bucks!
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Referenced in City Guys: Students of the Bride (2000) See more »


Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight
Written by Rudy Vallee, Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell and Reginald Connelly
Heard in the last scene as Stanley and Ellie dance
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User Reviews

"Stanley, From Now On, Don't Answer The Phone!"
20 January 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income lawyer has his domestic tranquillity destroyed when his 20-year-old daughter announces that she is going to get married. Stanley Barnes, nominal head of the Barnes household, finds himself increasingly marginalised as the wedding approaches.

Tracy underplays Stanley and judges his performance beautifully. He is the staid old dinosaur at the centre of the hubbub. Whereas Steve Martin in the 1991 version played the father as a manic plunger into other people's swimming-pools, Tracy can raise a laugh by lying motionless in bed, staring into space.

Stanley's wife Ellie is played by Joan Bennett, and hers is the comedy of manners, manoeuvring through the various social minefields which she encounters. She restrains Stanley from yelling in front of the domestic help, harbours doubts about Kay and Buckley (unlike Diane Keaton's character in the remake) and gets nervous and embarrassed in front of the in-laws. It is touching for us to learn that she regrets not having had a white wedding of her own, and this gives her a credible motivation for the spendfest which follows.

This film is surer of itself than is the remake, at least in part because in 1950 the social demarcations were clearer and more solidly-grounded. The Barnes family lives in a bourgeois community in which the 'rules' are universally understood. There has to be an engagement party, and a formal visit to the in-laws. These procedural steps en route to the wedding are unquestioned. In the 1991 version, the notion of 'being middle class' has expanded and grown nebulous. The in-laws are simply richer, not socially superior. The milestones towards the marriage are fumbled for - no-one is comfortable with the protocol. Even the man-to-man talk feels inappropriate.

Interestingly, Stanley is able to get away with being a garrulous bore. Martin strives for the viewer's sympathy, whereas Tracy is assured enough to let his character have shortcomings. He does not need to swing from ballustrades to get laughs, because he has enough presence and authority simply to be what he is, and to allow the humour to arise out of the situation.

Tracy can, however, mime with the best of them. The slightly-too-short waistcoat is great fun, and his silent reactions to the bust-up and reconciliation are marvellous. The film contains lots of goodies, like the expressionist nightmare or the quiet moment when Tracy is alone with the floral displays, seemingly hemmed-in by the frippery of the wedding. Director Minnelli is a master at ensemble 'babble' scenes, and this film has some good ones.

Verdict - light comedy, supremely well-crafted

22 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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