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Father's Little Dividend
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Reviews & Ratings for
Father's Little Dividend More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A sequel that retains the freshness of the original…

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
6 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Detailing the life of the newlyweds (does he really love her?) and the traumas attendant upon the birth of the first baby, "Father's Little Dividend" is a movie as nicely relaxing and easy to get on with as its predecessor, "Father of the Bride."

Months after the wedding of his daughter, Tracy is at last making a recovery from the effects of that marriage when he is told that his daughter and son-in-law are to have a baby… At first Tracy is opposed to the whole idea, but he adjusts to the inevitable… Then many problems arise and even the birth of the baby does not solve all the matters that cause worry and perplexity…

In "Cynthia" or "A Date with Judy," Liz Taylor—a bride-to-be or as eager wife and mother—she's a healthy, normal young woman, something of a forerunner to Elinor Donahue's bright, bubbly Betty of "Father Knows Best."

Once again, Spencer Tracy stole the picture as he came to face the enthusiasm and exuberance of grandfatherhood…

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Cute, dated (which makes it cuter)

8/10
Author: Monkey-39
29 July 1999

Spencer Tracy blusters around quite nicely in this fluffy sequel to Father of the Bride. It's most interesting to watch as a sort of time capsule, to see the attitudes and quirks of the early 1950s. I love the scene where Liz Taylor describes to her father how her doctor believes in the bizarre new concept of childbirth, wherein the mother is actually conscious during the process, and then she is with her baby as much as possible during the coming days. It's quite funny, then, to the viewer, as Tracy's eyes widen in horror -- and episodes like this pepper the film. It's not a masterpiece, but it's cute, and for fans of the genre, it's just fine.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Funny, sweet, but not LOL

7/10
Author: vsnunez from Lakeland, Florida
27 April 2005

This is not a "great" movie, but it is light-hearted fun, and worth watching. The studio was trying to cash in on Tracy's new-found cachet as a comic actor. I liked that his character stood for reason and tolerance - could just as easily been bombast and intolerance. Instead of coercing his daughter, he takes the time to let her see how it all works out, much as in "Father of the Bride." There's certainly a place in my heart for a man like that. In fact, Tracy reminds me of my father at his best. I do wonder at all the varying concerns - the rush to the hospital by all parties, the nervous mother and father in the months to the baby's arrival. Aside from the black and white filming, there are some other things that really date this movie, such as the casual use of tobacco and alcohol. It was interesting to see Hayden Rorke in his pre- "I dream of Jeannie" days, and with a bit less of a featherbrained character. Paul Harvey ("Good Day!") and Bob Hope make appearances too. The doctor's guidance surprised me with the degree of prenatal care - 8 glasses of water a day, plenty of walking, vitamins. I'd have guessed that back in the day, they'd have the gals kicking back with a beer to just relax. Also, when the son-in-law phones in from the maternity ward, he's all bubbly; when I called my dad to tell him about my kids arriving, I could barely talk, I was so choked up. My dad told me later he was a little worried that something bad had happened. Ah, well. I also understand a little better why my dad was so taken with Elizabeth Taylor, she's just a knockout in this movie, young, big dark eyes, so pretty. Folks may think that such movies suffer by their age, but I think it's interesting to see how people lived and what their attitudes were, kind of like being with my grandpa again. Not so obsessed with health, more about genuine concern for one another. I'm glad TCM runs these movies.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Sequel!

Author: Patrick Sullivan (sullivpj@sce.com) from Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
13 August 1999

I usually do not care for sequels, but this one is a complete joy! The first film; "Father of the Bride" was rightly nominated for the Academy Award for best picture, so this film had a lot to live up to. Spencer Tracy does not come to mind when you think about comedy, but he is hysterical as Stanley Banks, who has to come to terms on grandparenting. Joan Bennett is a perfect co-star for him, they work extremely well together. Her "double takes" with him are particularly funny.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Solid Sequel With Some Good Moments

Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio
5 January 2006

This solid sequel to "Father of the Bride" has some good moments, and with the same cast on hand plus a similar story line, it feels very much like a direct continuation of the original. "Father's Little Dividend" is a cut below its predecessor, but it works all right in itself.

Spencer Tracy once again plays the rather hapless Stanley Banks, and again he shows how good he could be in a rather thankless role. It's almost unfortunate that he seems so natural as a flustered or put-upon husband or father, since he often played such roles although he could do so many other things as well or better. But as far as this pair of movies went, he was certainly a fine choice, since he makes the character believable and sympathetic.

Tracy's character is the focal point for the common kinds of changes and adjustments that families must make as the younger generation grows up. Although his reactions are often exaggerated, in general it is fairly easy to understand Stanley's constant feeling of apprehension about any and all changes.

As with the first movie, Elizabeth Taylor works very well as Kay, giving her an appealing presence and a simple believability.

The pace and the material of this one are not as consistent as they were in the first movie, and some of the comedy ideas come across rather awkwardly. But at other times the characters and cast make things work quite well, and in fact the simplest moments are some of the best ones in the movie.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

charming family picture

7/10
Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
23 October 2005

A befuddled Spencer Tracy and a scatty Joan Bennett find out they are to become grandparents in this charming sequel to 'Father of the Bride'. Although the original film was better, this is a funny, warm, and worthy follow-up.

Elizabeth Taylor again appears as daughter Kay, looking beautiful and radiant. Husband Buckley (the slightly wooden Don Taylor) struggles to cope with his pregnant wife's mood swings, while the in-laws (Moroni Olsen as the pompous ex-Harvard father-in-law, Billie Burke as the twittery mother-in-law) almost come to blows before baby has even arrived.

The star performance in this film is, as ever, Tracy, as he comes to terms with his little girl growing away from him, with his life 'slipping away' with the arrival of the new baby, with his resentment of the rich in-laws. It's a winning performance, and his scenes with Bennett and with Taylor are pure gold.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Lemon and Sugar Sometimes Mix

6/10
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
3 May 2009

The material may be sticky, but the players shine. Fortunately, Tracy's dour reactions keep the soggy motherhood plot from becoming too sweet. His pained grimaces and caustic asides are really quite droll, more amusing however than funny. The young couple, Taylor and Taylor, are right out of a glossy Photoplay, but manage not to be too annoying, while Bennett shows she can do dutiful wives as well as conniving trollops (Scarlet Street, 1945). For some reason the two sons, Tamblyn and Irish, make a brief appearance, then disappear without a trace, and I'm wondering why the script bothered in the first place. Of course, the complications of a first- time baby keep the narrative moving; at the same time, we know perfectly well how things will end. And they do. This is the old MGM dream factory at work even after the boss L.B. Mayer has departed-- big houses, elegant clothes, household servants, and even teenagers with no zits. As the boss himself famously remarked, People don't want to see people like themselves on the big screen, or words to that effect. Not much chance of that here. Still, the movie remains a seductive piece of entertainment, rather like a shiny new suit that doesn't quite fit, but you buy it anyway.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful and realistic followup from FATHER OF THE BRIDE

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
12 July 2006

I absolutely loved FATHER OF THE BRIDE. This was my favorite Spencer Tracy film in that it gives him a chance to play an "everyman" and you really grow to care about him and his growing family. So, I was thrilled that MGM made this sequel (and I ordinarily hate sequels). Now that his lovely daughter, Liz Taylor, was married off in the last film, this movie tackles the next big life-changing event in Tracy's life--the imminent birth of his grandchild. All the worries and changes are dealt with so deftly that you soon forget that nothing earth-shattering or amazing happens in the film--it's just a wonderfully written, directed and acted slice of life film that is enhanced by its realism and gentle humor.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The Dunstans and Banks at it again

6/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
4 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'd like to be able to write that Father's Little Dividend is as worthy a sequel to Father of the Bride as The Bells of St. Mary's is to Going My Way. Unfortunately it did not happen that way.

The whole cast is re-united for this sequel with newlyweds Elizabeth Taylor and Don Taylor expecting their first. The possibility of being a grandfather has Spencer Tracy all disjointed, old age has come upon him with the suddenness of a punch in the nose. But the film essentially is the story of his adjustments to the situation. The other three grandparents, Joan Bennett, Moroni Olsen and Billie Burke all seem to be taking it in stride.

Joan Bennett has a lot more to do in this one than in Father of the Bride. Her driving like a maniac to get to Elizabeth Taylor's side as she's about to deliver is a great scene. And her plans to take over the raising of the baby are pretty funny as the whole thing just exasperates Tracy.

But the end was a horrible let down. I have to agree with the other reviewer that there ain't nothing funny about losing an infant which is what Tracy does when he's distracted by kids playing in the park while he's taking the kid for a stroll. Too many real tragedies happen this way for any humor to be gleaned from the situation.

But if you find humor in it or think the way it was handled OK, than by all means see Father's Little Dividend.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A classic!

Author: Sean Magan (moebian@yahoo.com) from Worcester, MA
28 June 1999

Last night on the Turner Classic Movies channel, I saw Father's Little Dividend. It was a very funny movie! Spencer Tracy shines as he plays Stanley Banks. Just as good as the original Father Of The Bride. Despite the airheadedness of the last commenter, this movie is very much worth seeing. It's a classic! Not Tracy's best movie, but it's a gem!

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