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In one of her most natural performances, Liz is a cheerful light, buoyant in movement…
Nazi_Fighter_David26 January 2009
"Father of the Bride" is a mainly delightful family comedy which benefits from a strong central performance...

One night at dinner, daughter Kay casually announces her engagement... Father and mother react on cue...

Following practically all the events of Edward Streeter's charming novel, the Oscar-Nominated screenplay is a series of comic and warm set pieces: the loving father asks his daughter to invite his future son-in-law for dinner; girl's parents meet boy's parents; prospective bride quarrels with prospective groom... The vignettes are applied with the light Minnelli touch at its most charming, and they are acted with captivating nonchalance by the incomparable Spencer Tracy in the title role and by the beautiful performances of Joan Bennett, Liz Taylor, and Don Taylor…

As the complaining middle class father, thoughtful to his daughter's welfare and watchful as to the distributing of his money, Tracy is incredibly amusing... Torn by jealousy, Tracy is all good-natured father exhausted by the complete weight of the problems leading up to the happy day...

But it's an ensemble show, and as the typical spoiled daughter of a typical mid-American bourgeois, Elizabeth has one of her joyful screen moments, altering and urging her beloved ones with such gentle, persuasive, winning, and gracious manners…
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Every Father's Worse Nightmare
bsmith55524 December 2001
"Father of the Bride" is Spencer Tracy's picture. His performance as the overwhelmed father of the bride is outstanding.

The plot is simple. Stanley Banks'(Tracy) daughter Kay (the beautiful teen-aged Elizabeth Taylor) announces her impending marriage to Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor). Mother (Joan Bennett) gets into the act and before you know it the bills are mounting and father is going greyer by the minute. There is the usual pre-marriage argument between the two lovers, the ever increasing guest list, a frantic rehearsal and finally the big day itself with father trying to maintain his sanity throughout.

The supporting cast is excellent. Leo G. Carroll is good as the befuddled caterer, Melville Cooper does a funny bit as the church deacon and the still beautiful Billie Burke along with Moroni Olsen appear as the parents of the Groom.

"Father of the Bride" under the able direction of Vincente Minnelli, is the kind of family comedy that we rarely see anymore.
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an MGM corker
didi-516 April 2004
My favourite performance of Spencer Tracy's from all the work he did in thirty-seven years in the movies - here he plays harassed father Stanley Banks struggling to cope with the comedy of his daughter Kay's wedding. Kay is played by the young and beautiful Elizabeth Taylor, who had just been married for the first time in real life; and her intended is played by Don Taylor, an actor I haven't seen in anything else, and can't really remember doing anything of interest in this. The family is completed by Joan Bennett as Tracy's wife, and Rusty (later Russ) Tamblyn as their youngest child.

Although the movie does play up the comic potential of the wedding situation - the dad dreams of losing his trousers as he walks down the aisle, for example - it also has moments of poignancy, especially in the last few sequences where the parents dance together in the post-party mess of their once-pristine house. This kind of thing puts the movie above the ordinary, and is exactly what was missing in the Steve Martin remake years later.

And don't let me forget Billie Burke and Moroni Olsen as the groom's parents - really funny!
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Tracy's Narration, Liz's Face Highlight This Better Version
ccthemovieman-122 September 2007
For those who like a light comedy diversion, this was pretty good stuff. Spencer Tracy is excellent as a "father of the bride" and he gives us a good idea of what it's like to have a daughter married off. Of course, Hollywood exaggerates a bit, and not everyone's daughter looks like Elizabeth Taylor, but that's what made this fun and, I think, a hit movie.

It must have been a good story and pretty successful for a re-make to be made 40 years later, starring Steve Martin. I watched both versions and would select this one over the re- make. As in most cases, there were more values and family togetherness in the classic-era movies than what Hollywood usually shows today. Nothing against Martin, but it was too difficult trying to top Tracy's performance in here.

This version actually was honored quite a bit, up for a handful of Academy Awards including "Best Picture." I don't remember this movie being THAT good, but everyone's sense of humor is different. Also, not being a father it was hard for me to relate to the mom and dad's predicaments here. Tracy and Joan Bennett played the parents. However, married friends of mine who saw this movie all loved it.

Obviously, some of this is very dated and a little unrealistic. Any father who still sees his daughter as someone in pigtails and tomboyish when she looks like Taylor ain't paying attention! Then again, maybe all dads see their daughters as little girls, no matter what age.

We see something else employed in this film you don't see anymore: someone talking directly to the camera as Tracy does here. I kind of like that. Daffy Duck did that, with hilarious results. So did Groucho Mark. It made us, the audience, feel we were involved with wedding, too.

All in all, still a good film which holds up reasonably well if you can look at it as a farce, and a comment with weddings - something that will never change!
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When You're the Father of Girls?
bkoganbing4 December 2005
When I watch either this version or the Steve Martin version of Father of the Bride, I always think of my poor brother now. He's the father of girls 21 and 19 so he will have to deal with what Spencer Tracy did twice.

This film was one of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's big moneymakers at the tail end of Louis B. Mayer's reign. It certainly has a theme, one that we can all identify with. 55 years after Father of the Bride came out, fathers all over the world will be overwhelmed by weddings. It will be so 100 years from now.

Twelve years after he won his second Oscar in Boystown, Spencer Tracy got an Oscar nomination for Stanley Banks, beleaguered and harried father of one of the most beautiful brides ever to grace the screen. It's on his performance, narrated in flashback by him, that the whole film rises or falls. Of course Tracy never let an audience down.

By coincidence the publicity surrounding Elizabeth Taylor's first marriage came as this film was being made and released. Sad that Liz Taylor never settled down to a stable marriage with a loving, faithful husband as Kay Banks did with Buckley Dunstan. But she sure is a bride for all seasons.

Of course the wedding, the planning, the cost, the disruption to the lives of the Banks household is the film. Who of us who dealt with having a wedding didn't have to deal with a snooty caterer? A formal announcement party that Tracy puts on and can't enjoy because he's stuck behind a jerry-built bar in his kitchen? A wedding rehearsal that can't seem to come off? Universal and timeless themes.

Joan Bennett registers well as the patient and loyal mother of the bride who has to deal with both her husband and daughter losing their minds to pre-wedding jitters. Moroni Olsen and Billie Burke and their son, Don Taylor, do just fine as the groom's side. And Leo G. Carroll is the wedding caterer from snob city. Maybe Clifton Webb could have done it better, if MGM could have afforded him, but Carroll is just fine.

My favorite moment in Father of the Bride is in the midst of all the chaos, Tracy looks at the older of Taylor's two brothers, Tom Irish, and tells him with great relief that when he gets married, his only contribution to the wedding will be him. My brother has to go through two daughters before he can say that to my nephew.
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"Stanley, From Now On, Don't Answer The Phone!"
stryker-520 January 1999
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
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A true comedy of errors!
gaityr14 September 2002
FATHER OF THE BRIDE tells the tale of how the once perfectly serene Banks household, led by genial would-be patriarch Stanley Banks (Spencer Tracy), deals with the trials and tribulations that come with the wedding of the family's sweet daughter Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) to her earnest suitor Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor). Pretty much anything that can cause a father's hair to gather even more grey streaks happens in the run-up to this wedding--first, the bills (as indicated in the tagline to the film) start pouring in... then he realises that his wife Ellie (a Joan Bennett almost unrecognisable from her role as Amy March in 1933's LITTLE WOMEN) never got the church wedding she wanted, so he gives in and splashes out for Kay. The guest lists swell beyond his expectations and financial means; the caterer belittles the planned menu *and* the Buckley home; and Kay fights with Buckley and (temporarily, but hair-raisingly) calls off the wedding. In fact, amidst the mess and chaos of the actual wedding itself, the father of the bride doesn't even get to kiss the bride goodbye.

All this might seem mighty familiar to anyone who's seen a 1991 film which, oddly enough, bears the same title, but stars Steve Martin, Diane Keaton and (in a hilarious turn as the effete wedding coordinator) Martin Short instead. The film is, of course, a remake, retaining a great deal of the original 1950 film's dialogue and situations, while updating it for modern times and developing the relationship of the characters further. For example, the two Banks brothers are eliminated for a younger baby brother for Annie (no longer Kay), played by Kieran Culkin. As I recall, the relationship between father and daughter is also better fleshed-out in the remake, as is that between the patriarch and matriarch of the family.

However, even though the 1991 remake is one of the most credible remakes of a classic film ever (I would willingly watch the remake--not something I can say for several other similarly presumptuous films), there are still some areas in which it falls far short of the original. Almost all of these areas have to do with the fact that the remake is lacking its own Spencer Tracy--it is his grasp of the role that makes the original film worth seeing to begin with; otherwise one could just as easily watch the remake and not lose very much in the translation. While Steve Martin does a great job as the title character, Spencer Tracy does a *defining* job. Diane Keaton just about every other scene from Martin (as does Kieran Culkin); Spencer Tracy dominates all the scenes he's in. He plays his role perfectly, with just the right amount of frustration, genuine bemusement, and abiding adoration for his only daughter.

One scene early on in the film captures exactly what Tracy contributes to his role (as he does to all his others): Stanley lies restless in bed, unable to sleep for worrying over Kay's announcement of her intent to marry Buckley. When he wakes Ellie up and starts complaining, watch Tracy as he keeps listing the different things there are to be worried about--he keeps fidgeting on the bed, almost lying back and then snapping upright again when a new horrifying thought enters his mind. The entire scene just rings of truth and you realise just what a great actor Spencer Tracy is, even in slight fare like FATHER OF THE BRIDE.

In the end, although FATHER OF THE BRIDE has a clever script and a generally good supporting cast (Taylor appears beautiful but rather blank most of the time), it is held together by the commanding performance given by Spencer Tracy, and for that reason, becomes a film worth watching. It might also be worth your while to catch the remake, if you haven't already. Both films are sweet and utterly likeable, and a fun way to spend an evening. :)
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A catered affair
jotix10013 February 2005
Vincent Minelli deserves all the credit in directing this delicious 1950 MGM comedy. The mere idea of having Spencer Tracy playing the father of the bride, after his many years of portraying heavier characters, is in itself a triumph!

The film was tremendously successful because of the casting of Elizabeth Taylor, in all her beauty. Ms. Taylor is an example why more fathers will go into the poor house when their daughters decide to marry, and must have an elaborate wedding.

Of course, those were other times, poor Stanley Banks didn't have to spend so much money to marry her daughter. Had it been today, it must have cost a small fortune to do a modest ceremony with a few hundred guests. The way they figured the cost of the affair was less than three dollars per person! Incredible!

In a way, this picture points out to the basic problems of having a social event of this magnitude when the parents are well connected, as is the case with the Banks. In fact, watching the reception, we realize most of the people attending the celebration are friends of the parents. We hardly see any young friends of the couple, with the exception of the ones in the wedding party. Imagine having to spend so much money knowing most marriages will end in divorce! Oh well.

Spencer Tracy makes a wonderful father of the bride. He was at the top of his career; he makes us believe he is the man losing his daughter and having to pay for it in the process. Joan Bennett makes a delightful Ellie, the mother of the marrying girl. Elizabeth Taylor not only was beautiful, but in this film, one can't keep the eyes away from her for a second.

The supporting cast was excellent. Mr. Minelli brings all these characters together in a comedy, that although a bit dated, will charm anyone because of the excellent cast in it.
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"With tender indulgence"
Steffi_P22 November 2010
There's an old saying that the best ideas are the simplest. This is only partly true. The best ideas often stem from a basic concept, but one which yields wide-ranging and elaborate results, and then only if pulled off properly. Father of the Bride has a simple idea at its heart – a straightforward romantic comedy, told from the point of view of someone on the periphery of the romance. However that idea provides the basis for a neatly structured picture that is both funny and endearing.

The screenplay, by the fantastic but rarely lauded husband-and-wife writing duo Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, tells a story on two levels. The actual events of the picture of chart the romance and wedding of a young couple, and this is more or less all that actually takes place on screen. However, the device of a voice-over narrative, as well as set-pieces such as the engagement party shown entirely from Spencer Tracy's position as involuntary butler, make this undoubtedly his story. The voice-over was a popular feature of thrillers around this time, but here it serves as a comical inner monologue and commentary. Telling the story through the father's eyes ultimately allows Goodrich and Hackett to make this a tale not of romantic love but of family and paternal affection, and one that is more moving than dozens of run-of-the-mill romcoms.

Director Vincente Minnelli was perhaps an odd choice for this project. Having had his biggest successes with musicals, his flowing, flamboyant style could have been a bit over-the-top for such a small-scale real-world setting. However Minnelli's tendency to lead the audience in a certain direction, and his skillful control of elements within the frame bring a lot to Father of the Bride. He is careful to always keep the wedding story going, often literally in the background, while putting Spencer Tracy in the foreground to give us his expressions and reactions. Usually the background goings-on are very busy, helping them to balance out, as well as giving a better comedy effect as Tracy grumps about before the camera. In the scene where the Bankses meet the Dunstons, Minnelli begins successive shots with a close-up of Tracy's martini glass, to give the whole scene the overtone that he is getting more and more drunk as he speaks. One of Minnelli's brightest ideas is to shoot the chaotic wedding rehearsal in one long take from a distant high angle. Not only does this allow the comedy to unfold naturally, it introduces us to the setting but in a slightly detached way. This gives all the more contrast and intensity to the following nightmare sequence, which is all done in close-ups with dozens of cuts.

In the titular role Spencer Tracy gives a typically engaging yet understated performance. This kind of thing was really Tracy's forte. He is essentially a comedy character, since it's his grouchiness and his bewilderment that underlie most of the funny bits. But he's not a wild comic – he's also very believable and very human, and more importantly someone we can like and sympathise with. Although Joan Bennett plays her role completely straight and very reserved, it makes sense for the two of them to be a screen couple. And while Katherine Hepburn had the best chemistry with Tracy and it was always nice to see them on screen together, Bennett is the more appropriate actress here, because she is more sedate and will not threaten to upstage Tracy, whose movie it is after all.

And Elizabeth Taylor, a huge star even then and arguably the female lead, ultimately has a fairly marginal role both in the script and on the screen. Some commentators bemoan this fact, and even prefer the 1991 remake to this original as a result. And yet it is all organised in such a way – the Goodrich/Hackett screen writing, Minnelli's direction, Tracy's acting – that brings a depth and poignancy to the father-daughter relationship despite Taylor's minimal participation. Take moments such as Tracy's relieved smile as the camera pulls away with him from the young lovers' reunion after their argument, or his frantic searching for his daughter so he can say goodbye before she leaves for the honeymoon. They don't distract from the general pattern of this being the father's story, and yet they reveal his true feelings, sometimes better than many a conventional scene between two people who love each other.
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A film for everybody.
bobsgrock22 June 2008
In one of his best performances, Spencer Tracy carries this film to be better than it would have been in other hands as the nervous and scared father of the bride. His wonderful mixture of firmness and gentleness make him a lovable character that we all can relate to. He gives us the feelings that he is experiencing while his only daughter, whom he was very close to as she grew up, gets married and leaves his life. Elizabeth Taylor is simply gorgeous as the bride-to-be, and Joan Bennett does very fine as the mother. Vincente Minnelli directs very well, but I can't help but wonder if this would have been better in color with all the dramatic settings during the wedding scenes. Nevertheless, the many colorful emotions that come with a wedding, both angry and happy, are finely displayed in this solid, well-made movie that explores one of life's greatest pleasures on the screen. This is a film for all kinds of people.
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Spencer Tracy Catches the Bouquet
wes-connors15 August 2007
An excellent vehicle for "Father of the Bride" Spencer Tracy. Mr. Tracy turns in an extremely engaging performance, under the direction of Vincente Minnelli. Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor are very beautiful; they look like they could be mother and daughter. Ms. Bennett works well with Tracy; overall, the characters form a "perfect" family. But, this isn't Arthur Miller. Some may find the Banks family dull.

Not to put it down (because it is a great movie), but I was really surprised that this family was "middle class"; they seemed too rich to be fretting about such things. This was 1950s "middle class"? Tracy's was the central performance. I liked his "nightmare/dream" sequences, and his narration helped in understanding the character. The ending, with Tracy and Bennett learning how to be closer, was sweet.

******** Father of the Bride (6/16/50) Vincente Minnelli ~ Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor
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The Original, The One and Only. . . . .
Robert J. Maxwell23 December 2004
What a cute movie. What separates it from all the TV sitcoms that were to follow is the care, time, and expense that went into all aspects of the production. (Except that it was shot on the MGM lot, which would have made more money as a theme park than a shopping mall.) Followers of the more popular TV sitcoms become familiar with the various characters over the course of episodes, sometimes over the course of years. But Minnelli and his cast and crew had to squeeze everything we learn about the characters into an hour and a half so they had a lot more work to do. The audience couldn't take the characters' traits for granted, like Jack Benny's stinginess, Ralph Kramden's bluster, Lucy's mishchievousness, Ted Baxter's vanity, or Archie Bunker's ethnocentricity. In a feature film it all had to be shown first, and then developed in the course of one long episode, so to speak.

This was one of a series of what might be called upper-middle-class comedies, which included "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." "Father of the Bride" crafts and executes the jokes almost flawlessly.

Want to see a great example of intuitive acting, one that probably took more than a few takes? Watch the bedroom scene before the wedding in which Spencer Tracy wakes his wife and tells her how worried he is that their daughter's, Elizabeth Taylor's, fiancé is basically an unknown in their lives. "He's a charming boy," replies Bennet, the wife. "Charm, eh?" Tracy shoots back and unleashes his anxiety. "That's just what these guys have got. Oh, lots of charm. Probably got a criminal record," and so on until he winds up with, "Just the kind of guy who'll probably put a bullet in the back of her neck." Then he rolls over and goes to sleep. What a performance. Tracy rolls around frantically while talking, fluffing his pillows, settling back and then sitting up again, shaking the blankets, scowling at his wife. In TV, there simply isn't enough TIME to devote to a single scene like that, nor are the performers usually up to Tracy's standards.

The same goes for the direction. Watch the scene of the wedding rehearsal at the church. It is, as Tracy despondently describes it afterwards, "utter and complete chaos." The scene lasts a good four minutes and involves at least a dozen characters who must learn how to walk in a particular way and recite their lines appropriately. It's both maddening and hilarious. And it's all done with no more than one or two cuts. Minelli's camera simply sits there and captures the insanity in long takes. How many were required, we'll never know, but certainly there were more tries than "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" could afford.

Not much is required of the rest of the cast. Tracy is the main show and he provides the narration. But Elizabeth Taylor is drop-dead gorgeous. Russ Tamblyn doesn't have many lines as her younger brother but he has one of the best. Tracy and Taylor have a minor row and Taylor huffs off. "Well, what's the matter with HER?" asks Tracy. And Tamblyn gets to say in his whiny adolescent voice, suggesting knowledge beyond his years, "She's nervous. ALL women are nervous." If you haven't seen this yet, don't miss your next chance.
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pushnlacs28 August 2007
Father Of The Bride(1950)- Tracy was awesome as usual, though Taylor didn't get to look as glamorous as she did in other films(Of course that wasn't her character anyway.)

Overall the film was enjoyable and better than the remake(s). Plus I dig Minnellis elegant direction, I like the elegance of most Golden Age directors though here Minnelli isn't as noticeable as he is in his musicals.

There's not much to write about this film, its a simple enjoyable comedy and now Im pretty much just wasting space so that my review will be accepted lol.
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good film
kyle_furr13 March 2004
Much better than that crappy remake with Steve Martin. This movie stars Spencer Tracy as a lawyer who discovers his daughter, played by Elizabeth Taylor, is about to be married. He doesn't like the idea after he finds out it's going to be a big wedding and he has to pay for it himself, with no help from the groom's parents. Their's one scene where he says to his son, he can't wait for him to get married so he won't have to pay for any of it. It shows him going through all the motions of setting the wedding up and all the problems that go along with it. Spencer Tracy is great in this movie and Joan Bennett doesn't have much to do as his wife. This was followed by a sequel a year later with the same cast and director.
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A good look at the trials and tribulations of marriage
perfectbond28 November 2003
This film is billed as a comedy but to me it worked more as a drama. There are a few funny scenes but most of all I was moved by the poignancy of the father (Tracy) as he prepares to give away his daughter in marriage. His pride, stubborness, and insecurities were played to great effect. Taylor looks perfect as the bride and her acting is also fairly convincing. The supporting cast, especially the caterer played by Leo G. Carrol, are also almost uniformly good. I didn't find this film as funny as some other people but like I said I enjoyed the drama aspects. Recommended, 7/10. The vintage newsreels on the DVD are also a nice touch.
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Father of the Bride (1950) ***
JoeKarlosi30 May 2005
Spencer Tracy is great as a very agitated dad who's faced with the rigors of accepting and dealing with the reality of preparing his little girl's wedding. Tracy is a lot of fun as the jittery father, but while I really liked the movie, I felt that the first ten minutes or so really showed the actor at a highly funny fever pitch which appeared to dwindle a bit as the story moved along and Tracy gradually got more and more used to the idea of the impending wedding. As the young daughter, a very youthful Elizabeth Taylor is absolutely stunning, and a true beauty to behold.

*** out of ****
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Stick out the first half-hour for a rewarding comedy
Linnell11 January 1999
Tedious and rather predictable for the first few minutes, this classic finally matures into a satisfying comedy. Without Spencer Tracy in the title role it would be extremely dull, and his belligerent, bewildered, but ultimately touching and endearing character injects real-life sentiment. Scope of film effectively embraces almost-slapstick scenarios with poignant insights. Its close portrayal of mid-century, middle-class American family life now make it fascinating for reasons beyond the original idea. Funniest scenes - Tracy's nightmare on the night before the wedding and his dumbfounded reaction as the quarrelling couple make up.
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a classic
valjoemv-110 July 2005
Look at how Elizabeth Taylor looked then! Beautiful and thin! She still looks fine now. Billie Burke (a.k.a.The Good Witch of the North) was a calming presence along with "Kay Banks". "Buckley" was kinda cheesy looking but otherwise all right. This was and is a classic no matter the nightmare it causes some fathers. If you like timeless classics in black and white then watch this movie. If the movie people are smart they will not colorize this movie. A colorized version will ruin it like a colorized version of "It's A Wonderful Life". There are just certain movies that should not be messed with and this is one of them. DO NOT COLORIZE THIS MOVIE!
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Comments on the scenery, costumes and colorized version
Mary Beth Roderick6 April 2007
Vincent Minnelli was famous for his attention to detail on a movie set. "Father of the Bride" is no exception to his well-deserved reputation. I loved the setting of the Bank's home, the comfortable two-story home on a tree-lined street. Elizabeth Taylor's bedroom, with its fireplace and its generous bay-window made me wonder why she got the best bedroom in the house and if she had regrets about leaving that lovely home to probably live in a small apartment. The family room, with its Victorian couch and leather chair, by the fireplace, helped me understand why the Banks family seemed so close; they had probably spent lots of time in that room together on cold, snowy nights. The kitchen was definitely a product of the 1940-1950's, rather sterile and sanitized, with its white metal cabinets. The idea of warm, country-style kitchens had gone out of fashion by that time by people in the same social class as the Banks. The dining room makes up for that coldness, with the beautiful dining room set and elaborate, silver candle sticks. Ellie and Stanley probably did a lot of entertaining in that room, she with her garden club and he with his clients from the law firm. I have seen the colorized version of the film and I was not offended by it. I rather enjoyed seeing some of the details of the home and the costumes come to life through the addition of color. I could see Elizabeth Taylor's famous violet eyes. The matching baby blue ensemble of matching dress and coat that she wore out on a date with Buckley said to the viewer, "This is definitely a upper-middle class family of the 1950's." The fact that Miss Taylor's wardrobe was so expensive, coupled with the fact that she seemed to have no job except to be the fiancée of Buckley, left no doubt in the viewer's mind as to the kind of finishing school life she must have led as a daughter of Stanley Banks. I once read that her white slipper-satin and lace bridal dress was voted the best movie bridal dress and I agree with that vote. It was gorgeous and she was gorgeous in the dress. Ellie looked beautiful as the mother of the bride in her powder blue dress, with all of its elegance and attention to detail, validated Spencer Tracy's remark that she wore, in that dress, all of the beauty of her own wedding day. Yes, Ellie wore the years well, despite a being a busy mother of three and a woman with many 1950's social obligations. The church, with its elaborate floral arrangements, seem to be stand out more in the colorized version. The salmon pink color of the seven bridesmaid's dresses and matching juliet caps underscored the elegance and elaborate statement of the event and the fact that the father of the bride, in the end, spared no expense for his daughter's wedding. All in all, the sets and costumes were a feast to the eye. I also admit that I enjoyed the colorized version and that it enhanced my understanding of the characters of the movie and their various reactions to a wedding in the family.
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Spencer Tracy better than Steve Martin
DJAkin21 December 2003
Of course, the first time I saw this movie was when Steve Martin was the leading role. I liked it then. I do actually have to admit that I like Spencer Tracy's role of Mr. Banks better. This movie is well acted. I wanted to punch out that stupid wedding coordinator though. He was a pompus jerk.
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Just mentioning marriage sparks chaos.
Michael O'Keefe19 October 2000
This is a classic comedy directed by Vincente Minneli. Some of the comedy is straight faced making it more laughable. Spenser Tracy plays a self confident, mild mannered attorney who has his household domain and almost every thought preoccupied with the fact that his beautiful daughter(Elizabeth Taylor)is getting married. Joan Bennett, mother of the bride, is more practical, but does her share of providing comical situations. Tracy has trouble realizing that his ideas are not current with the times.

Other cast members are: Billie Burke, Leo G. Carroll, Russ Tamblyn and Don Taylor.
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Amusing, not really more, not really less
Tommy-9215 January 2000
The film has plenty of rough edges, but other than that it's just a harmless, amusing comedy with a lot of warm sentimentality. As the title would suggest, it's about a father whose daughter is getting married and the various complications resulting. Spencer Tracy plays the father, from the upper-middle-class 1950s suburbs, and is funny with his deadpan stares and narration. (The latter, however, gets in the way a couple of times in the second half.) Joan Bennett is quite good as his wife, the calm at the center of most of the storms, (though occasionally the perpetuator of a storm herself!) and she and Tracy have nice chemistry. The final scene between them is a nice way to close things out. Elizabeth Taylor plays the starry-eyed, emotional daughter who goes on about how her intended "is the kind of person who can make everything absolutly,... teribly wonderful!" We, on the other hand, don't see that when we meet the guy, but I guess that's the point? You know,... what does she see in him? As Bennett says, "I know he isn't good enough for {her}, but no one's good enough for {her}." The wedding rehearsal, Tracy trying to uncork a Coke bottle, and Tracy trying to fit himself into a tux that doesn't fit are humorous. Pleasent, not really remarkable, but not bad.
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Watch this immediately!! Reviewer's Orders!!
JLRMovieReviews28 May 2009
Marriage (and the married life) may be wonderful, but the wedding is something else, entirely. Based on the novel by Edward Streeter, this simple story of the "Father of the Bride" is Hollywood at its best. Despite the fact it doesn't contain an elaborate dance number or colorful sets, this movie shows director Vincente Minnelli at the peak of his craft. Spencer Tracy (the father of the bride) tells of how his daughter's wedding turns his life upside down (and his bank balance.) But, more than that, this movie not only shows life in an average!? American family, but it lovingly portrays the relationship between a father and his daughter. Despite Elizabeth Taylor's subtle and surprisingly effective role as the daughter and her exquisite looks, it is definitely Spencer Tracy's movie. In fact, his expressions and his whole manner and attitude make for the whole plot and the whole enjoyment of the film. A personal favorite highlight of mine is the "they're the ones...the smooth talkers" speech. Director Minnelli puts Elizabeth's looks to great use in close-ups and she truly makes a stunning bride. Joan Bennett is great as the mother. Young Russ Tamblyn is one of Elizabeth's brothers. Billie Burke (Oz's Glenda, the Good Witch of the North) and Moroni Olsen (who provided the voice of the "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" in Snow White - the original) are the parents of the groom. If you haven't seen this gem, you have missed an essential. Watch this immediately!! Reviewer's Orders!!
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Kirpianuscus9 January 2018
So many reasons to see this splendid film... . first , Elizabeth Taylor who seems be a light been. second, Spencer Tracy giving a great role. not the last...yourself. because if you are father of a daugther, daughter of a father, brother, mother or fiancee, all could be familiar and little more. it is a film for family about family. and it is so lovely, amusing, smart and...dramatic, than it is a must see
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You're invited to a Wedding!!
NutzieFagin20 February 2016
Father of the Bride is a classic tale of what one might suffer when planning a family wedding. And people who have planned their weddings or been in one can cherry pick many comic foils that you may see in this film.

The story is about just that. .A simple tale which happens in about every family. Proud papa, Stanley Banks (Spencer Tracey) is now faced with the upcoming preparations of his daughter, Kaye's (Liz Taylor) wedding. It is Murphy's Law running downhill from then on. Expenses keep mounting, families fight over the trivial matters of Wedding dates, reception costs and mounting invitation lists. And from a hot mess, we create the perfect beautiful wedding. Liz Taylor always looked stunning as a bride and you will not be disappointed.

A lot of people prefer the remake starring Steve Martin because this event is set in 1950, But it is a classic to be enjoyed because everything that is "old" never changes. So enjoy the show and hope you are the one to catch the bouquet.
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