Stanley Banks is a good father who adores his beautiful daughter Kay and his well-ordered life, a life that is thrown into chaos when Kay announces her engagement. A classic MGM comedy, the story is told via flashback and ... more »chronicles the many travails, financial and emotional, suffered by Stanley (Spencer Tracy) as he tries to give Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) a wedding to remember. Year: 1950 Director: Vincente Minnelli Starring: Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor« less
"I just saw for the first time ever this movie made in 1950; directed by Vincente Minnelli; and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett. Ms. Taylor was only 18 when she made this film and was frightening and eternally beautiful. She is so petite that she almost could adorn her own wedding cake. The movie, however, as the title implies, belongs to Mr. Tracy who plays her father who cannot bear to see his little daughter grow up and get married. There is a lot of most fathers in Mr. Tracy's character. He has some great lines and some funny scenes and endears himself to us with his gentle humor-- the footage where he gets stuck in his kitchen making drinks and doesn't get to make a speech about his beloved daughter, just to point out one delightful instance. He is such a bungler-- can't get to Ms. Taylor at the wedding reception to bid her goodbye either.I did not find this 54 year-old movie dated at all. Some things never change. Love may be eternal and most families the world over act pretty much the same when it comes to seeing their children leave home."
Spence steals the show
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 09/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, a warning: this is the colorized version of this classic black and white film, so avoid it if you're a film connoisseur. The original black and white version is infinitely superior to this poorly done colorization.Now, the good news. This film showcases Spencer Tracy's remarkable acting ability and he delivers a witty and intelligent performance as Elizabeth Taylor's long-suffering father. Spence has several monologues which are a joy to watch. His acting gift (along with Charles Laughton) is an absolute wonder and it's always a pleasure to watch him. Joan Bennet is adequate in a supporting role and Elizabeth Taylor is breathtaking as the 18-year-old soon to be wed daughter. Liz's performance is actually quite good and her interplay with Tracy is especially effective.Yes, this movie is dated in places, but Tracy's performance is worth watching the entire movie. He is in nearly every scene and transforms a seemingly average movie into something really special."
Good heart, good laughs, good fun
Brian Hulett | Oinklahoma | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The more I see of Spencer Tracy, the more underrated I think he was as an actor. And this is the kind of film where he excelled, the everyman comedy with sentimental touches of drama and romance. "Father Of the Bride" is not a cutting edge social commentary, just a humorous slice of life regarding a middle class Joe whose daughter is the apple of his eye, and the man in her life is suddenly someone else. The inherent tension and humor in this situation and all that follows makes for a sweet film with no sour spots except that its B&W nature makes it impossible to fully appreciate young Liz Taylor's remarkable eyes. The Steve Martin remake is OK, but there was only one Spencer Tracy, and if only for that difference this original version is much preferred. A classic for the ages, and one that all ages can enjoy."
That's Joan Bennett, not Katharine Hepburn.
Harold J. Gaugler | Philadelphia, PA USA | 09/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FATHER OF THE BRIDE is not a Tracy-Hepburn film. That is Spencer Tracy, giving another peerless performance in the title role. But that's Joan Bennett, perfectly cast as his wife, making a brilliant transition here to mother roles from the femme fatales she played in classic Fritz Lang film noir films of the forties. The bride, of course, is lovely Elizabeth Taylor. They're all first rate in this top notch Vincente Minnelli comedy."
One Wedding You Definitely Want to Attend
Silver Screen | Atlanta, GA USA | 03/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike some previous reviewers, I have to say that I think that the original "Father of the Bride" has stood the test of time and I found it to be just as enjoyable, if not more so, in some cases, as the Steve Martin remake. Spencer Tracy stars as Stanley Banks, an attorney happily married to his wife Ellie (Joan Bennett), with three children and a lovely house. His only daughter Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) drops a bombshell on Stanley and Ellie one evening by announcing that she is getting married to someone named Buckley (Don Taylor). From that moment on, the Banks family's life is turned topsy-turvy by the upcoming wedding. I found Spencer Tracy's performance to be very genuine. I didn't see him as being so consumed by the cost of the wedding (although what father doesn't worry about the financial bottom line?) that who his daughter was marrying was secondary. I found his performance reflected the shock and sadness over losing his daughter to Mr. Right and the confusion over getting lost in the wedding shuffle, as most fathers of the bride do. The engagement party, where Stanley is left to tend the kitchen, thereby missing the entirety of the party and the excitement showcases this fact perfectly. Again, Stanley is left out after the ceremony, when he wants to kiss the bride and cannot seem to get to her. Joan Bennett is wonderfully cast as Ellie, rivaling Myrna Loy as the perfect cinematic mother. Elizabeth Taylor is lovely as the bride to be and although her big fight with Buckley over where they will honeymoon is a bit farfetched (would they really break up over their vacation destination? - - and if they would, wouldn't that signal much larger problems?), her wide-eyed innocence and concern for her father during this time is touching. Interestingly enough, Taylor wore her wedding dress in this film to her actual first wedding to Nicky Hilton, at the time this movie premiered (and was divorcing him by the time they began filming the sequel). This film isn't necessarily Oscar material, but it's a wonderful cinematic collection of some Hollywood greats on film (Tracy, Bennett, Taylor, Billie Burke as the groom's mother) and a definite feel good film for the whole family. RSVP to this one."