FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950) B/W 93m dir: Vincente Minnelli
w/Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, Leo G. Carroll, Moroni Olsen, Melville Cooper, Taylor Holmes, Paul Harvey
From The Movie Guide: "Nowadays remembered primarily as the first of many walks La Liz was to take down the aisle, FATHER OF THE BRIDE is also one of the best comedies MGM made in the 1950s. Although Taylor perfectly embodies an idealized version of the demure but spirited young bride, this fine film is almost a showcase for the supple comic drollery of Spencer Tracy. As Stanley Banks, the harassed father who must cope with the business of marrying his daughter off, Tracy finds a marvelous vehicle for his expressive but low-key style.
"The movie begins as the exhausted Banks looks over the debris and chaos in his home after the wedding, then turns to the audience to relate his story. The problems and responsibilities of marrying off a daughter are legion: there's the heart-to-heart talk with the suitor; meeting the in-laws; selecting the honeymoon site; and, of course, the near-ruinous financial expense.
"Although continually skimming the edge of bland sitcom land, this satiric look at the American Family, circa 1950, still packs a gentle punch. The screenplay, if occasionally contrived, is witty and incisive and Minnelli's assured direction keeps the proceedings from disintegrating into indulgent slapstick. As the bride's mother, Joan Bennett is excellent in her first film for MGM, and the supporting performances are all good, with especially fine work from Moroni Olsen and Billie Burke as the parents of the groom. The last is played with charm and the perfect touch of dullness by Don Taylor, who later traded acting for the director's chair. The film inspired a sequel, FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND, and a mediocre 1991 remake."
The film was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Actor (Tracy), and Original Screenplay (Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett).