Stanley and Ellie Banks prepare for their daughters wedding Stanley more reluctantly than the rest of the family.
Although the 1950s vision of family life seems incredibly dated, the heart of this film – a father’s complete bemusement at the increasingly ridiculous preparations for his only daughter’s wedding – still rings true. Spencer Tracey’s perfect comic timing and strength of character carry the film – and served more as a model for Robert Di Niro in Meet The Parents (2000), then the substance-lite performance from Steve Martin in the ‘90s re-make.
Also memorable is the (seemingly now) impossibly fresh and virginal Elizabeth Taylor, whose alternating highly strung and worldly wise attitude to her future tests her dad to the limits. Don Taylor, her wonderfully named suitor Buckley, is noticeably less memorably so it’s no surprise that he later found a more fulfilling career behind the camera as a director whose credits included Omen II (1978) and Escape From Planet Of The Apes (1971).
- This also spawned (almost literally) a rare-for-its-day sequel (Father’s Little Dividend (1951))– which was more heart-warming and considerably better than Martin’s Father Of The Bride Part II. *
Spencer Tracy's comic talent carries the more dated aspects of this sweet domestic tale.