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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Father Of The Bride (1950)

When his young daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) announces her engagement, her father (Spencer Tracy in an Oscar nominated performance) finds himself besieged by doubts and frustration over the enormity of the wedding as well as coping with the loss of his daughter. This thoroughly enjoyable piece of wedding cake, despite its satirical jabs at the wedding process, is a typical wholesome American fantasy that never existed outside of the movies. The perfect house, the perfect parents, the perfect daughter (the young Taylor's beauty can make you gasp), the perfect wedding etc. and all given the MGM polish. And who better than MGM's resident magician Vincente Minnelli to carve it all into a perfect valentine? Joan Bennett at 39, as the mother of the bride, has the same darkly ethereal beauty as the young Taylor and that Bennett could have given birth to her is entirely plausible. Charming is often overused in describing movies but here, perfectly applicable. This was a big enough hit to spawn a sequel FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND the following year. Remade quite successfully in 1991. With Russ Tamblyn, Billie Burke, Leo G. Carroll, Marietta Canty, Melville Cooper, Fay Baker and Don Taylor as the nondescript groom.

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