Father of the Bride (1950).

father-of-the-bride-1950-A film starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor. Stanley Banks has to face up to the fact that his daughter has grown up and is getting married.

Looking at this film objectively from a 21st century standpoint instead of a 1950s centre point, it is interesting. OK, so it’s not a seminal film. It doesn’t break down barriers. But it certainly shows a great deal about 1950s American society.

The film is somewhat outdated in its representations of women, the home etc. Still, it’s very entertaining but I’m not sure which version is better – this one or the 1990s remakes. Elizabeth Taylor is interesting in this movie. I’ve only ever seen her in Cleopatra and here she portrays Kay Banks – a young woman very much in love with her fiance while her ‘Pops’ who isn’t so ready to let his daughter go.

I’m not too sure whether this film has aged very well. Yes, girls are still getting married and leaving home but at the same time this film strictly defines character roles inside restricted archetypes. The role of a comedy hasn’t really changed but the social attitudes obviously have. Man goes to work. Woman looks after the house and the social position of the family. Woman has servants. You see? That sort of thing.

A good little bit of escapism. I really can’t compare this Tracy film with others as this is my first taste of his work. This version is not as laugh-out-loud as the 1990s remake but its a good look at society’s conventions but it did come across as a bit silly in some places – Kay sulking because she didn’t want to go to Nova Scotia for her honeymoon because she’d brought some new evening wear…see what I mean? It just made me wish the character could actually grow a backbone.

MY RATING: ** / *****


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