Father of the Bride (1950)



Critic Consensus: With a terrific script, great performances from Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, and assured direction from Vincent Minnelli, Father of the Bride endures as a sparkling comedy of its era.

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Movie Info

Spencer Tracy received an Oscar nomination for his performance in this classic comedy. Stanley T. Banks (Tracy) is a securely middle-class lawyer whose daughter Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) announces that she's going to marry her beau Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor). From that point on, everything in Stanley's life is turned upside down. His wife Ellie (Joan Bennett) wants Kay to have the kind of formal wedding that she and Stanley never had, and between meeting his soon-to-be in-laws, the socially … More

Rating: G (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2004


as Stanley T. Banks

as Ellie Banks

as Buckley Dunstan

as Doris Dunstan

as Massoula

as Herbert Dunstan

as Tommy Banks

as Rev. Galsworthy

as Ben Banks

as Delilah

as Miss Bellamy

as Usher/Young Man

as Florist

as Bridesmaid

as Bridesmaid

as Bridesmaid

as Bridesmaid

as Organist

as Sad-faced Man

as Timid Guest

as Bits in Dream Sequen...

as Bits in Dream Sequen...

as Bits in Dream Sequen...

as Bits in Dream Sequen...

as Bits in Dream Sequen...

as Schoolteacher

as Motor Cop

as Wispy Girl

as Heavy Set Man

as Truck Driver

as Policeman

as Policeman

as Mover

as Moving Man

as Mover

as Western Union Boy

as Foreman of Movers
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Father of the Bride

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

Under Vincente Minelli's crisp direction, the fun rarely lets up.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This ostensibly lighthearted film about Spencer Tracy's Kafkaesque attempts to bring off his daughter's wedding is one of the bleakest films of a bleak decade.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

On the critical side: Minnelli could have timed many of the scenes so that laughs would not have stepped on dialog tag lines.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Thoroughly enchanting comedy about the trials and tribulations a middle-aged family man faces when the daughter he dotes on decides to get married.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A honey of a picture of American family life.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

One of the best comedies MGM made in the 1950s.

Full Review… | March 23, 2011
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Father of the Bride

Elizabeth Taylor is classy as the original Kay Banks, though the 1950s twenty-something-who-lives-at-home-before-she-gets-hitched can't afford to be as multi-faceted a woman as the '90s redux. The black and white classic is an endearing production to be sure, but the film is a bit stuffy with no transition music or familial humor.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


A middle-class attorney has difficulty affording his daughter's wedding.
Comparing this film to the Steve Martin remake yields some interesting conclusions. In the Martin version, everybody else, led by the Martin Short character, is nuts or at least a bit unreasonable. In the Tracy version, the father's penuriousness is put on the fore, and while his daughter makes demands, in today's context, nothing seems unreasonable. This adjustment puts the onus on Tracy's performance, He must somehow continue to garner the audience's sympathy without appearing to be too miserly to love his daughter. The only time when Tracy falters is when he's made to attempt to bribe his daughter into elopement. For the rest of the time, we'd follow Tracy anywhere.
Overall, this is a strong version of a common story, propelled by the fine work of Spencer Tracy.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Spencer Tracy, as the grumpy, titular father, puts this film on his back and carries it. Incredibly dated, but still a loveable film, and one that features a very young Elizabeth Taylor. Interestingly skewers wedding conventions and the wedding industry in a way that I wish more films did. Sure, all can't help but work out in the end, but the journey is blackly funny and enjoyable.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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