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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Comically promotes open communication within a family. Highlights the joy found in solid family connections.
Positive Role Models
Traditional 1950s male-female roles are the norm here. Father is center of decision-making; mother is supportive. Son-in-law is expected to financially and emotionally take care of his young wife. Daughter's objective is to create a nurturing home for young husband. Father is protective (to a fault), loving, and ultimately understanding; he learns to accept daughter's need for independence. Daughter, self-involved and somewhat immature, grows up, at least a little, and learns to appreciate her parents' commitment to her. Other than an African-American housekeeper very close to the family, there is no ethnic diversity. A second family relies on a white maid.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Loving kisses between husbands and wives.
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one scene, the dad becomes slightly drunk and falls asleep. Father smokes a pipe, offers cigarette to young man.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Father of the Bride, released in 1950, is a classic, beloved family comedy that clearly embraces the gender roles and values of its time. In beautiful black and white, Spencer Tracy holds fast to center stage as he undergoes the trials and tribulations of watching his cherished daughter grow up and commit to marriage while he takes on the responsibility for the wedding, a bash of escalating proportions with all the attending chaos and pleasure. Some of the mid-20th-century values accepted here include: the man as the family breadwinner and main emotional support; the wife as supportive and loving, while making sure her needs and desires are met; and the young woman's sole objective being to find "the one" and move into the next phase of her life -- marriage. An African-American housekeeper is devoted and well-loved. Social drinking is an intrinsic part of the upper-middle-class lifestyle portrayed here; in one scene, the father becomes a bit tipsy and falls asleep. A remake of this film, 1991's Father of the Bride, was a favorite in its time and serves as a wonderful companion piece to this earlier movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Lustrous black-and-white film, sparkling performances, and relatable comic moments never overpower the heart of this classic movie -- a father's love for his emerging, now grown-up daughter. Old school in its values and gender roles, this 1950 movie looks back at an upper-middle-class, white, loving family whose challenges are definitely what are now called "first-world problems." And planning a wedding is always fodder for comedy -- twenty-first-century "destination" weddings and families willing to take out second mortgages are with us now. So, it's with great nostalgia that we look back at Stanley's shock when he discovers that he might have to "fork over" more than $3 per person for food and $85 for an orchestra. Spencer Tracy is in top form here; Elizabeth Taylor is at her most beautiful and most charming. Overall, the best way to enjoy Father of the Bride is to look fondly on times past like these with trousseaus and shopping sprees and evening gowns, even if it means overlooking the fact that a bride in 1950 didn't choose her own honeymoon, let alone her own future.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.