The Film (4/5)
If there was ever a movie meant to be seen on a Sunday, Father of the Bride is it. In this lighthearted romantic comedy drama, the great Spencer Tracy stars (and also narrates the story) as Stanley Banks, while Joan Bennett (Suspiria, Dark Shadows) co-stars as his wife Ellie. The pair prepare to give away their oldest daughter Kay Banks (the iconic Elizabeth Taylor) in holy matrimony to a wealthy gentleman named Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor). Through his narration we learn about the emotional process, his frustrations and financial drama that Stanley Banks goes through to prepare for this bigger than planned event. He has to make all the wedding arrangements and finance everything, which gives him nightmares; but still worse, he has to come to the realization that his daughter Kay is not his little girl any longer. And as his role shrinks in her life, he even cannot do some of the things that he intended to do while preparing for the wedding, including a speech at a party and kissing the bride after she’s married. The entire wedding takes place in the Banks’ home and it’s not big enough to hold all the guests !
Father of the Bride is a wonderful classic family film with excellent production values, brilliant direction and a great cast. The film has the usual great performances by not just Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, and Elizabeth Taylor; its supporting cast including Billie Burke(The Wizard of Oz) Leo G. Carroll (North by Northwest)Russ Tamblyn (War of the Gargantuas) also give excellent performances. Everything about this film clicks just perfectly and it’s a highly entertaining movie. In this picture, the wedding date was June 10th, which was the director’s little happy birthday nod to his wife Judy Garland.
Using a fine-grain master with 2K technology, Warner Archive presents Father of the Bride its full screen aspect ratio (1:36:1) with an 1080p , MPEG-4 AVC encode. The results are just stunning. Excellent grey scale, solid blacks, great contrast. With excellent, clear details, the movie has never looked better. As for the audio, Warner has gone with DTS-HD MA 2.0. Dialog and music are crystal clear, no hiss or pop sounds
WAC has ported over the extras that were on the DVD release, Wedding Bells for Star Elizabeth Taylor, President Truman Meets Father of the Bride and a trailer.
Father of the Bride gets a beautiful restoration from Warner Archive Collection . A great film couple with excellent audio and video along with the couple of extras on this release make this highly recommended.