Father of the Bride (1950)

Director Vincente Minnelli and star Spencer Tracy brought depth to this charming domestic comedy. The film is rife with jokes about the many costs and inconveniences of planning a big wedding, but it also deals with the title character’s having to face the pain of aging and his jealousy at losing his darling daughter to another man. Tracy and leading lady Joan Bennett strike the perfect balance between comedy and sentiment as the beleaguered husband and wife. The film’s biggest selling point, then and now, remains the casting of Elizabeth Taylor as their daughter, marking her transition into adult roles after literally growing up on the big screen. She proved a huge boon to publicity, too, announcing her engagement just as the studio announced her casting in the film, and then marrying shortly bef ore the picture’s release to hotel heir Nicky Hilton.

Dir. Vincente Minnelli