Like many of my generation, I am more familiar with the Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride series than the original Spencer Tracy versions. The original is less flamboyant (there is no Martin Short counterpart), more realistic (the mother is not also pregnant), and more notable for its 1950s sensibility (Tracy is shocked – shocked – that his daughter would think of having a baby naturally) than its general film qualities.
It is a cute, well-made picture. The jokes are mostly funny, if not all that memorable or hilarious. The cast (including a very young Elizabeth Taylor) plays its parts well. The direction is adequate if again not all that memorable.
There are a couple of particularly lovely moments including a card game played while Elizabeth Taylor’s character bursting at the seams. She squeals at a lousy hand forcing a reaction out of everyone else as if she was having the baby on the table.
Overall, the picture is a harmless, enjoyable viewing, but nothing that will last much past the night. It’s the kind of movie to watch with your grandparents on a lazy Sunday afternoon that you can feel warm and pleasant after watching.