If ever there were a case to be made for the classic Hollywood film, this is it. A shrewdly observed yet sentimental observation of a middle class Californian family imploding when their sweet daughter (the startlingly beautiful Elizabeth Taylor) announces her forthcoming nuptials. Father (Spencer Tracy) has conniptions over the cost of everything, Mom (Joan Bennett) is in her element and the hapless groom Buckley is at everyone’s mercy. Great fun, gruff voiceover from Tracy and Taylor’s glistening violet eyes (even in monochrome) and great pace in the Goodrich/Hackett screenplay (adapted from Edward Streeter’s novel) really show director Minnelli’s sharp directorial hand at its best. Taylor’s real-life wedding to hotel heir Nicky Hilton helped make this the biggest grosser of the year. This had a sequel, Father’s Little Dividend and Nancy Meyers updated the franchise in the 1990s. Made in Hollywood, USA.