A fairlyimmediate sequel to Father Of The
Bride, as in underway quick as chips were counted from gro$$ of the first. Here
was what Metro could manage fast and efficient w/ Dore Schary in front office charge,
Father's Little Dividend a job done for less than a million that drew four
times the same in worldwide rentals. It was also one that Leo let slip
into Public Domain during the 70's, thus dollar discs to beware of. TCM
had a recent run, listed as HD, but instead a same old transfer at
least better than scavengers give. Father's Little Dividend is a follow-up that
need not go begging. All of the original's cast is back, Vincente Minnelli again
megging, so it's no mere cash-in on what went beloved before. Note
anticipation reflected in the Chicago
first-run above:Sam Lesner, incidentally, was "nightlife critic" for
the Chicago Daily News. Douglas MacArthur, for whom "Chicago's Ringing With Cheers," had just
given his farewell address to Congress, while live act Danny Lewis is
emphasized as dad to Jerry. And look out, next week attendees: Only The
Valiant, advertised here as in Technicolor, would actually be black-and-white.
Dividends of Dividend: Very long takes Minnelli
stages. He must have close-rehearsed the cast to get four and five minutescontinuous out of set-ups that aren't just talking heads stood still, but
players in complex by-play with props, a camera in motion, entrance/exiting.
Long as shots go, they don't lose interest. Minnelli must have liked his
result, because he'd use same device for many parts of The Bandwagon. This
director may have been fussy over sets and decor, but he could be a John Farrow or even Joe H.
Lewis when circumstance required. Did Schary ask
Minnelli to gun it for a pre-set opening day? There was no doubt of a large
audience waiting. Prime interest, of course, is Tracy, doing comedy so well that you wish
he'd stuck with it, and not necessarily with Hepburn. If ST had a signature
part after WWII, the Father pair was it. He had to know they'd draw a bigger
crowd than much of postwar Metro being skipped in favor of TV andgrass-mowing. There
was actually talk of a third one (read James Curtis'Spencer Tracy book), but
that didn't happen --- a regret.