Father's Little Dividend (1951)

81-82 mins | Comedy | 13 April 1951

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Producer:

Pandro S. Berman

Cinematographer:

John Alton

Editor:

Ferris Webster

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Leonid Vasian

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Corp.
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HISTORY

The film opens with Spencer Tracy, as "Stanley Banks" addressing the audience, then relating events of the previous year. Tracy's voice is heard frequently throughout the film, offering a running commentary. A CBCS list includes Frank Faylen in the cast as a policeman, but he was not in the released film. Vincent Minnelli directed the film while on a break from his work on An American in Paris while preparations were under way for the extensive "American in Paris Ballet" sequence of that film. Following completion of Father's Little Dividend , Minnelli returned to complete An American in Paris (see above).
Father's Little Dividend was a sequel to the popular 1950 M-G-M release, Father of the Bride (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). Cast members portraying the Banks and the Dunstan familes were the same in both films. Marietta Canty, who portrayed the Banks family maid "Delilah," and Paul Harvey as "Reverend Galsworthy" reprised their roles in the sequel, as did Janet Fay, Wendy Waldron and Erin Selwyn, who appeared as "bridesmaids" in the first film and were seen as baby shower guests in the sequel. Reviews highly praised the film as a worthy successor to the original. For information on other films and television programs featuring the characters created by Edward Streeter, see entry for Father of the Bride ... More Less

The film opens with Spencer Tracy, as "Stanley Banks" addressing the audience, then relating events of the previous year. Tracy's voice is heard frequently throughout the film, offering a running commentary. A CBCS list includes Frank Faylen in the cast as a policeman, but he was not in the released film. Vincent Minnelli directed the film while on a break from his work on An American in Paris while preparations were under way for the extensive "American in Paris Ballet" sequence of that film. Following completion of Father's Little Dividend , Minnelli returned to complete An American in Paris (see above).
Father's Little Dividend was a sequel to the popular 1950 M-G-M release, Father of the Bride (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). Cast members portraying the Banks and the Dunstan familes were the same in both films. Marietta Canty, who portrayed the Banks family maid "Delilah," and Paul Harvey as "Reverend Galsworthy" reprised their roles in the sequel, as did Janet Fay, Wendy Waldron and Erin Selwyn, who appeared as "bridesmaids" in the first film and were seen as baby shower guests in the sequel. Reviews highly praised the film as a worthy successor to the original. For information on other films and television programs featuring the characters created by Edward Streeter, see entry for Father of the Bride . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Feb 1951.
---
Daily Variety
21 Feb 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 50
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 1964.
---
Los Angeles Mirror
28 Mar 1951.
---
Los Angeles Times
15 Nov 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Feb 51
p. 721.
New York Times
12 Apr 51
p. 41.
New York Times
13 Apr 51
p. 18.
Variety
21 Feb 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost
SOUND
Rec supv
MAKEUP
Hair styles des
Makeup created by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Edward Streeter.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 April 1951
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 5 April 1951
New York opening: 12 April 1951
Production Date:
October 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 February 1951
Copyright Number:
LP719
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81-82
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14970
SYNOPSIS

Middle class family man Stanley Banks reminisces on events of the past year: One afternoon, returning from the office feeling happy and energetic, Stanley's routine is interrupted when his wife Ellie tells him that they are having dinner with their daughter Kay and her husband, Buckley Dunstan, to hear some important news. Although Stanley is certain that it concerns Buckley's business, the newlyweds reveal that Kay is expecting a baby. Buckley's parents, Doris and Herbert, are delighted, as is Ellie, but Stanley broods that he is too young and vibrant to be a grandfather. Soon Ellie, flush with excitement, throws Kay a baby shower, something Stanley thinks is highway robbery not punishable by law. Later, Ellie suggests that they remodel their house to enable Kay, Buckley and the baby to move in with them, but Stanley puts his foot down. Ellie is near tears when the wealthy Dunstons announce that they are building a new home for the couple, but is overjoyed when Kay and Buckley reveal that they have just bought their own little house, enabling Ellie to have free reign helping Kay decorate. After settling into their new home, Kay, who is very close to her father, expresses her concern that the baby will make a difference in her relationship with Buckley. Stanley comforts her by telling her how much he loved her as a baby. Soon the Banks and the Dunstans are trying to outdo one another buying gifts and making plans for the baby, up to his enrollment in college. One night, while listening to Ellie, Doris and Herbert bicker over what the baby should be named, Kay breaks down ... +


Middle class family man Stanley Banks reminisces on events of the past year: One afternoon, returning from the office feeling happy and energetic, Stanley's routine is interrupted when his wife Ellie tells him that they are having dinner with their daughter Kay and her husband, Buckley Dunstan, to hear some important news. Although Stanley is certain that it concerns Buckley's business, the newlyweds reveal that Kay is expecting a baby. Buckley's parents, Doris and Herbert, are delighted, as is Ellie, but Stanley broods that he is too young and vibrant to be a grandfather. Soon Ellie, flush with excitement, throws Kay a baby shower, something Stanley thinks is highway robbery not punishable by law. Later, Ellie suggests that they remodel their house to enable Kay, Buckley and the baby to move in with them, but Stanley puts his foot down. Ellie is near tears when the wealthy Dunstons announce that they are building a new home for the couple, but is overjoyed when Kay and Buckley reveal that they have just bought their own little house, enabling Ellie to have free reign helping Kay decorate. After settling into their new home, Kay, who is very close to her father, expresses her concern that the baby will make a difference in her relationship with Buckley. Stanley comforts her by telling her how much he loved her as a baby. Soon the Banks and the Dunstans are trying to outdo one another buying gifts and making plans for the baby, up to his enrollment in college. One night, while listening to Ellie, Doris and Herbert bicker over what the baby should be named, Kay breaks down and runs to her room. Only Stanley, whom Kay feels is the sole parent who understands her and Buckley, is able to comfort her. The day after pledging to Kay that he will make certain that none of the in-laws will interfere again, Stanley drags Ellie to Kay's physician, Dr. Andrew Nordell, anxious over the "modern" ideas Nordell has about a more natural method of childbirth and infant care. For the next month or so, things remain calm, until Stanley is awakened by a late night call from Buckley, who says that Kay has left him "for good." After sneaking over to Buckley and Kay's place, Stanley learns from a cab driver that Kay took a taxi to the Banks's. The two men then return to the Banks house, where the couple make up after Kay's jealousy is revealed to be a misunderstanding stemming from Buckley's late nights working at the office. Kay, as well as Stanley, realize how very devoted Buckley is. As the baby's birth approaches, nerves among the parents and grandparents become frayed. The eventual birth of a baby boy delights everyone, except Stanley, a distant and wary observer of the as-yet-unnamed baby, who starts to cry whenever Stanley comes near him. When the baby is six months old, Kay joins Buckley on a brief business trip and leaves the baby with her parents, hoping to give Stanley time to grow closer to his grandson. One afternoon, while Kay is still away, Stanley takes the baby for a walk in the park. When the baby finally falls asleep in his carriage, Stanley joins some friendly neighborhood boys in a game of football and loses track of time. After the game, when Stanley cannot find the carriage, he frantically retraces his steps back to the house. Seeing through the window that Kay has returned early, he panics and takes a taxi to the local police station. There a befuddled Stanley confesses to the grim-faced police sergeant that he has lost the baby. Fearing the wrath of the police squad, who found the sweet-natured baby and have fallen in love with him, Stanley secretly prays that his grandson will not start to scream when he picks him up. To Stanley's relief, the baby is delighted to see him, and from that moment on, the two are devoted to each other. Some time later, at the baby's christening, Stanley beams with pride as his grandson is finally named "Stanley Banks Dunstan." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.