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WARNER SLIPPING IN THEIR CLASSIC INTEGRITY
on May 13, 2003
"Father of the Bride" is the Vincente Minnelli comedy that introduced us to the angst of hosting your daughter's wedding reception. Spencer Tracy is the careworn 'dad' in the title, Joan Bennett, his adoring wife and Elizabeth Taylor is the bride. In comparing the original with the Steve Martin remake of the early 1990's, its remarkable to see how much of the brilliant screenplay was simply imported for the update. But for classic buffs, there will only be one "Father of the Bride".
After their sterling efforts on "Mildred Pierce" I had high hopes that Warner was going to continue their excellence in catalogue title remastering. Perhaps I was mistaken. Although the original film elements of "Father of the Bride" have worn remarkably well, there remain chips, scratches, camera flutter and a few nasty occasions of tearing that crop up on the negative used to remaster this DVD. The picture has an uncharacteristically soft look to it. Aliasing, pixelization and edge enhancement are all present, sometimes obviously so. Shimmering of fine details is also a cause for concern. Over all, this release is a definite step down in committment and quality from other Warner DVD's of the classics and I, for one, find the sudden "ho-hum" attitude a bit alarming. The audio, as expected, is mono, as it originally was and, in general, it is nicely represented with little to no background hiss.
Extras: REALLY DISAPPOINTING! - two featurettes - one celebrating Elizabeth Taylor's real life marriage to Nicky Hilton, the other, a photo op with then, President Truman, meeting the cast of the film - BOTH WITH NO SOUND!!! Honestly, what is the point?
BOTTOM LINE: Although most people will not be disappointed by the transfer quality of this disc, it should be noted that Warner has definitely begun to pare down their restoration efforts, especially where there MGM catalogue titles are concerned.