Public Domain Theater: Father’s Little Dividend (& “Betty Boop and Grampy”)

Welcome to Public Domain Theater, your home for the wonderful world of films that have (in the United States, at least) fallen into the public domain, and are free for everyone to see!

This time around … well, I hope you’ve all seen Father of the Bride. Not the remake with Steve Martin, or the other remake with Andy Garcia, but the original 1950 comedy classic, with Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennet, and Elizabeth Taylor. I say I hope you’ve all seen it, I can’t show it to you here; that film’s still under copyright. But what the public domain can offer you is its sequel: Father’s Little Dividend.

Set not long after the chaotic wedding of the first film, Dividend is driven by news that the bride is now expecting a baby, and our father of the bride, still recovering from last movie’s ordeal, must face that they’re going to be a grandparent, and all the horrors of mortality that conjures up.

With the writing team, the director, and the entire cast of Bride returning for this picture, Dividend is a near perfect continuation. It fully recaptures the original’s slice-of-life storytelling, mixing lots of gentle comedy with some solid emotional beats. If, as I hoped, you’ve seen the first one, then you know exactly what to expect from this outing.

But maybe you haven’t seen Father of the Bride, or you have but you didn’t like it, or just aren’t in the mood for a full length movie right now. Never fear! We also have for you an animated short starring the incomparable Betty Boop and (continuing the theme of grampahood) Grampy, who’s basically Belle’s dad from Beauty & the Beast, except if everyone liked them.

Nothing heavy this month, just a couple light and frothy comedies, courtesy of those good folks at Public Domain Theater!

Opening Cartoon:

Feature Presentation: