I Think They Just Like the Title

Hard to know why a studio would want to make a movie out of Father Knows Best, especially when the plot doesn’t seem to have much to do with the original, but I suppose they just figure that the title is a known quantity:

New Regency and 20th Century Fox teaming to turn the classic TV series “Father Knows Best” into a feature…

The contemporized film will involve a father whose modern-day parenting displeases his more traditional father, who comes to live with the family. They clash over which father knows best.

The striking thing about watching Father Knows Best today (two seasons are out on DVD and another one is on the way) is that Robert Young’s Father was one of the least-likable parents in TV history. He was always insulting his kids, getting impatient with them, making jokes at their expense, telling them how to act, and putting down their tastes in clothes, music, whatever. It would be kind of a refreshing anecdote to all the gentle, live-and-let-live parenting we saw on other ’50s shows. But it can’t be refreshing, because he’s such a pompous ass that you want Jane Wyatt to conk him over the head with a stereotypical rolling pin and go back to her less emotionally-stifling husband on the planet Vulcan.