There is a strange undercurrent of discontent and despair to many of the situation comedies of the 50s; this ostensibly lighthearted film (1950) about Spencer Tracy’s Kafkaesque attempts to bring off his daughter’s wedding is one of the bleakest films of a bleak decade. Director Vincente Minnelli follows Tracy through a series of short satirical sketches that turn into an endless chain of shuddering humiliations. Minnelli drops all pretense of comedy for a climactic nightmare sequence that conjures up the ghost of Dr. Caligari. With Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Billie Burke, and Leo G. Carroll, more terrifying than ever in the sinister role of “the Caterer.” 93 min.