Divorced by her foreign-correspondent husband, Louise Morgan (Jeanette MacDonald) supports herself and her three daughters as editor for a high-fashion magazine. While taking a much-needed Carribean cruise, she falls in love with and marries famed pianist Jose Iturbi (playing himself).
Back on the homefront, her daughters--Tess (Jane Powell), Ilka (Ann E. Todd, with her singing dubbed by Pat Hyatt), and Alix (Mary Eleanor Donahue, with singing by Beverly Jean Garbo)--scheme to reunite their parents and persuade publisher Robert Nelson (Edward Arnold), the "13th Richest Man in
the World," to recall their father from his assignment abroad. Upon their return, Louis and Jose break the news of their marriage slowly, but the girls don't take easily to their new stepdad and manage to drive a wedge between the newlyweds; however, as you might expect, everything comes up roses
by the final reel, as Louis and Jose's reconciliation is engineered by Alix and Nelson. Fred Wilcox's direction is well-paced, and he makes the most of the film's witty dialog. MacDonald is in good voice; Iturbi is impressive indeed at the keyboard, especially in his piano duets with his real-life
sister, Amparo; and excellent supporting performances are provided by Kathryn Card as Louise's acerbic housekeeper and Moyna MacGill--actress Angela Lansbury's mother--as her name-dropping shipboard acquaintance. Reflective of its times, THREE DARLING DAUGHTERS was deemed "morally objectionable"
by the Catholic Legion of Decency, which held that it "tended to justify as well as accept the respectability of divorce." The seemingly endless cavalcade of musical numbers and songs includes: "Route 66" (Bobby Troup), "The Dickey Bird Song" (Sammy Fain, Howard Dietz), "Alma Mater" (Georgie
Stoll, Billy Katz), "Fleurette" (Victor Herbert, Ralph Freed), "Passepied" (Leo Delibes, Princess Anna Eristoff), "Where There's Love" (Earl Brent, based on the waltz from "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss), "Ritual Fire Dance (El Amor Brujo)" (Manuel De Falla), "You Made Me Love You" (Joseph
McCarthy, James V. Monaco), "Happy Birthday" (Patty Smith Hill, Mildred J. Hill), "Je Veux Vivre" (Gounod, from "Romeo And Juliet"), "Liebestraum" (Franz Liszt), "Hungarian Fantasy" (Liszt), "Sweethearts" (Victor Herbert, Bob Wright, Chet Forrest), "Allegro Appassionato, Opus 10" (Saint-Saens),
"Springtide, Opus 43, no. 6" (Edvard Grieg, Earl Brent), Mozart's "Piano Sonata No. 11 in A," Tchaikovsky's "Fourth Symphony," Enesco's "Rumanian Rhapsody."
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Divorced by her foreign-correspondent husband, Louise Morgan (Jeanette MacDonald) supports herself and her three daughters as editor for a high-fashion magazine. While taking a much-needed Carribean cruise, she falls in love with and marries famed pianist… (more)