Three Daring Daughters is one of those films with a misleading title. There is nothing really daring about what the three daughters of a hard working mother who marries someone they do not approve of.
A young girl named Tess (Jane Powell) graduates from a formal girl’s school. At graduation she is singing lead in the choir when she notices her mother Louise (Jeanette MacDonald) is not there. Latter Tess finds out Louise fainted due to over work. Tess and her sisters Ilka and Alix think the reason their mother is upset is because she is missing their father who she divorced. Louise lets her daughters think their father was a good man when he really just left them and made her bring up the girls alone.
The doctor thinks Louise needs a vacation by herself. Louise does not want to go and leave her daughters behind. She then changes her mind knowing her girls will be fine. While their mother is away Tess, Ilka, and Alix track down their father’s boss Robert Nelson (Edward Arnold). Robert tells his secretary that Charles Morgan is their foreign correspondent and he is away in Africa. The girls tell Robert that the divorce was not permanent their mother wants their father home too.
On the ship with Louise is the famous piano performer Jose Iturbi. At dinner a waiter brings a letter to Jose from a Mrs. Smith. He looks over and thinks Louise is Mrs. Smith. He likes what he sees. Latter in the night he finds Louise and talks to her. The next night he becomes jealous when Louise dances with the captain. Jose pleads with her to get off the ship when they come to Cuba to see his concert. She had not planned on getting off in Cuba but decides to go and see his concert. Jose plays like he has never played before. Louise was not too happy and too shocked to hear she inspired him. Louise and Jose get married on the ship.
When they arrive back in New York City Louise wants to tell the girls about him before they meet him and has him go to a hotel. The girls tell their mother about their father coming home. Louise is upset and yells at them. She feels bad at yelling at the girls. They do not know why Louise is upset about their father coming back and they tell her they went to his boss. Louise goes to see Robert. She tells him that she never told her children the truth about Charles they would think she was lying about him the whole time she told them the truth now. While Louise is out Jose comes by the apartment. The girls know who he is but they are confused as to why he is there.
Jose invites Louise and the girls to his performance that night. Ilka notices Jose and Louise looking at each other. She talks to her mother that night. Louise explains to Ilka that she was in love with Charlie when they were first married and that in time they will come to like Jose. Ilka gets upset and tells Tess and Alix. Tess says they will make life miserable for Jose so he will have to leave.
Their plan works and soon Jose and Louise are thinking over their marriage. But with all happy Hollywood films in the 1940s Louise and Jose get back together and the girls come to accept him.
Despite the misleading title Three Daring Daughters was cute. Jeanette MacDonald was great. I was so happy that she only had two singing number. I do not mind her singing I just like her as an actress more. It was odd seeing MacDonald playing a mother to three young girls, I cannot explain why it just was. Edward Arnold was perfect as the boss whose nerves and patience get a great work out. He had the look of a boss who could be cold but also has a big heart. Three Daring Daughters is not a film I would say you must see but if TCM ever airs it again give it a try.