Three Daring Daughters

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Three Daring Daughters
VHS cover
Directed by Fred M. Wilcox
Written by Albert Mannheimer
Frederick Kohner
Sonya Levien
John Meehan
Produced by Joe Pasternak
Starring Jeanette MacDonald
José Iturbi
Jane Powell
Edward Arnold
Harry Davenport
CinematographyRay June
Edited by Adrienne Fazan
Music by Herbert Stothart
Lothar Perl
Distributed by Loew's Inc.
Release date
  • March 5, 1948 (1948-03-05)
Running time
115 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2,538,000 [1] [2] [3]
Box office$2,659,000 (Domestic earnings) [1]
$1,351,000 (Foreign earnings) [1]

Three Daring Daughters (UK title: The Birds and the Bees) is a 1948 American Technicolor musical film directed by Fred M. Wilcox and starring Jeanette MacDonald, Jane Powell and Edward Arnold. It was produced and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The screenplay was written by Albert Mannheimer, Frederick Kohner, Sonya Levien and John Meehan.



It's Tess's graduation day from Miss Drake's School for Girls. During the choir's performance at the ceremony, Tess notices that her beautiful divorcée mother, Louise Rayton Morgan, isn't there. Louise, an editor for Modern Design magazine, is in Dr. Cannon's office after fainting due to being overworked and stressed.

At home after the graduation ceremony, Dr. Cannon has a talk with Louise's three daughters, Tess, Ilka and Alix. He tells them that their mother needs a vacation badly, but the only way she can relax is if she goes without the girls. Louise is reluctant, but the girls convince her to go. They see their mother off on a one-month Cuban cruise. The girls then discuss whether they could bring their father back home and make their mom happy and healthy again.

In reality, Louise has kept the truth about their father from them. He was actually a very uncaring man, who left Louise to raise the girls on her own. They go to see their father's boss, Robert Nelson, to locate their father. Meanwhile, on Louise's cruise, she meets famed pianist and conductor José Iturbi. José is immediately taken by Louise, but she plays hard to get, while having the time of her life. When Louise finally returns home, she has a secret to tell the girls.



The film earned $4,010,000 at the box office. [2] [4]


  1. 1 2 3 Turk, Edward Baron "Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette MacDonald" (University of California Press, 1998)
  2. 1 2 The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  3. Another source puts the cost at $2 million Variety February 1948
  4. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46

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