To all of those Dad’s out there that go the extra mile (I’m sure those British Dad’s are now thanking Queen Elizabeth for putting the kibosh on the Debutante seasons after 1958) like Rex did for his American daughter in The Reluctant Debutante.
Vincent Minnelli pulled in up and coming actress Sandra Dee, just 15, to play the role of the bored teenager, annoyed with the ways of tradition. Luckily, Sandra gets a bit of relief in the form of a drummer who plays all the debutante balls for the season.
Rex Harrison is, however, the reason we watch this flick and why its one of many TCM has chosen for its fathers day film list. Rex plays the father trying to handle the daily and nightly balls- with a large does of alcohol on the side. He also acts as the voice of reason, reminding just about everyone that nothing is worth getting worked up over. So while Kay Kendall, the stepmother, bonds with Jane ( Sandra Dee) and tries to give her some chance of a proper future as a new debutante, Jane is more than happy to just wait for the drummer. Alas nothing is ever as harried as it seems. While the stepmother runs frantic, Rex’s character is more than happy to just grab another bottle of wine. He’s also the breed of father who will just ignore any of the comfortable stares between his daughter and her new crush. In fact when his wife asks ” how long does it take a native dancer to get ” warmed up”, he doesn’t totally get that she’s asking about sex. In truth, dad is the only one revealing the ludicrous practice at hand. Dress up your daughters, send them out with the most eligible bachelors, and then complain when something actually happens between the two young lovers!
And if you ‘re up for it the TCM lineup, here are the films to honor dads today.