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After attending a parade honoring soldiers returning from the Spanish-American War, sisters Patricia and Maureen O'Grady pass in front of Tony Pastor's vaudeville theater on the way to bring lunch to their father Dennis, a streetcar conductor. Tony, who is standing outside dressed as a bum, begs them for some food, and they give the lunch to him. Meanwhile, Dennis' friend, Miklos Teretzky, advises the overprotective father to tell his motherless daughters about men before it is too late. Unknown to Dennis, his oldest daughter Katie is secretly married to James Moore, a returning soldier, and is pregnant. They have not revealed their marriage because the wartime housing shortage has left them unable to find an apartment of their own. Later, Pat learns that the man who ate their father's lunch was not a bum as he appeared, but an actor, and marches straight to the theater to scold him. Tony apologizes, and after learning that Pat's mother was a well-known vaudeville performer, immediately writes a song about the "Daughter of Rosie O'Grady." He then drops in on the sisters to play the song for Pat and is still there when Dennis comes home. Dennis blames the death of his wife Rosie on the hard life of vaudeville and consequently is violently opposed to anything to do with the theater. For this reason, Pat tells her father that Tony is a college student, and impressed, Dennis decides that he should date Katie. During a dinner party with Tony and some of the other actors from his theater, who are posing as students, Pat secretly tells Tony that she wants to go on the stage. Tony insists that they first tell her father the truth about his profession, after which the furious Dennis bans Tony from his house until he gives up the theater, then locks Pat in her room. Pat sneaks out and, while staying with Miklos and his wife, becomes a hit at Tony's theater. When Dennis learns that one of his daughters is expecting twins, he decides it must be Pat and, although he is not a drinking man, immediately gets drunk. The bartender calls a policeman, and Jim, who is now working as a policeman, comes to take him home. Later, Tony helps Jim and Katie find an apartment. When Dennis learns about it, he disowns all his daughters. At Tony's Christmas party, Miklos tells Pat that her father is very ill. Hearing this Tony sends Pat home, telling Miklos that he loves her too much to let anything come between her and her father. Pat and Maureen arrive at Dennis', each carrying a Christmas tree and presents. Then Jim, also carrying a tree, arrives to tell the family that Katie is home awaiting the birth of twins. The family is reconciled, and for the first time, Dennis sees Pat on stage. She introduces her father, who does one of his old routines. Just then, Jim arrives to announce the birth of triplets, and a contented Tony presents Pat with an engagement ring.