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Melody for Three

Melody for Three(1941)

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Dr. Christian beams as he watches his godson, violin prodigy Billy Stanley practice his instrument. After Billy finishes playing, the good doctor admonishes the boy's divorced mother and music teacher, Mary Stanley, to consider remarriage. In response, Mary shows Dr. Christian a photograph of her ex-husband, John Pierce, and wistfully recalls their whirlwind romance in Paris twelve years earlier. Soon after their wedding, Mary confides, she began to suspect that John was being unfaithful to her and ran away to divorce him, unaware that she was pregnant with Billy. Mary then reveals that twelve years have not dimmed the love she feels for her ex-husband. Days later, during a violent storm, a small plane crashes at the airport in Rivers End and Dr. Christian is summoned to treat the injured passenger, acclaimed conductor Antoine Pirelle, who was on his way to Chicago for a concert. When Dr. Christian recognizes Pirelle as Mary's ex- husband, he orders the injured conductor to stay in Rivers End for a rest. Hoping to reconcile Mary and Pirelle, the doctor asks her to serve as a nurse for his patient. Meanwhile, Mickey Delancey, the maestro's manager, notifies Pirelle's fiancée, Gladys McClellan, about the accident. When Mary arrives at the hotel to care for her patient, she is shocked to find her ex-husband there, sound asleep. Fearful that if Pirelle discovers he has a son, he may sue for custody, Mary panics and refuses the case, but Dr. Christian persuades her to remain and suggests that Pirelle may be able to further Billy's career. Mary agrees to stay on the condition that Billy's existence be kept secret from his father until she feels safe revealing it. The next morning, Pirelle awakens to find Mary dozing in a chair beside his bed. Thrilled to see her again, Pirelle asks Mary to visit him later that day. Still reluctant to inform Pirelle about their son, Mary returns home, changes her clothes and tells Billy that she is taking him to the hotel to audition for Antoine Pirelle. At the hotel, Mary instructs Billy to wait in the lobby while she goes to talk to the conductor in his room. When Mary asks Pirelle to audition her star pupil, he confesses that he has been miserable ever since her departure. Pirelle's declaration is interrupted by the arrival of Gladys, who introduces herself as his fiancée. Shattered, Mary runs from the room and takes Billy home. Upon learning that Mary is Pirelle's ex-wife, Gladys vows to fight for him and enlists Mickey as her ally. Mickey then urges Pirelle to leave for Chicago immediately, but Pirelle refuses to depart until he can audition Mary's pupil. Obtaining Mary's number from the desk clerk, Pirelle calls the house to arrange for the audition, but when Billy answers the phone "Mrs. Stanley's residence," and informs the caller that his mother is out of town, Pirelle thinks that Mary has remarried and agrees to leave for Chicago immediately. Soon after, Billy appears at Dr. Christian's house and tells the doctor that his mother broke into tears and abruptly left Rivers End. When Dr. Christian reads the announcement of Gladys and Pirelle's engagement in the paper, he calls the hotel and learns that Pirelle and his entourage have checked out. Determined to reconcile Billy's parents, Dr. Christian takes the boy to Chicago. After they are denied admission to Pirelle's rehearsal hall at the radio station, the doctor and Billy join a tour of the studio. As the tour passes the rehearsal hall, the doctor and Billy sneak into the studio and Dr. Christian instructs Billy to join the musicians with his violin. Pirelle is so impressed by the boy's performance that he stops the rehearsal, at which point Dr. Christian introduces Pirelle to his son. When Gladys learns of Billy's existence, she realizes that she will never be able to compete with his son and breaks off their engagement. Afterward, Pirelle places Billy in Dr. Christian's care while he goes to find Mary. Some time later, during the radio broadcast of the concert, Pirelle steps up to the microphone and announces that his son Billy is to perform as guest soloist, and Mary and Dr. Christian watch proudly from the audience.