Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this romantic drama based on a novel by Betty Smith, Carl Brown (Richard Chamberlain) is a student in law school who wants to marry his sweetheart, Annie McGairy (Yvette Mimieux). However, Carl and Annie's parents knew each other when they grew up in Ireland before emigrating to America, and Carl's father Patrick (Arthur Kennedy) vehemently objects to their engagement. The young couple decide to tie the knot anyway, and Patrick retaliates by cutting off financial support to his son. The young couple deal with the usual tribulations of newlyweds while they struggle to keep their heads above water -- Carl takes a job as a night watchman, while Annie makes a few dollars babysitting for Beverly Karter (Joan Tetzel), a married woman who is cheating on her husband with Stan Pulaski (Oscar Homolka), a married man. Living in a tiny apartment on the shabby side of town, Carl and Annie get to know other people too poor or too different to fit in elsewhere in an upscale college town. When Annie becomes pregnant, she leaves Carl, not wanting to burden him so that he can continue with his education. This sends Carl into an emotional tailspin, and Patrick tries to patch up the marriage he once opposed for the sake of his son's happiness. Joy in the Morning marked the first and only feature film role for TV and stage actor Donald Davis, who played Anthony, a gay florist who befriends the young couple.
finances, college, couple, employment, extramarital-affair, family-disapproval, father, girl-next-door, law-student, love, love-conquers-all, marital-problems, marriage, nanny, night-watchman, objection, outcast, parent, pregnancy, problems, son, struggle, student