Happiness Ahead (1934)

Passed   |    |  Musical, Comedy, Romance


Happiness Ahead (1934) Poster

Society heiress Joan Bradford rebels against her mother's choice of a future husband by masquerading as a working class girl and dating a window washer.


6.7/10
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25 October 2008 | bkoganbing
7
| "So Dream On For Love Is Bound To See Us Through"
Not only did Dick Powell get a hit film from Warner Brothers with Happiness Ahead, but he got a radio theme song as long as he was concentrating on musicals.

Breaking tradition somewhat, the film opens with Powell singing the title song Happiness Ahead. For the next several years until Powell was doing the dramatic parts he wanted, the song Happiness Ahead served as his theme song in the same way that Where The Blue Of The Night was Bing Crosby's theme. But the film didn't end here.

Happiness Ahead is a typical Depression Era film with either a poor shop girl falling for some young millionaire playboy or in this case the other way around. Josephine Hutchinson plays the young débutante who is bored to tears with her society peers and goes out with maid Ruth Donnelly and chauffeur Allen Jenkins one night. At a night club she meets Dick Powell who charms her with a couple of other songs Beauty Must Be Loved and Pop Goes Your Heart.

He's a dispatcher for a window washing company and looking to form a company of his own with pal Frank McHugh. Powell doesn't know about Josephine's big bucks and she wants to keep it that way for the moment, but maybe help him on the sly.

Of course this leads to all kinds of complications, business and romantic, but in true Hollywood style it all gets resolved in the end.

One role I found especially interesting is that of Russell Hicks who plays a grafting politician who has the necessary contacts to get Powell the jobs he needs. We pay him off first before anything else happens. It was an extremely true and insightful role coming from a film that the workingman's studio of Warner Brothers made.

John Halliday also has a good part as Hutchinson's father. He made it the hard way himself and secretly appreciates what Josephine wants in a man.

So if you like Dick Powell the singer as well as Dick Powell the hardboiled noir star, Happiness Ahead will make you very happy indeed.

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