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Happiness Ahead

(1934 b 86')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A woman from a rich family meets window-washers and keeps her affluence a secret, which unravels when her boyfriend needs money.

On New Year's Eve servants play bridge in the kitchen, and the maid Anna (Ruth Donnelly) tells Joan Bradford (Josephine Hutchinson) she is going to marry the chauffeur Chuck (Allen Jenkins), saying love, not money, brings happiness. Joan tells her father Henry Bradford (John Halliday) she will not marry Travis to please her mother. She refuses to dress for the party and goes out to a Chinese restaurant alone. At midnight in the dark she is kissed by Bob Lane (Dick Powell) and joins his group. Bob sings "Pop Goes Your Heart." He takes Joan home, and she points out an apartment, as they make a date. Bob sends out workers to wash windows and is warned by his boss of competition from Flanders. Joan rents an apartment for $60, and Bob takes her skating. Joan acts as though she is working class and introduces Anna and Chuck to Bob, Tom (Frank McHugh) and Josie.

Mrs. Bradford (Marjorie Gateson) asks Henry what Joan is doing. Joan has a party at her apartment, and Bob sings "Beauty Must Be Loved." Joan goes home, and her father asks for an explanation to give her mother. Bob wants to marry Joan but learns he needs $2,000 to start his own business; he has saved only $700. Workers at Peerless Window Cleaners may quit; so Bob washes windows too. Mrs. Bradford complains to Henry about Joan and says she will hire a detective. So Anna sends Chuck to Joan, but Bob sees her get in the car. He waits and tells Joan what he needs. Bob and Tom sing about window cleaning as they wash them. Bob sees Joan in a fur coat get a check and embrace Henry. Bob also learns from Joan's landlady that she never sleeps there and arrived in a limousine. Bob's business associate tells Bob he will need more money if he is backed by Bradford and gives him the $2,000 check. Bob tells Joan that marrying her was a gag he used to get the $2,000 and angrily walks out. Joan tells her mother she will fly to Cuba with Travis, and she cries on her father's shoulder. Bob quits his job and calls on Henry Bradford, saying they were both taken by the "same dame," showing him his check. Henry takes Bob to the airport to stop Joan, and Bob learns Henry is her father, who shows Joan the check. He "forbids" his daughter to go after Bob but tells her where he is. In the final scene Henry tells his wife he is going into the window-cleaning business with their son-in-law, and Bob and Joan kiss.

This romantic story shows a woman from high society finding more happiness with working-class people in spite of the complications resulting from her deception.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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