11 user 5 critic

Happiness Ahead (1934)

Approved | | Musical, Comedy, Romance | 27 October 1934 (USA)
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.


Mervyn LeRoy


Harry Sauber (screen play), Brian Marlow (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... Bob Lane
Josephine Hutchinson ... Joan Bradford
John Halliday ... Henry Bradford
Frank McHugh ... Tom
Allen Jenkins ... Chuck
Ruth Donnelly ... Anna
Dorothy Dare ... Josie
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Bradford
Gavin Gordon ... 'Jellie' Travis
Russell Hicks ... Jim Meehan
Mary Forbes ... Mrs. Travis
J.M. Kerrigan ... Window Washer Boss
Mary Treen ... Bob's Comedienne Friend
Mary Russell Mary Russell ... Bob's Friend at the Pekin
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Davis - the Landlady


Joan's parents want her to marry young Travis, but Joan has no interest in him. So on New Years Eve, she goes out to a club where she meets Bob. Things click and she rents an apartment in the city so that she can date Bob and he will not know that she is RICH. He works for the Peerless Window Cleaners, but hopes to soon have his own window cleaning company. The problems between Bob and Joan start when he see's Joan getting a check from an older man and also finds that she does not stay in her apartment after he drops her off. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


COME ALONG DOWN ROMANCE ROAD (Print Ad-Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette, ((Greenfield, Mass.)) 13 November 1934) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The airplane seen at the end of the film is a 1929 Lockheed Vega, registration NC48M. It was owned by Paul Manz, a famous stunt pilot and aviation entrepreneur. He was a friend of Howard Huges and a technical advisor to Amelia Earhart. He owned United Air Services that provided aircraft and pilots for many films, in addition to having an air ambulance service. This particular aircraft was named the "Honeymoon Express" as it flew newlywed couples to Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada and Yuma, Arizona - honeymoon hot-spots at the time. This aircraft was being used for the film "Only Angels Have Wings" (1939) when it crash upon landing at St. George, Utah and was damaged beyond repair. See more »


Bob Lane: [angrily to Joan as he leaves] You know, I'm pretty good about that cheating business myself! And all that junk I fed you about being in love with ya was just a lot of conversation! Give me a buzz if you want some windows washed! I'm goin' into business! You know, you may not look so bad from the outside!
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Crazy Credits

Quite unusually for this era, there's a short pre-credit sequence: a complete refrain of the title song is sung before the main title card is shown. The First National logo zooms toward us out of clouds (just as the WB logo more familiarly does) then Dick Powell is superimposed over the same clouds singing "Happiness Ahead" directly to us. See more »


Remade as Love and Learn (1947) See more »


Happiness Ahead
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Lyrics by Mort Dixon
Sung by Dick Powell before the opening credits
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User Reviews

A departure from most of Dick Powell's musical films
14 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This is one of those films so popular in the 1930's in which a rich person, either intentionally or through coincidence, is mistaken for a person of modest means. As a result of this, the rich person ends up falling in love with a person of actual modest means.

In this case Joan Bradford (Josephine Hutchinson) is a wealthy heiress who is expected to marry a wealthy heir in a manner that resembles a corporate merger more than a romance. On the night that the engagement is to be announced she escapes her parents' mansion and begins walking along the streets of New York City. She goes into a night spot where she meets a group of young people, one of whom is window washing dispatcher Bob Lane (Dick Powell). Bob offers Joan a ride home at the evening's end, and she accepts. She doesn't want Bob to know she is wealthy, so she picks a random boarding house and tells him to drop her off.

Now the problems of the deception begin. Joan has given Bob a fake name - Joan Smith - and Bob is expecting to pick her up for a date in a few days at an address where she does not live. So Joan rents a place there and furnishes it, only showing up on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays right before her dates with Bob, and going back to her real home after he drops her off. She manages to fend off her mother's questions with the help of her sympathetic father (Jack Halliday). However, Joan soon finds she is in love with Bob, and with him talking about the two of them having a future together, she must face how to let him know who she really is without him feel betrayed.

This film is a bit of a departure for Dick Powell's musical films. He is not playing someone with musical abilities who is itching to be discovered. There are no big musical numbers in the film, just Powell singing a few catchy songs. This is a very fun film if you like the Warner Brothers musical comedies from the 1930's.

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Release Date:

27 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happiness Ahead See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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