Chance at Heaven (27-Oct-1933)|
Director: William A. Seiter
Writers: Julian Josephson; Sarah Y. Mason; Viņa Delmar
Music Director: Max Steiner
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Review by Dave Patterson (posted on 30-Sep-2010)
This film was a huge surprise, and introduced me to the early Ginger Rogers films, before the Astaire connection. This film is a melodrama, which by today's standards would be called a "chic flick", but partly because it was made before the Haye's Code took full affect, it had an edge and some naughty humor. Marian Nixon (as Glory Franklyn), an almost unknown actress, was brilliant as the manipulative, silly and saucy foil to Ginger Roger and her romantic interest. Joel McCrae (Blackie Gorman) plays his role very smoothly, as the auto mechanic with dreams of his own service station, and as his romantic situation becomes complicated, he shows the strain with a subtle but frustrated expressiveness. The romantic-comedy takes twists that are not as predictable as is commonplace. Blackie becomes unbearably selfish and is naively smitten with Glory the debutante. The characters are flawed without the usual limitations. Ginger Rogers ("Mug" Harris) goes along with McCrae's philandering, and shows a strange combination of iron will and unbending patience as the ultimate girl next door. Instead of being portrayed as a fool, she is a heroine. Her patience with Blackie is somehow believable, which can only be projected by Rogers passionate performance.
Entertaining, but not your typical Hollywood fluff. Great cinematography helps creates an effective polarization between Glory Franklyn's glamorous world (which though just outside of town, could be a million miles away) and Blackie's simple life at the quaint little gas station.
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