Chance at Heaven Film Details
Overview: An ambitious mechanic is tempted to desert his wonderful girlfriend when a silly but rich debutante falls for him.
Tagline: Does a square girl EVER get a CHANCE at HEAVEN RIGHT HERE ON EARTH!
Review: … that of how the snobby rich can use the poor, and to them EVERYONE who isn’t rich is poor, and how a man’s head can be turned by an obvious goofball, there is something to learn here about how men fall in love. I’m going to say upfront that I spoil the plot completely here, but the rather simple plot is not really the point of my review. ‘Blacky’ Gorman (Joel McCrea) owns a gas station in a small town, and even in the midst of the Great Depression is doing well enough that he is thinking of opening a second station and he owns a modest bungalow nearby. His best girl is Marje Harris (Ginger Rogers). She invites him over to her family’s house for Sunday dinner, she helped him figure out a financial plan that got him on the road to success, and decorated his bungalow for him. When there is a social function in town, they go together, but that’s just the problem. They’ve been going together but nowhere in particular for three long years. For a man who makes his living off of other people using roads, Blackie himself seems to have no roadmap when it comes to romance. Marje is impatient. She asks him “Is there anyone else?” The answer is a truthful “No”. But that’s the problem there is NOBODY else – as in no competition at all. Blackie says, and I think he means it, that she should know how he feels, that when he gets just a little bit more money of course they’ll get married, etc. And then it happens…competition shows up in the person of the extremely helpless and wealthy Glory Franklyn (Marian Nixon). Her only real talent is running into inanimate objects with her car, and she apparently let’s snobby mom do all of her thinking for her and doesn’t seem to mind. Mom has even picked out a future husband for her. Now for a guy who has seemed slow and deliberate when it comes to love before, Blackie is bowled over by Glory, and it’s not the money. They elope within days after meeting, and both seem happy living in Blackie’s modest bungalow, although Glory wants to redecorate it to make it her own. The problem is Marje doesn’t just go on with her life, she hangs around to help Glory, since I doubt she could open a can of paint without adult supervision, and Marje even cooks up Blackie’s favorite meal and lets Glory take the credit. Now remember, Glory is a whimsical girl who has the same mindset of whatever dominant personality is around her, and for a few months it has been Blackie. But then Glory finds out she is pregnant and becomes hysterical. Glory’s mom – who has always hated the idea of the marriage – comes sweeping back in. She convinces Blackie that Glory would get better medical care in New York, and takes her back with her. Weeks turn to months and Glory does not reappear. When Blackie shows up at the Franklyn New York mansion, he learns from Glory that the marriage was a mistake and that the doctor was wrong – she was never pregnant. The “A” word is never mentioned, but there can be no other explanation for her suddenly empty womb. Mom has regained control of Glory’s puppet strings. I’m sure it will come a shock to mom at her life’s end when she goes to hell and discovers it is filled with people whose ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower. So Blackie goes back home, a sadder but wiser guy. Of course Blackie apologizes to Marje for letting his head so easily be turned. Of course Marje takes him back, and the last scene is of them sitting comfortably at his house eating his favorite meal, cooked, of course, by Marje. How does this film teach us how men fall in love? By showing us exactly how they act when they are not in love. Blackie was not leading Marje on. He found her attractive, accomplished, helpful, and a good companion, but one that he did not love even though I doubt he himself realized it. When men fall in love they do it very quickly – just like he did with Glory. It’s just too bad his heart had such bad judgment. Marje would have been wise to just leave Blackie behind after she realized he had feelings for Glory. Instead she hung around until the marriage imploded and is now back where she started – keeping steady company with a man who admires and may even marry her at some point, probably largely out of gratitude, but will never love her. Highly recommended little B from RKO in the precode era that is heavily laced with interesting themes.
Country: United States
Duration: 71 min
Genre: Drama, Romance
Also known as: Chance at Heaven,Amor que Engana,Una oportunidad en el cielo,彼女の戦術,Tres corazones en juego,Abismo