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Road to Happiness (January 9, 1942)

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The Road to Happiness

Released on January 9, 1942: While Jeff is studying voice in Europe so he can sing opera, his wife divorces him for a millionaire and puts their young son in a military school.

Directed by Phil Rosen

The Actors: John Boles (Jeff Carter), Mona Barrie (Millie Rankin), Billy Lee (Danny Carter), Roscoe Karns (Charley Grady), Lillian Elliott (Mrs. Price), Paul Porcasi (Pietro Pacelli), Selmer Jackson (Sam Rankin), Brandon Hurst (Swayne), Sam Flint (Colonel Gregory), Antonio Filauri (Rafael Almonti), Harland Tucker (Foster), Charles Calvert (bald headed boarder), Willy Castello (party guest), Lester Dorr (Rankin's chauffeur), Dick Elliott (pawnshop owner), Byron Foulger (Jackson), Maxine Leslie (blonde party guest).


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Jeff and Millie have a young son Danny, and live happily in New York. Millie was a dancer on broadway, and Jeff's passion is to be an opera singer, so he goes to Europe to study voice for a year. While he is away, Millie divorces him, marries a millionaire, and puts little Danny in Military School, because her new lifestyle provides no time for her son. When Jeff gets back from Europe and finds out that his wife and son are gone, he finds his wife and tells her that he will go to the Military School and keep his son with him. He takes his son to the boarding house that he and Millie lived in when they were first married, and Mrs. Price, the landlady, welcomes them with open arms. Jeff tries in vain for weeks to get a job as an opera singer, without any luck.

For Danny's birthday Danny's mother promises to pick him up and spend a wonderful birthday with him, but on the day, he waits for hours on the front steps of the boarding house, but his mom is too busy partying and never picks him up. His dad comes home later, after another day of looking for work with a radio for Danny that he got by pawning the last of his sheet music. The next week Jeff gets a lead for a job at a radio station, and although Jeff thinks it will be an audition for a singing job, it is actually an audition to be the voice of an American Indian on a popular radio adventure show. He gets the job, and it provides a big paycheck, so Jeff gives up his dream of singing for the steady paycheck from the radio show. Danny is visiting his mother on the day of Jeff's first live radio show, and it turns out that the millionaire husband cares a lot more for Danny than his own mother. When the millionaire and Danny are ready to listen to Jeff's first broadcast, Danny's mother not only is not interested in listening to the show, she hs party guests arriving. When the show starts, the party couples and Danny's mother turn off the radio and resume their party, while forlorn Danny leaves his mother's home.

Danny's step-father kicks out the party people and goes after Danny, to try to console him. Mr. Rankin, Danny's step-father grabs a cab and chases after Danny. When he finds him, he gets out of the cab and tells Danny that he should ride home with him in the cab, so he can listen to his Dad's radio show in the cab. Danny starts crying and refuses, saying that he would rather walk home alone. While he is home with his dad, the dad's agent drops by and tells Jeff that a travelling opera company has a leading part for him if he will travel with them. Danny wants him to take the job so he can fulfill his passion to sing, but Jeff declines, so he can stay in one place and keep Danny. Then Danny's step-father arrives, bringing Danny the gifts that he was given earlier that day at his mom's place. Rankin wants to talk privately with Jeff, and tells him that he would like to legally adopt Danny so that he could provide the best of everything for Danny, and allow Jeff the freedom to follow his passion for singing. Jeff politely declines, and lets Danny open all his wonderful gifts. Danny is so excited at the wonderful and expensive gifts from Rankin, and Jeff thinks that maybe Danny would be better off with Rankin, so he asks Danny if he would rather live with Rankin. After a two tissue dialogue Danny and pappa Jeff are bonded closer than ever.

Will Jeff ever be able to follow his passion for music and still remain in New York to care for his son Danny? Will Danny need to leave his dad and live with his step-father who can give him everything except a loving mother? Will his mother drop dead so she isn't a thorn in his side any more? Is there any way at all that this movie can end in happiness? Remember the title? Pull out the tissue box, sit down and enjoy :~)