Chance at Heaven (1933): Pre-Code Melodrama, Starring Ginger Rogers and Joel McCrea

William A. Seiter, one of the most prolific directors of the studio era (over 100 films), helmed this re-Code melodrama, based on a script by vet scribes Julien Josephson and Sarah Y. Mason.

The film stars Joel McCrea and Ginger Rogers, in the same year that she scored big in the seminal Oscar nominated musical 42nd Street.

McCrea exudes a lot of charm as an ambitious mechanic, who is tempted to desert his wonderful girlfriend when a rich debutante falls for him.

Dialogue driven, with little visual style on display, the story contains some intrigues and complications before reaching its anticipated happy ending.

Chance at Heaven is a minor film in the respective career of both stars, but it offers some pleasures in watching Rogers and McCrea, who are both appealing and exhibit nice onscreen chemistry.

The secondary cast includes Marian Nixon, Andy Devine, and Lucien Littlefield.


RKO release

October 27, 1933


Ginger Rogers as Marjorie “Marje” Harris

Joel McCrea as Blackstone ‘Blacky’ Gorman

Marian Nixon as Glory Franklyn

Andy Devine as Al

Lucien Littlefield as Mr. Fred Harris

George Meeker as Sid Larrick

Ann Shoemaker as Mrs. Harris


I am grateful to TCM for showing the film on January 19, 2018.