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Aspiring opera singer Jeff Carter gets a nasty surprise upon returning to New York after years of study in Europe. His selfish wife Millie divorced him months earlier, married a wealthy older man, and put their son Danny in military school. Renting a cheap flat and assuming custody of Danny, Jeff struggles to find work as a singer but is forced to settle for a demeaning acting job on radio, playing faithful Indian companion to a pale imitation of the Lone Ranger. Things get more depressing when Danny's new stepfather, citing his ability to give the boy a life of luxury, pressures Jeff to surrender custody of the son who still worships him. A talented stage performer who served in the U.S. military as a spy during WWI, John Boles played supporting roles in several silent films before attracting attention as Gloria Swanson's leading man in The Love of Sunya (1927). Tall, dark and handsome - and a robust baritone to boot - Boles was predicted to become a top box-office attraction once talkies came to stay, but major stardom eluded him despite appearing in the 1931 Universal horror classic, Frankenstein. Road to Happiness, the last of his moderately successful starring vehicles, but Phil Rosen's direction soft-pedals the more obvious cliches and adroitly mixes some comedy with the drama. The film also benefits from good chemistry between Boles and talented child actor Billy Lee, playing his son.

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ALP6586 Road To Happiness DVD (1941/John Boles) $5.99