Headlong into happiness

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German title Headlong into happiness
Original title Chacun sa chance
Country of production France
original language German
Publishing year 1930/1931
length 76-80 minutes
Director Hans Steinhoff
René Pujol
script Charlie K. Roellinghoff
Richard Arvay
production Marcel Hellmann
Émile Nathan
music Walter Kollo
Nico Dostal
camera Karl Puth
Vittore Armenise
Occupation French version

Headfirst into happiness (original title: Chacun sa chance , German title also: Jedem seine Chance ) is a mix-up comedy filmed in both a French and a German version, directed by Hans Steinhoff and René Pujol . In the German version, the main roles are cast with Jenny Jugo , Fritz Schulz and Szöke Szakall . In Overhead in happiness is the German version of the in Paris French original manufactured. It is the first in a series of six films made by Hans Steinhoff in two languages ​​each.

In the French version, Jean Gabin , Renée Héribel and André Urban play the main roles. The script is based on a story by Bruno Hardt-Warden.


The action takes place in Paris in the 1930s in a casual, jazzy Viennese operetta version: Marcel, who works as a window dresser, surprisingly receives a ticket for the theater from a stranger. In order to be appropriately dressed, he “borrows” a tailcoat from his employer's inventory at his own discretion. In the theater he meets the chocolate seller Madeleine *, who immediately falls in love with the elegantly dressed young man who is extremely charming. To be his equal, she takes her friend Lily and the revue star Yvonne ** into her trust, who transform Madeleine into a society lady with the help of clothes from the theater stock. Marcel now becomes aware of the charming young lady and makes her court. So it happens that after the performance is over, both of them go to a dance hall together.

A visiting card found leads to Marcel being mistaken for Baron de Monteuil. So it happens that he also has to give the address of the baron given on the card on the way home by taxi. He takes Madeleine with him to the villa, which fortunately no one is in any longer, and the young couple spends happy hours there. The next morning, however, disaster approaches when Baron and Baroness Monteuil, who were on a journey, return to their home. When the baroness enters her bedchamber, she runs into Madeleine, who is still there in bed. She now believes her husband is having an affair. Marcel then sees only one way to clear up the matter. He tells how the connections really are. Madeleine's reaction, which Marcel had not necessarily expected, makes him happy because she makes him understand that she is much more interested in a husband from her own circles than a nobleman .

* in the French version Simone ; ** in the French version Colette and Mariette

Production notes and background

The film was produced by Marcel Hellmann -Film together with Pathé Natan. Hellmann was also the production manager for the German version.

In France, the film ran under the title Chacun sa chance on December 19, 1930 in Paris. In Germany, it was released in cinemas on January 26, 1931 under the title Kopfüber ins Glück . The French film version ran in Greece under the title Mia nyhta, mia eftyhia and in Poland under the title Kazdemu jego . The film was first shown on German television on November 6, 1984 by DFF 2 .

In the early days of talkies, films were often made in several language versions. This saved the synchronization, which was technically not yet fully developed at the time. The actors in each language version played the scene in the same setting for all versions. The European center for multi-language film versions was Berlin, where numerous German film successes (e.g. Der Kongreß tanzt (1931) and Die Drei von der Gasstelle (1930) ) were also made in French and English, sometimes also in Italian and Spanish, between 1930 and 1936 were manufactured. At that time, the Paris suburb of Joinville was the French center for the production of such multi-language films. The US film production company Paramount Pictures had brought the former Pathé studios up to date with the latest technology, which made it easier to shoot such multi-language versions. Steinhoff was one of the first German directors to shoot in Joinville. As a contemporary document, head over into happiness conveys an idea of ​​Steinhoff's working method, which he previously brought into his stage operettas month after month, which he staged for the Apollo Theater.

In the French version, Jean Gabin made his film debut. With Gaby Basset he had his first wife at his side, from whom he had since separated again.

Music in the film

  • Hello my darling how are you ..
  • Can you do it in the moonlight ..
  • What would the world be without sunshine ..
  • There is an opportunity for every girl ..
  • Headfirst into happiness ..


Karlheinz Wendtland stated that what “in the table of contents almost looked like clothes” had been “played so gracefully and enchantingly”, “almost as if the Parisian atmosphere had spurred the filming in Paris”. Wendtland continued: "At that time, Hans Steinhoff was capable of such amiable and amusing films as a director, before he let himself be harnessed as the driving force behind the spread of Nazi ideology in 1933."

Paul Ickes from Filmwoche was mostly able to get good things from the film and wrote: “Steinhoff has directed a light-hearted direction here, and he awakened Jenny Jugo to new film life. The whole thing, at which the audience almost literally laughs, is neither an operetta nor a comedy; it's a little singspiel in which, I believe, only Austin Egen bothers something. Apart from all the peculiarities, Luigi Bernauer's vocal material is more sympathetic. ”Ickes said that Fritz Schulz and Szöke Szakall had a personal competition to see who would be more successful with his cheerfulness. He stated that both are “fundamentally different comedy types”, each of which could also carry a film in this direction on its own. However, both manage the trick not to play each other dead. Ickes also paid tribute to the rest of the ensemble, saying it was excellent in terms of singing .

Wendtland believed that the US-born Austin Egen was "undoubtedly the weaker" singer. He pointed out that Horst H. Lange hadn't called him [...] a "popular potty singer" by chance, who also looked "unfavorable". Luigi (Ludwig) Bernauer, who was a refrain singer on various record brands, owned most of the pseudonyms in this profession at the time.

On berlinien.de one could read that the film had been described as "entertaining, amusing and comedic". If you like comedy, you will be "entertained" for 76 minutes.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c hc: Chacun sa chance at dhm.de
  2. Jean Gabin at whoswho.de
  3. a b c Karlheinz Wendtland: Beloved Kintopp. All German feature films from 1929–1945 with numerous artist biographies, born in 1931, Medium Film Verlag Karlheinz Wendtland, Berlin, first edition 1989, second revised edition 1991, pp. 24–25, film 16/1931. ISBN 3-926945-09-5
  4. Everyone has their chance at berlinien.de, accessed on November 14, 2015.