Andy Hardy (series)

Andy Hardy (series)

Synopsis of Movie

Oozing with the old-fashioned charm of middle-class Americana, the Andy Hardy series helped make Mickey Rooney the biggest star in the world. Through thick and thin, in good times and bad, the Depression-era small town family the Hardys learned lessons on life and love, mostly learned by oldest son Andy.

Judge Hardy (played by Lionel Barrymore in the first film, Lewis Tone in every other) presided over the family with endless wisdom and patience. Mother Emily was another parent of saintly patience, while son Andy was the adolescent with perpetual girl problems. Kid sister Marian had her share of romantic entanglements as well, but never enough to interfere with her primary duty of annoying Andy. Over the course of ten years, fifteen Andy Hardy features and one short (Andy Hardy's Dilemma) were produced, with a reunion film, Andy Hardy Comes Home, released in 1956. A brief rundown on the series:

A Family Affair (1937) – Unscrupulous men want Judge Hardy impeached. Andy, as will be his custom throughout the series, has girl trouble.

You’re Only Young Once (1937) – The family vacations to Catalina, where Andy and sister Marian find romance.

Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) – It finds him several times, in fact. Andy gets in dutch with girlfriend Polly Benedict (a series regular) when his best friend asks him to take care of his girlfriend (Lana Turner). Things get worse when Andy falls for sweet-singing Betsy Booth (Judy Garland). This entry is regarded by many to be the best in the series.

Out West With the Hardys (1938) – The family takes a trip out to a western ranch to help some old friends who are having problems with their water rights.

Judge Hardy’s Children (1938) – Judge Hardy takes the family to Washington, D.C., where Andy romances a French diplomat’s daughter.

Judge Hardy and Son (1939) – Judge Hardy fights the eviction of an elderly couple, and Andy realizes his problems are insignificant when his mother catches pneumonia.

The Hardys Ride High (1939) – The family moves into a new social position when they inherit a large estate.

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939) – Andy has a thing for his new drama teacher and writes a play in order to spend more time with her.

Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) – In the Big Apple, Betsy Booth introduces Andy to the title debutante, whom Andy instantly falls for.

Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary (1941) – With high school graduation approaching, Andy gets a little to big for his britches and hires his own secretary.

Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941) – Looking for life experience, Andy takes a job in New York City and learns a few tough lessons in love and life. Judy Garland makes her third and final appearance as Betsy Booth.

Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942) – Andy goes to college, where the bounty of beauties makes it very tough to study.

The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) – Judge Hardy counsels a couple planning a divorce, asking Andy to date their snooty daughter (played by Donna Reed).

Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (1944) – In college, Andy’s baffled by a hot/cold blonde until he discovers “she” is actually “them,” a set of identical twins.

Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946) – The last of the regular Andy Hardy series, and Mickey Rooney’s first role after returning from service in World War II. Andy, also a WWII vet, returns to college and finds his girlfriend engaged to another man.

After this final installment, MGM realized the series was ready for retirement. The Hardys had entertained for years with their blend of silly comedy and tender family lessons, but with the changing cultural climate of postwar America, it was time to move on.

The family, minus Judge Hardy, reunited twelve years later for Andy Hardy Comes Home, in which a grown Andy, now married with children of his own, returns to his hometown on business. The new film failed to generate enough interest for a new Hardy family series, but the track record speaks for itself. For one full decade and over a dozen films, the Hardys were one of the most famous families in America.

Movie Release History

1937 - A Family Affair
1937 - You're Only Young Once
1938 - Love Finds Andy Hardy
1938 - Out West With the Hardys
1938 - Judge Hardy's Children
1939 - Judge Hardy and Son
1939 - The Hardys Ride High
1939 - Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever
1940 - Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
1941 - Andy Hardy's Private Secretary
1941 - Life Begins for Andy Hardy
1942 - Andy Hardy's Double Life
1942 - The Courtship of Andy Hardy
1944 - Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble
1946 - Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
1958 - Andy Hardy Comes Home

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Andy Hardy Mickey Rooney
Judge James Harvey Lewis Stone
Judge James Harvey (A Family Affair) Lionel Barrymore
Mrs. Emily Hardy Fay Holden
Mrs. Emily Hardy (A Family Affair) Spring Byington
Marian Hardy Cecilia Parker
Polly Benedict Ann Rutherford
Polly Benedict (A Family Affair) Margaret Marquis
Aunt Milly Sara Haden
Aunt Milly (Love Finds Andy Hardy and Judge Hardy's Children) Betty Ross Clarke
Betsy Booth Judy Garland
Hoyt Wells Selmer Jackson
Jimmy McMahon Gene Reynolds
Cynthia Potter Lana Turner
Dennis Hunt Don Castle
Augusta McBride Marie Blake
"Beezy" Anderson George P. Breakston
"Beezy" Anderson (Andy Hardy Comes Home) Joey Forman
Aldrich Brown Tom Neal
J.O. Harper Donald Douglas
Tommy Gilchrist Charles Peck
George Benedict Addison Richards
Bailiff Erville Anderson
Clarabelle Lee Margaret Early
Peter Dugan Joseph Crehan
Harry Land Todd Karns
Red Frank Coghlan Jr.
Sheila Brooks Esther Williams
Kay Wilson Bonita Granville
Jane Hardy Patricia Breslin
Andy, Jr.* Teddy Rooney

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