Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Andy (Mickey Rooney) on a dispirited burro
OUT WEST WITH THE HARDYS (1938). Director: George B. Seitz.

An old flame calls Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) for help when she and her husband fear they'll lose their ranch over water rights. The judge takes the entire family with him to the west, and they sort of just move into this couple's ranch, make themselves at home, and raid the refrigerator as if they own the place. Marian Hardy (Cecelia Parker) falls for a rugged cowboy and widower named Ray (Gordon Jones of The Green Hornet), while his young daughter, "Jake" (Virginia Weidler), develops a crush on Andy (Mickey Rooney). Weidler and Rooney give the most memorable performances, but the others in the cast are swell, as Andy would put it. Fay Holden as Mrs. Hardy can't quite disguise her veddy proper British roots. Ralph Morgan [The Monster and the Ape] and Nana Bryant [Possessed] are the ranchers, and Tom Neal has a small role as a traffic violator in Judge Hardy's courtroom. An unusual aspect of this Hardy feature is that there are no beautiful starlets for Andy to play around and neck with.

Verdict: Pleasant time-waster: **1/2.

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