Thursday, February 26, 2015
LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY
"Really, we're getting much too old for that sort of thing, hugging and kissing!" -- Polly
"Christmas -- with Andy Hardy next door!" -- Betsy
When Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford) goes away for the holidays, Andy's (Mickey Rooney) pal Beezy (George P. Breakston) importunes him to date girlfriend Cynthia (Lana Turner) to keep the other guys away from her while he's on vacation. An added complication is Betsy Booth (Judy Garland), who is visiting her grandmother next door and develops a big crush on Andy despite him seeing her as "a child." Betsy, who despairs that she has "no glamour, no glamour at all" sings the cute number "In-Between" and proves that Garland was a great singer even at that tender age; Rooney and Garland both give especially outstanding performances in this and are a simply wonderful team. Meanwhile Polly comes back unexpectedly and is jealous of Cynthia, whom she calls "That awful red-headed creature!" In other developments the Hardy grandmother has a stroke and Mrs. Hardy (Fay Holden) has to go off to take care of her while cook Augusta (Marie Blake) complains about Marion's "mud" or coffee. Marion (Cecelia Parker), as flighty and immature as ever, finally breaks up with a still-unseen Wayne and Betty Ross Clarke again temporarily replaces Sara Haden as Aunt Millie as she did in Judge Hardy's Children. Communicating with Mrs. Hardy over ham radio, Judge Hardy acts as if he'd discovered the iphone. There is an excellent scene when the Judge (Lewis Stone) and Andy talk about the possibility of the much older man dying. Turner is a lot of fun as Cynthia, although she does seem to be out of Rooney's league. Don Castle [Roses are Red] plays a handsome bandleader who turns out to be Polly's cousin. Followed by Out West with the Hardys.
Verdict: A nice combination of good humor and honest sentiment. ***.