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

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Mickey Rooney and Lewis Stone
YOU'RE ONLY YOUNG ONCE (1937). Director: George B. Seitz.

This is the second film in the Andy Hardy series after A Family Affair and the first to star Lewis Stone and Fay Holden as Judge Hardy and his wife. The judge and family go on vacation to Catalina island, primarily because the judge wants to take in some fishing. Although Marion is apparently still in love with the unseen Wayne, she becomes smitten with a handsome lifeguard named Bill (Ted Pearson). Andy is also smitten with a sixteen-year-old named Geraldine (Eleanor Lynn), whom the judge thinks is much too fast for her. Judge Hardy acts as if her son is going to get married to the girl when it's only a summer romance, and Marion (Cecelia Parker) remains completely flighty in this and later pictures; fiance Wayne is simply forgotten. Meanwhile poor Aunt Millie (Sara Haden) is an old biddie if ever there were one, and the family nearly loses their house at one point. Mickey Rooney, terrific as always, was seventeen playing at fifteen, while Eleanor Lynn, playing sixteen, was an old lady of twenty-one looking five years older. You're Only Young Once has some sentiment and humor, but it's pretty much by the numbers, retreading the first picture with much less aplomb. Ann Rutherford is a lot of fun as Polly, however. Followed by Judge Hardy and Son, which was a decided improvement.

Verdict: This installment is a bit hokey and sanctimonious. **1/2.

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