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

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Mickey Rooney and "droopy" Donna Reed
THE COURTSHIP OF ANDY HARDY (1942). Director: George B. Seitz.

"Andrew! I do not go back to the American Revolution!" -- Judge Hardy

While Andy (Mickey Rooney) is having problems operating his car towing service, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) intervenes in the case of a divorcing couple (Freida Inescort; Harvey Stephens) whose daughter, Melodie (Donna Reed) is being adversely affected by their behavior. The judge asks Andy to take Melodie to a dance, and he agrees, even though he thinks she's kind of "droopy." However, he gets to like the girl when he actually get to know her,  although he's worried when she develops a crush on him -- this in spite of the fact that Melodie eventually turns herself into quite a dish. And what about the returning Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford)? In the meantime, Marian (Cecelia Parker) meets a brash young man named Jefferson (William Lundigan), and Mother Hardy (Fay Holden) has to deal with dishonest bill collectors. There seemed to be a decision with this film to focus a little more on the other members of the Hardy family, although Andy still gets the lion's share of the footage. The Courtship of Andy Hardy features the usual fine performances, but while it's quite pleasant in spots, it's not one of the more memorable entries. Todd Karnes reappears as Harry Land [Andy Hardy's Private Secretary], who falls for Melodie even before her makeover.

Verdict: One of the weaker Hardy pictures. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

This is one I have never seen - Donna Reed, wow! MGM really did use this series as a training ground and launching pad for young female stars...Judy, Lana, Esther, and this future Oscar winner as well. Just saw Donna in From here to eternity again; she was a versatile actress who could play comedy or drama with equal finesse...

Need to catch this one soon!

William said...

Yes, Reed was often under-rated, probably because she did that sitcom, although if I remember correctly she was perfectly good in it. I imagine Reed hated wearing that "droopy" dress as much as her character did, but she makes up for it later on and looks smashing.

angelman66 said...

Can't wait to finally see it, thanks Bill!