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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

JUDGE HARDY'S CHILDREN

Andy (Mickey Rooney) tries to hit Dad (Lewis Stone) up for money
JUDGE HARDY'S CHILDREN (1938). Director: George B. Seitz.

Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford) wants Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney) to take her to a dance, but he's horrified to learn that he'll need to buy a tuxedo (it never occurs to the dope that he could rent one). Therefore it's just as well that he and the rest of the family accompany Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) to Washington D.C. where the judge will serve on a committee exploring certain monopolies. Unfortunately, Andy becomes smitten with a pretty French gal, Suzanne (Jacqueline Laurent), who also invites him to a dance -- which is formal! Will Andy's dad give him the money to get a tuxedo? In the meantime Andy's sister Marian (Cecelia Parker) acts like a complete ass when it comes to her boyfriend and inadvertently gives away some of the committee's secrets to unscrupulous Washington types. Mickey Rooney gives another fine and funny performance as the irrepressible Andy, and has a great scene when he demonstrates the "Big Apple" dance to the French gal. Janet Beecher [So Red the Rose] makes an impression as Miss Budge, Suzanne's tutor, and the rest of the cast, especially Stone, is fine. In this entry, Aunt Millie is played by Betty Ross Clarke, who is much less of a "spinster" type. Dumb Mrs. Hardy (Fay Holden) doesn't know who Leonardo da Vinci is!

Verdict: Highly enjoyable Hardy picture. ***.

2 comments:

angelman66 said...

I love these movies! Rooney was so adorable and winning, and the stories of small-time are truly timeless and still relevant. I believe this was the first appearance of Lewis Stone as Andy's dad..it was originated by Lionel Barrymore but Stone played it for the rest of the series. My personal favorite, of course, is Love Finds Andy Hardy, his first big pairing with Garland, and Lana Turner thrown in for eye candy...

William said...

"Love Finds Andy Hardy" is next on my list -- haven't seen it in quite a while. I bought the Andy Hardy collection and have several of them to watch again in the next few weeks. Yeah-- Mickey was great!