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

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Mickey Rooney, Ann Rutherford and William Orr
THE HARDYS RIDE HIGH (1939). Director: George B. Seitz.

"Why do I want to get married and make one woman miserable when I can stay single and make lots of women happy!' -- Andy Hardy.

Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) gets the astonishing news that he may have inherited two million dollars so he packs up the family to a Detroit mansion to check out the claim's validity. In the meantime son Andy (Mickey Rooney) goes "high-hattin'" to nightclubs where he refuses liquor and has trouble taking a smoke, but he is, after all, only sixteen years old [Rooney was actually three years older]. Daughter Marian (Cecelia Parker) proves to be as big an ass as usual. Aunt Milly (Sara Haden), who is the judge's sister-in-law [but always seems more like his sister] glamorizes herself but alas is still pretty homely, although gauche Andy thinks she's "all done up like a plush horse!" And Mrs. Hardy (Fay Holden) is just happy that she found a good frying pan in Detroit. A very young and unrecognizable Virginia Grey [Jeanne Eagels] plays a chorus girl who tries to vamp Andy -- the young stud is positively terrified by such a sophisticated city woman -- at the direction of her boyfriend, and rival heir, Phil Westcott (John King). Andy complains to girlfriend Polly (Ann Rutherford) that he's "all right until some la-di-da lizzie comes along," referring to the snooty Dick Bannersly (William Orr). The Hardys Ride High is a delightful entry in the series, with the usual top performances, especially the great Rooney, lots of humor, and the usual dose of honest sentiment. Judge Hardy comes mighty close to committing a crime in this, and frankly the whole business about the inheritance is never satisfactorily resolved, as if something were left on the cutting room floor. Marsha Hunt has a small role as a wife who appears before the court. William Orr later became the head of Warner Brothers television and was executive producer of many hit shows, including 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye.

Verdict: Riding high indeed. ***.


Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

You have certainly won my heart over with very mention of Andy Hardy. No one could have played the role with more heart and realism than the vivacious Mickey Rooney. Those movies are truly wonderful, and from an age of classic Hollywood that should forever be cherished. Thank you for this stroll down memory lane with the Hardy family in Carvel.

It's a Wonderful Movie

William said...

Thank you Net, for your kind remarks on the blog and on Andy Hardy. I agree that Mickey Rooney is an American treasure and the Hardy Family films are pure gold!