|Mickey Rooney and Fay Holden|
"Wouldn't it be nice some time to take a trip around the world?' -- Aunt Millie
"Oh, I don't know. I'd rather go somewhere else." -- Mrs. Hardy
Twelve years have gone by since the last Hardy film and Andy is now happily married to Jane (Patricia Breslin of Homicidal) and living in Los Angeles with their two children. Andy now works for the legal department of the Gordon Aircraft company and thinks it might be a good idea to open a plant in his home town of Carvel. Unfortunately, a couple of people with grudges against Andy conspire to turn the whole town against him, insisting the factory will lead to slums, criminals, and who knows what else. Old pal "Beezy" (now played by Joey Forman) shows up and tries to help Andy but is stymied by his fearful wife, Sally (Jeanne Baird). Will Andy have to turn his back on Carvel the way they've seemed to turn their backs on him? Andy Hardy Comes Home is an amiable, if minor, picture that in its day served chiefly as a way for the audience to catch up with the Hardy family after many years. Lewis Stone had passed on, but Fay Holden (in her warm if slightly ditsy turn as Mother Hardy), Sara Haden as Millie, and Cecelia Parker (returning as Marian) are all good, as is Rooney. The film introduced Pat Cawley, who plays Sally, the woman who helps Andy in his search for property, although it is highly unlikely that her handsome boyfriend (William Leslie of Mutiny in Outer Space) would actually be jealous of Andy. Also introduced in this picture were little Teddy Rooney, who is okay as Andy Hardy Jr., and Johnny Weissmuller Jr. , who plays Andy's very tall nephew, Jim. Jerry Colonna shows up as Doc, who runs the soda shoppe. There are flashback scenes with Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and Esther Williams in clips from the older Hardy films. At the end of Andy Hardy Comes Home it says TO BE CONTINUED in big letters, but it was not to be. Andy was too old, and his son too young, to capture the teen-aged girl-crazy humor of the earlier installments, and the script for the film was no world-beater, making a mild attempt at recreating the humor and sentiment of the original series. The very pretty and competent Cawley only did two other movies.
Verdict: A middle-aged and mostly mediocre Andy Hardy. **1/2.