With his high school graduation behind him, Andy Hardy decides that as an adult, it's time to start living his life. Judge Hardy had hoped that his son would go to college and study law, ... See full summary »
Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Young freewheeling wanderer Jerry Day and his beautiful wife Toni are at odds over their lifestyle. Jerry can't accept responsibility but Toni yearns for a family and a settled life. Then ... See full summary »
Andy wants to buy a new car so he goes into the judge's home office where his father is about to write a $200 check to charity. He asks his dad for the $200 and they go used car shopping. ... See full summary »
Andy is going to Wainwright College as did his father. He sees a pretty blonde on the train and he is alternately winked at or slapped every time he sees her. Andy is clueless. On the train... See full summary »
After a long absense from the island, Chester Tuttle returns to Tahiti to find that little has changed. His large family, particularly his scheming Uncle Jonas, would rather dance and ... See full summary »
In this is the entry into the Andy Hardy series about a small town depression era family, Judge Hardy faces problems at work and at home. Powerful men in town are upset with his decisions and want to see him impeached; his daughters, Joan and Marion, have romantic problems; and his son, Andy discovers Polly Benedict. As usual, Judge Hardy is concerned with everyone in the family and lends wisdom and calmness to all. Written by
The first film in the Andy Hardy series is actually a lot more different in tone, subject matter as well as cast members than the later films. Here we have Lionel Barrymore playing Judge Hardy who must fight off some higher ranked members of the city who want to blackmail him into approving a plant coming to town. They plan on using a scandal involving his daughter (Julie Haydon) while his other daughter (Cecilia Parker) strikes up a relationship with a new man. It's nearly impossible to watch this film without comparing it to future entries. Not only does Barrymore get the main role but we have Spring Byington playing Emily Hardy and of course in future films we only have one daughter. I think Barrymore is pretty good in the role, although I will add that I prefer Lewis Stone. I think Stone did a better job at making a character as Barrymore is pretty much just playing his usual, tough self here. I was a little surprised at the subject matter as we get a lot of talk about scandal and even a brief mention of suicide. What's really surprising, and in a way kills the film, is that the small town flavor just doesn't ring through because the city is full of some mean people who will scoop pretty low in terms of blackmail and various other ugly things. This ugly nature pretty much kills what the series was trying to be like and in many ways I think it's safe to call this a standalone film and pretend that the real Andy Hardy series started with the next entry. As I said, Barrymore isn't too bad but the rest of the cast are clearly trying to find what they want to do with the characters. I wasn't overly thrilled with Haydon who is a bit too wooden for me. Mickey Rooney makes his first appearance here as Andy but really doesn't have much to do. Sara Haden is also here as Aunt Milly but she too is pretty much in the background. This certainly isn't a bad film but in the end it's not that all memorable and in the end I think the series was much better off with the changes it would eventually make.
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