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John G. Adolfi
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
"A Family Affair" takes us back to a less complicated time in America. It's sobering to see how different everything was back then. It was a more innocent era in our country and we watch a 'functional' family dealing in things together. The film also marks the beginning of the series featuring the Hardy family.
The film, directed by George Seitz, is based on a successful play. Judge James Hardy, and his wife Emmily, are facing a domestic crisis that must be dealt with. Married daughter Joan comes home after she has committed a social blunder and her husband holds her responsible. At the same time, another daughter, Marion, brings home a beau, who is clear will clash with her father. The happy teen ager Andy, seems to be the only one without a problem until his mother makes him escort Polly to the dance, something he is reluctant to do.
Needless to say, Judge Hardy will prove why he knows best as he puts a plan into action to get everyone together again. After all, he is a man that understands, not only the law, but how to deal with those outside forces that threatens his standing in the community and what will make his family happy.
Lionel Barrymore plays Judge Hardy with conviction. He is the glue that holds everything together. Spring Byington is seen as Emily, the mother. Mickey Rooney has a small part in this film, but he is as always, fun to watch. Cecilia Parker and Julie Haydon appeared as the daughters, Marion and Joan. Sara Hayden and Margaret Marquis are also featured in the film as Aunt Milly and Polly, the girl that surprises Andy with her beauty.
"A Family Affair" is a good way to observe our past through the positive image painted of an American family.
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