When Judge James K. Hardy gets a letter from an old friend, Dora Northcote, explaining she and her husband Bill may lose their ranch because an adjacent rancher won't renew their water lease contract, he takes his family with him to alleviate their frustrations at home. His wife Emily is upset with spring cleaning, Andy has quarreled with his girlfriend, Polly Benedict, while Marian similarly quarreled with her boyfriend, Dennis Hunt. But at the ranch, new problems arise. Judge Hardy invests heavily in some adjacent property to help the Northcotes and may lose it all, Marian falls in love with the older foreman, Ray Holt, even though she's not ready for marriage, and Andy's showing off causes a prize horse of Ray's 8-year-old daughter, 'Jake', to break a leg. Things look bleak for the Hardys, but not for long. Written by
Arthur Hausner <email@example.com>
Fine entry in the MGM series has Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) taking the family to a ranch in Arizona where he hopes to help his old friends who have gotten into some trouble with their land and water. Out on the ranch Marian (Cecilia Parker) falls for yet another guy while Andy (Mickey Rooney) must learn the hard way that he's got a lot of learning to do before he can call himself a man. While this fifth entry is certainly a step down from the past couple entries this is still a pretty entertaining film thanks in large part to the terrific cast who have no trouble getting into their parts. Considering this was the third film in the series within 1938 alone you can understand how the product felt somewhat rushed. The movie has a fairly good story overall but at the same time everything seemed a tad bit too rushed and there isn't nearly as many funny moments as some of the earlier entries. I think the best stuff in the movie happen between Andy and the 8-year-old Jake (Virginia Weidler) who starts to have a crush on him. There's a lot of heart between the two as they start off not liking one another but quickly she ends up teaching Andy quite a few things. As you'd expect there's a lot more drama between Judge and Andy as the older, wiser dad must teach his son several lessons about life. As usual Stone and Rooney are downright terrific in their roles so they have no problem pulling off the father-son relationship. Hearing the two of them talk together comes off so real that I could listen to them speak for hours at a time. The supporting cast offers up some strong work with Parker, Ann Rutherford and Fay Holden fitting back into their roles with no trouble. Sara Haden is back as Aunt Milly after being MIA in the previous two films. Weidler is very charming in her role but I later learned she walked away from showbiz at the age of 17 and sadly ended up dying at the age of 42 from a heart attack. While there's no question this is a step down from some of the previous films, OUT WEST WITH THE HARDYS at least has the terrific cast and they make this worth sitting through.
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