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S. Sylvan Simon
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lots of predictable comedy but in an enjoyable story, with some fine performances.
The fifth entry in the Hardy family series is set out west on a ranch and uses a lot of fish-out-of-water comedy that many films employ when they involve city folks being placed out west. Mickey Rooney dresses up in chaps and even tries to walk bow-legged when he sees a ranch hand walk that way; Cecilia Parker is suckered into boiling Gordon Jones' boots and polishing them with molasses by Jones' jealous daughter, Virginia Weidler; and even Lewis Stone wears a cowboy hat. Unfortunately, most of the comedy is predictable, especially if you've seen City Slickers (1991) and other films of that type. The comedy is intermixed with some drama (Rooney causing Weidler's horse to break a leg, for example) and suspense.
I enjoyed the story and the resolution of all the problems that arose. Mickey Rooney seems to mug a bit more than usual, but he's fun to watch. Lewis Stone gives his usual fine performance dispensing his sage advice and Virginia Weidler is very good as the precocious eight-year old who out-slickers Rooney and Parker. If you're into the Hardy series, you'll enjoy the film.
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