Second film in MGM's Hardy series has Judge (Lewis Stone) taking the family to Catalina Island where his daughter gets involved with a marriage man and Andy (Mickey Rooney) gets involved with a girl (Eleanor Lynn) who certainly doesn't have his best interest in mind. Judge tries to settle their problems while trying to catch a swordfish but not knowing the trouble that awaits them when they get home. Even though this was the second film in the series, in many ways it was the first as this is when Lewis joined the cast and it's rather amazing at how wonderful he was for the part. I love Lionel Barrymore as an actor but he simply wasn't right for the role so it's good that he left the series after A FAMILY AFFAIR and that Stone stepped in. The way he plays Judge as the wise, stern but fair father is certainly one of the most memorable roles from this era in Hollywood. Sure, the film and the subject matters are all way too "friendly" and "clean" but that just adds to the fun nature of the messages. As expected, Rooney is certainly full of energy and he makes for some more good times as his relationship with Lynn is quite fresh and rather romantic. If her birth date on IMDb is correct, then Lynn was probably around 11-years-old when she filmed this, which is somewhat troubling in a few of the scenes where she's smoking and pretty much throwing herself on Andy. I'm not sure what her real age is but she certainly looked and acted much older here. Cecilia Parker, Fay Holden, Frank Craven and Ann Rutherford are all good in their roles as well. I thought the film, naturally, went for a lot of laughs but the highlights for me were the more dramatic moments. I thought the moments where Judge has to make the decision to educate his children without being too preachy was handled extremely well and I thought the moments were quite tender and refreshing. There's a sequence where his daughter comes in drunk after Judge has learned that the man is married and the way this scene plays out is certainly the best part of the film. I thought the final ten-minutes were somewhat of a drag when the family left the island but this is still a pleasant little film that fans will enjoy.
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