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, ...
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Andy's girlfriend Polly is planning to spend Christmas at her grandmother's, which puts a kink in his plans to take her to the country club Christmas party. He agrees (for a fee) to pretend... See full summary »
Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »
Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »
Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »
Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »
Andy Hardy is about to graduate from high school and thinks he's pretty big stuff, so he hires a secretary, Kathryn Land. Kathryn and Polly Benedict, Andy's girlfriend, help him pass his ... See full summary »
Soldier Joe Allen is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice. She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves ... See full summary »
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, but Andy isn't sure that's what he wants to do so he heads off to New York City to find a job. Too proud to accept any help from Betsy Booth, Andy finds that living on his own isn't so easy. With perseverance he eventually finds a job and even gets to date the pretty receptionist in his office. He also has to face several of life's lessons leading him to conclude that he may still have a bit of growing up to do. Written by
There's some bite in this eleventh installment of the Hardy series. Unfortunately, there's also a forced retreat from any kind of controversial follow-through. In the end, the tried and true verities of small town America are once again affirmed, but then that is exactly what audiences expected from this pre-war version of Ozzie and Harriet.
What makes this entry more interesting is a dark side not usually seen in Andy's world of proms and parental wisdom. Vaguely bored with the prospect of a settled life, Andy leaves Carver to prove himself amid the challenges of the big city, New York. There he finds a more impersonal and risky life-style, but also glamor and excitement. However, his small town openness and honesty are quickly exploited by a gold-digging glamor girl, Patricia Dane in an excellent performance. At the same time, his in-bred good-neighborliness prompts him to risk eviction by sneaking a penniless youth, Frobisher (Mc Donald), into his hotel room.
Unfortunately Frobisher turns up dead in Andy's bathroom, a startling development for such a sunny series. At first, the death looks like a suicide, the boy being penniless with no prospects. It also looks like a hard dose of reality for Andy. More importantly, suicide presents a never-thought-of possibility for Andy too, since he's been struggling in a tight job market. Suicide would have added real weight to the story. However, the script is forced to revert to comfortable series form when it's discovered the boy died of natural causes.
Thus a potentially exceptional entry is turned into another series programmer. Apparently it was the Catholic legion of Decency that forced this emasculating change on the studio. What an excellent example of how the dead hand of censorship sanitized reality in the name of protecting the audience from that same reality. And, if memory serves, it wasn't until 1956 (Elia Kazan's Baby Doll) that a studio product was willing to defy the self-appointed censors and treat adults like adults.
Of course, in this movie, there's the usual lively, engaging turns from Rooney and Garland, along with MGM's customarily slick production values. Dad Hardy (Stone) works in his usual words of wisdom, this time on the virtues of unmarried abstinence of the unfortunate myopic type that ten years later would help fuel the Playboy, Hugh Hefner revolt. All in all, the series may have idealized a small town America that never was. But it also presented a picture of life as many wanted it to be and still do.
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