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Roy Del Ruth
A swim teacher and a wealthy businessman are married after a brief courtship. A charming war hero falls in love with this newly-married woman, after her husband abandons her on their honeymoon for the sake of a business meeting.
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
Four songs prerecorded by Judy Garland were not used in the film: Cole Porter's "Easy to Love" (available on the Rhino CD, "Judy Garland: Collectors' Gems from the M-G-M Films"); the patriotic "America (My Country Tis of Thee)" (written by Henry Carey and Samuel Francis Smith); plus two religious songs: "Abide with Me" and "The Rosary." Miss Garland's one musical moment in the release print was her unaccompanied rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" (music and lyrics by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill). The movie's original poster raves, "Mickey woos! Judy sings! Best Hardy yet!" See more »
"Gosh, I never realized before that a fella and a girl could be so frank and noble about things."
Having just graduated from high school, Andy has to make some big decisions about his life. Judge Hardy wants him to enroll in his old college and study law. Andy's not so sure what he wants so, with the Judge's blessing, he decides to spend a month alone in New York City to experience life. But he quickly finds being a grown-up isn't all it's cracked up to be. He struggles at his new job, falls in with an older woman, and has to deal with the shocking death of a friend.
Atypical entry in the Andy Hardy series is more "adult" and serious. While I enjoy all of the Hardy movies and don't feel the need to put down on them for their homespun Americana, this one is a nice change of pace. It's also almost entirely Mickey Rooney, with Judge Hardy and the rest of the cast having relatively minor roles. Mickey Rooney is fantastic, though. Patricia Dane is good as the worldly gold digger. Ray McDonald is great as Andy's friend. Last of the Andy Hardy movies to have Judy Garland as a guest star. She sang some songs for this but they were cut, much to the horror of today's classic film fans. But I think I can understand why they were cut, given the tone of the film.
There are light moments throughout the movie, don't get me wrong. It's just more cynical and less innocent than other entries in the series. The writing's very good, as is the acting. Not your typical Andy Hardy movie but one of the most interesting. If they hadn't chickened out and changed the cause of death for Andy's friend I would bump it up a notch.
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