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Twelve years after Mickey Rooney did his last Andy Hardy film and left MGM he came back to his old stamping grounds to make what looked like a television pilot. It turned out to be a nice coda for the series.
Andy Hardy is now grown up, married with two children, and now in the practice of law following in his father's footsteps. He works for an aircraft company and has sold them on the idea of building a plant in his home town of Carvel. He thinks he has a deal with Vaughn Taylor who has moved there after he left, but Taylor tries to hold out for more. Andy who thinks that people are as decent as his late father held them to be mostly, neglects to get it in writing.
Up pops his old friend Beezy now played by Joey Forman and he's got a big inheritance of real estate and they think they have the problem solved. But Taylor starts spreading rumors and tries to get the City Council to rezone Forman's property against industrial use.
The whole question of the Hardy character comes into play here and I have to say Mickey Rooney handled it as well as any Frank Capra character would have like say George Bailey who was also trying to bring a factory to Bedford Falls. Taking a leaf from the old Judge's book, Lewis Stone would have been proud.
We got to see such people as Lana Turner and Judy Garland in flashback sequences from previous Andy Hardy films. That was of course to establish continuity. Other than Lewis Stone who was no longer with us all the rest of the Hardy family, mother Fay Holden, aunt Sara Haden, and sister Cecilia Parker are all here. Parker now has a teenage son played by Johnny Weissmuller, Jr. who is a tall skinny lad and quite the contrast to Rooney.
Watching Andy Hardy Comes Home I couldn't help thinking that Carvel was shortly going to move south, acquire a North Carolina accent and become Mayberry. The film had all the look and feel of the Andy Griffith Show north of the Mason/Dixon line. Clearly Andy was through a movie series, but why it wasn't picked up for television who knows. It's not like Mickey Rooney was typecast in his most well known part, he had done enough other things well to fall into that career trap.
Despite what the credits say in the end, this was not to be continued. It was a coda to a beloved film family.
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