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Jack La Rue,
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The town of Carvel is happy when lawyer Mickey Rooney (as Andrew "Andy" Hardy) comes home from Santa Monica, California. Andy is in town to secure land for an aircraft factory. All goes well until the greedy landowner ups his price. Andy's old friend Joey Forman (as Baker "Beez" Anderson) helps out, but the town is divided over the prospect of a factory being built in Carvel. It's good to see series semi-regular George P. Breakston's "Beezy" character receive a big part of the story, but the actor doesn't appear in the role. However, Mr. Forman fills his shoes well. Hardy family members returning are mother Fay Holden (as Emily), big sister Cecilia Parker (as Marian) and aunt Sara Haden (as Mildred "Milly" Forrest)...
It's nice to see "Judge Hardy's Family" more than ten years after they last appeared in "Love Laughs at Andy Hardy" (1946). Judge Hardy, the family patriarch previously played by Lewis Stone, appears only in a portrait. The actor passed away in 1953 and it was wise of MGM not to re-cast the role. This was clearly an attempt to re-start the Hardy family series, with Mr. Rooney assuming his father's job...
Joining the Hardy family are pretty Patricia Breslin (as Jane, his wife), real-life preteen son Teddy Rooney (as Andy Jr.) and cute preteen daughter Gina Gillespie (as Cricket). Tall and handsome Johnny Weissmuller Jr. plays Andy's typically teenage nephew (he's Marian's son, not Jane's). This was the first screen appearance for young Weissmuller, who was obviously the son of the "Tarzan" and "Jungle Jim" actor. Showing good judgment, MGM did not continue the Hardy movie series, which seemed better suited for 1950s television, anyway. Perhaps appropriately, the characters next appeared in an early 1960s TV series pilot, with Jimmy Hawkins as young Andy. Alas, the situation comedy stalled and the Hardys were history.
**** Andy Hardy Comes Home (12/22/58) Howard W. Koch ~ Mickey Rooney, Joey Forman, Patricia Breslin, Vaughn Taylor
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