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A Family Affair (1937)

Passed | | Comedy | 12 March 1937 (USA)
Judge Hardy faces problems at work and at home. Powerful men in town are upset with his decisions and want to see him impeached; his daughters, Joan and Marion, have romantic problems; and ... See full summary »


George B. Seitz


Aurania Rouverol (play), Kay Van Riper (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Lionel Barrymore ... Judge James K. Hardy
Cecilia Parker ... Marion Hardy
Eric Linden ... Wayne Trent III
Mickey Rooney ... Andy Hardy
Charley Grapewin ... Frank Redmond
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Emily Hardy
Julie Haydon ... Joan Hardy Martin
Sara Haden ... Aunt Milly Forrest
Allen Vincent ... William Booth 'Bill' Martin
Margaret Marquis ... Polly Benedict
Selmer Jackson ... Hoyt Wells
Harlan Briggs ... Oscar Stubbins


Judge Hardy faces problems at work and at home. Powerful men in town are upset with his decisions and want to see him impeached; his daughters, Joan and Marion, have romantic problems; and his son, Andy discovers Polly Benedict. As usual, Judge Hardy is concerned with everyone in the family and lends wisdom and calmness to all. Written by SM <smortens@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


As American as "Yankee Doodle" - And Just As Swell! (original print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Broadway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Jan. 15,1938) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film proved profitable enough to justify an entire series of Hardy family movies, the on-going popularity of which propelled adolescent Mickey Rooney to the #1 position on the annual Top Ten Box Office Stars list for several years running. See more »


Followed by Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939) See more »

User Reviews

The Hardys of Carvel
5 December 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Hardy Family made its debut for MGM in this film, A Family Affair. But to those who've seen other films of the series it looks like Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, and Sara Haden were all dropped into another family of Hardys in an alternate universe Carvel.

Judge and Mrs. Hardy started out here as Lionel Barrymore and Spring Byington and they had another older daughter played by Julia Haydon. Haydon has marriage problems with her estranged husband Allen Vincent. Parker is quarreling with her boyfriend Eric Linden and Mickey Rooney is having his eternal problems with the opposite sex. All that however plays into the main plot line of this film, Judge Hardy's re-election is in peril over an injunction he issued against building a dam.

That was the difference between this Hardy films and the rest to follow with Lewis Stone and Fay Holden as the Hardy parents. The kids even Mickey Rooney are clearly in support of Lionel Barrymore. That would not be the case in the rest of the series.

Talk about judicial activism, when the man who originally brought the suit wants to the withdraw because he's been bribed, Barrymore throws him out on his ear. I can't think of another judge anywhere in the real world who wouldn't want to clear his docket if the parties settled out of court. He continues on and Barrymore's political opponents who have a vested and hidden interest in the dam played by Selmer Jackson and Charley Grapewin try to block his party from renominating him.

Of course it all works out in the end as it always did. Lionel Barrymore was no less wise and no less honest than Lewis Stone in subsequent films.

A Family Affair is certainly a tribute to the simpler times it was made in, but still nice viewing.

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Release Date:

12 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Family Affair See more »


Box Office


$190,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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