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Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 15 August 1941 (USA)
Hoping his son will attend his alma mater, Judge Hardy agrees to let Andy look for work in New York for the summer before committing to start college. In the big city, Andy is confronted with the harsh realities of life and love.


George B. Seitz


Agnes Christine Johnston (screen play), Aurania Rouverol (based upon the characters created by)


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Complete credited cast:
Lewis Stone ... Judge Hardy
Mickey Rooney ... Andy Hardy
Judy Garland ... Betsy Booth
Fay Holden ... Mrs. Hardy
Ann Rutherford ... Polly Benedict
Sara Haden ... Aunt Milly
Patricia Dane ... Jennitt Hicks
Ray McDonald ... Jimmy Frobisher


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MICKEY and JUDY together again! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Andy Hardy Goes to College See more »


Box Office


$401,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The tag line for the film 'Mickey Woos! Judy Sings!' was featured on a number of ads for the release. Although she pre-recorded four songs for the film, these were all dropped before release. Except a brief rendition of 'Happy Birthday', Judy Garland does not sing in the film. See more »


Andy Hardy: The next ten years are the best years of my life.
Judge Hardy: At any age, the next ten years are the best years in a man's life.
See more »


Follows Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung by Judy Garland
See more »

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User Reviews

Andy Hardy Spreads His Wings
16 December 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If one accepts the proposition that life really does begin a high school graduation than Life Begins For Andy Hardy in this film. This marked the third and last appearance of Judy Garland in the Andy Hardy series as Betsy Booth.

Mickey Rooney has just graduated high school and he's been offered a scholarship at Lewis Stone's old alma mater. But as he always is in these films, the Mick's at loose ends and he wants to go to New York to experience life. He and Polly Benedict have once again broken things off so Judy Garland does have a shot with him.

But Mickey's wanting to be independent and not sponge off Judy Garland's hospitality. He gets a room at a male single's hotel and actually meets the guy he inherits the room from, Ray McDonald a talented dancer. Mickey goes looking for a job and eventually does get hired as an office boy in a brokerage firm. That's through the intervention of Patricia Dane who figures he might be good for a fling.

With Polly Benedict in Carvel which you know will get going in the next film of the series, Betsy Booth in New York, and Patricia Dane leaving him with his tongue hanging out, Mickey Rooney is once again in romantic complications. Of course these are all typical for an Andy Hardy film.

What's not typical is someone dying in the film. Ray McDonald who was supposed to commit suicide because of his despondency at not finding work of his choosing had his death changed to heart failure. That was a bit freaky because Ray McDonald, a most talented dancer with his sister Grace died of just that at the age of 37 in the Fifties. Mickey dealing with that was definitely a growing up experience.

One thing I really did like was as McDonald and Rooney are discussing their lack of job prospects, Mickey starts thinking back to some of his high school friends who were working and he comes to the conclusion that these kids knew what they wanted at an early age and were career oriented which he wasn't. I know I wasn't when I was in school and that's something that is desirable, but it doesn't occur in a lot of us. Hopefully the kids in 1941 watching this film took note and it ain't a bad lesson for today.

Judy Garland had a bunch of songs written for the film and they all ended up on the cutting room floor. That's my big complaint with Life Begins For Andy Hardy. I'll bet the movie-going public was disappointed in 1941 when Judy did not offer a note.

In the Citadel Film Series Book, The Films Of Judy Garland L.B. Mayer said this was the best of the Andy Hardy series. It might have been better if Judy's songs had been left in, but it's a bit more serious than most of the Hardy series and holds up well.

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