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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 Woos! Judy Sings! Best Hardy Hit Yet! 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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's first documented telecast took place in Hartford CT Friday 3 May 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18); it first aired in Philadelphia 19 May 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New Haven CT 25 May 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Memphis 7 June 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13), in Honolulu 6 July 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Phoenix 3 August 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Chicago 10 August 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Portland OR 29 August 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Los Angeles 11 September 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Kansas City MO 26 October 1957 on KCMO (Channel 5), in both Baltimore MD & WIndsor ON (serving Detroit) 10 November 1957 on WJZ (Channel 13 and on CKLW (Channel 9), and in San Francisco 29 December 1957 on KGO (Channel 7). Although it would have been in the MGM film library under the control of WCBS (Channel 2), for reasons unknown, there is no reliable documentation that it was ever telecast in New York City at this time. See more »


Betsy Booth: Me, a child? Listen here, Andrew Hardy, my mother just bought me an evening dress that simply has no visible means of support!
See more »


Follows Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung by Judy Garland
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User Reviews

"Gosh, I never realized before that a fella and a girl could be so frank and noble about things."
25 June 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

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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