Monday, December 29, 2008

Andy Hardy Film Series - Mickey Rooney - MGM

A series of sixteen feature films produced by MGM from 1937 to 1958, based around the Family Hardy - - Judge Hardy, teenage son Andrew aka Andy, older sister Marian, devoted but somewhat daffy mom Emily, along with a spinster aunt named Milly - live together in a nice suburban house in the small town of Carvel. Andy is a bit cocky, completely girl crazy, and constantly getting into various scrapes - but he's actually quite a nice kid, Andy and Marian are usually involved in sibling bickers, the Judge calls his wife "Mother" and is forever honest, wise, and fair - he usually helps Andy out of some sort of trouble and Andy learns some sort of lesson. Andy has a sometimes steady girlfriend named Polly Benedict and a pal named "Beezy". All of these films are cute, light entertainment - sort of early versions of 50s/60s TV sitcoms like "Father Knows Best" or "Leave It To Beaver". Mickey Rooney brings a freshness and energy to the role of Andy Hardy that makes the character extremely likable, the family comes across as a real one - it's fun to spend a few hours (or more) with the Hardy's!

Turner Classic Movies featured a marathon of some of these films on December 26th - being the day after Christmas what with a dinner party at my house that lasted until midnight and too much food and drink, I could only manage to get up in time to see the last three they showed - I could easily sit through all sixteen films in a row, I find them that entertaining! Following is my reviews for the three films I watched, two of them I have seen a number of times before. By the way, I mentioned on Christmas that I was going to watch Andy Hardy films on TCM the next day and there were about seven people all over forty (some approaching sixty) at the table, not one had ever heard of Andy Hardy or these films!! (obviously this was not a movie buff crowd!)

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