7 February 2011 | Michael_Elliott
Fun and Entertaining Entry
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)
*** (out of 4)
The seventh film in the series finds Andy (Mickey Rooney) heartbroken after Polly (Ann Rutherford) refuses to see him because she gets a crush on a Navy guy. Andy's heartache quickly turns around when he gets a new drama teacher (Helen Gilbert) and quickly falls for her. Meanwhile, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) finds himself in trouble when he gives his life savings for a business plan, which turns out to be a scam. If the innocence of the Andy Hardy series is something that's going to bother you then I'm sure this entry isn't going to change your opinion but fans of the series should find enough good things here to make it worth viewing. I was actually quick shocked to see how much more drama there is rather than comedy. When you think 1939 and hearing a plot about Andy getting a crush on his teacher you pretty much expect it to be handled in a slapstick, silly manor but that's not the case. The film is extremely serious about Andy's love for this teacher and there are a couple quite dark scenes where the two talk about certain boundaries that shouldn't be crossed with a teacher and her student. I thought the screenplay handled the drama extremely well and this is especially true towards the end of the film when the kids are putting on a play written by Andy and he gets to spill his emotions out for everyone to see. Rooney's performance during this dramatic sequence is actually some of the best acting I've seen from him as the power is certainly there. With that said, Rooney also gets to show off his comic timing early on and no one could ever say he didn't bring fire and energy to the role. Rutherford is also excellent here and thankfully her character is given a much more important role than what she had previous seen. The two of them make for a great team and really sell the film well. Stone, as you'd expect, delivers another very strong performance as does the other regulars like Cecilia Parker, Fay Holden and Sara Haden. Gilbert didn't have a very large career but I found her to be very good here as well. ANDY HARDY GETS SPRING FEVER isn't the best of the MGM series but it has enough charm and good will to make it worth viewing.