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  • This film uncharacteristically introduces a lot of pathos in the plot when Mickey Rooney's mother, Fay Holden, gets pneumonia halfway through the film. It makes Mickey realize that his problems pale in significance to a real problem of life and death; it brings the family closer together and makes Mickey grow up a little. There's a touching scene with his sister, Cecilia Parker, where they admit to one another they really like each other despite their constant fighting. I loved that scene, which made the film so different from most of the others. It did not, however, detract from the good comedy throughout, with Mickey getting into hot water through his actions, going deeply into debt thinking he'll win a prize, inviting two girls to the Fourth-of-July fireworks celebration and constantly battling with his car to keep it running. Lewis Stone also shines as his father, looking for the daughter of an elderly Italian immigrant couple to keep them from losing their home, and getting Mickey to help find her. If you see only one film from this very popular series, this one would be a good choice. It's also a good chance to see Mickey in the first scene he played with his real-life father, Joe Yule, who plays Munk, the tire man.
  • Eighth entry in the Hardy series has the Judge (Lewis Stone) assigning Andy to help locate the daughter of an immigrant couple in danger of losing their home. Meanwhile Andy is having his usual girl and money troubles that will inevitably lead to one of the patented man-to-man talks with his dad. In the middle of all of this, the movie takes a somber turn as Mrs. Hardy comes down with pneumonia and battles for her life.

    Not one of the stronger Hardy films but still enjoyable. The mother illness subplot that takes over the middle is out of place with the rest of the movie. It feels very much like they needed something dramatic so they threw that in there. Still, the Hardy series was always top quality so they manage to make it all fit together as best they can. The cast of regulars is terrific, as usual. Always love seeing Ann Rutherford's adorable Polly Benedict. Henry Hull has a bit part as a doctor and Maria Ouspenskaya a small role as part of the immigrant couple that sets the story into motion. But the scene stealer of the movie has to be June Preisser as Euphrasia 'Phrasie Daisy' Clark, her first of two Andy Hardy appearances. I defy anybody to suppress a smile when she says "Phrasie Daisy loves Andy Pandy."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just watched this Judge Hardy's Family entry just now. In this one, Andy has his usual money troubles and tries to win some by entering an essay about Alexander Hamilton for a Fourth of July contest. Only, he finds out it's a GIRL who gets that prize while the boy wins a set of books! This also gets him possible dates for him with someone other than Polly though in this case, he doesn't stray because he's in love with this someone else. No, one of these girls Andy gets mixed up with is actually blackmailing him, and with sweet talk too! While there's the usual funny moments involving Andy, there's also a very heartbreaking subplot involving mother Emily's possibly fatal sickness. Both Mickey Rooney and Lewis Stone, and even Cecilia Parker have very touching scenes when talking about the Fay Holden character though I just realized there was nothing written for Sara Haden's Aunt Milly character expressing concern about her sister's health nor did they have Andy and Marian's sis Joan coming back. Maybe there was such a scene for the former and it was cut out but I'm guessing Joan was retconned to Chuck Cunningham status after A Family Affair! ("Chuck Cunningham" is a code for a character disappearing from a series without any explanation whatsoever! It's named after the older brother of Richie and Joanie from "Happy Days".) Anyway, I highly recommend Judge Hardy and Son. P.S. The guy who gives tires to Andy is actually Mickey Rooney's father Joe Yule Sr. (Mickey being Joe, Jr.) Also, Marie Blake returned from Love Finds Andy Hardy as Augusta the cook.
  • jamesjvarela13 March 2018
    Took a special interest in the Hardy Family Series. Someone once said Andy Hardy's boyhood is the one Mayer wanted, Mayer was a Republican and the highest paid man in America when this film came out which is surprising as all the Andy Hardy movies are oozing with New Deal era political correctness. This one is one of the better Andy Hardy films, You can see why they were do popular to Depression era audiences. The films were full of warm humor and philosophies that were PC at the time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director: GEORGE B. SEITZ. Original story and screenplay: Carey Wilson. Based on characters created by Aurania Rouverol. Photography: Lester White. Film editor: Ben Lewis. Art directors: Cedric Gibbons and Wade Rubottom. Set decorator: Edwin B. Willis. Music score: David Snell. Wardrobe: Vicki Nichols. Make-up: Neil Wakeman. Unit manager: Arthur Gerson. Props: Charles Ryan. Stills: Milton Brown. Assistant cutter: Ira Hyman. Head grip: H.E. Franzen. 2nd camera operator: Roy Clark. Assistant cameraman: Bob Gough. Construction manager: William Edmondson. Set continuity: Frank Myers. Gaffer: Robert Worl. Sound recording: Douglas Shearer. Sound mixer: William Steinkamp. Producer: Lou Ostrow.

    Copyright 16 December 1939 by Loew's Inc. Presented by Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer. New York opening at Loew's Criterion, 17 January 1940. U.S. release: 22 December 1939. Australian release: 25 April 1940. 9 reels. 8,069 feet. 89½ minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: Andy's mother gets sick. In Louis B. Mayer's favorite (and often referred-to) scene, Andy prays for her recovery.

    NOTES: Academy Award, "for representing the American Way of Life".

    COMMENT: This one, number 8 in the series, is loaded with sentiment, but is made passably entertaining by some ingratiating acting, particularly by Martha O'Driscoll as an unwilling adolescent.

    As a matter of fact, the little mystery in which she's involved is very intriguing — and it's resolved in quite a credible fashion.

    But the rest of the picture is rather prone to over-indulgent plotting and thesping, what with mom rushed to hospital, Andy finding himself hopelessly in debt (as usual), yet with more girls than he can handle (as usual).

    Attractive photography lightens Seitz's heavy-handed direction. The studio is now investing the series with larger budgets and better production values.

    OTHER VIEWS: The attitude of the whole film can be summed up by this sample snatch of dialogue: ANDY HARDY: You really don't like your own mother? GAWKY ADOLESCENT: I hate her! ANDY HARDY (shocked): You hate her? You hate your own mother?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There are certain things pretty much all of the Hardy family series had (16 regular films in all): Andy having girl trouble; Andy having money trouble; and Andy getting support from his family, particularly his father.

    But what's really good about this film is that it has the most interaction between Andy and Judge Hardy of all the films, as the title suggested. As a result, it is in this film that you see more of just how good a character actor Lewis Stone really was.

    At first it may seem that the plot here wanders from Andy Hardy's money and girl problems, to an old couple losing their home, to Andy's mother being seriously ill, but in reality, all those pieces actually do come together. The scenes with the mother being seriously ill with pneumonia are really quite touching.

    Mickey Rooney shines -- as usual -- as Andy Hardy. He really was quite the actor when he was young. Cecilia Parker has less screen time here than she did in some of the other Hardy Andy's sister. Fay Holden is charming as Mother Hardy. Ann Rutherford is quite beautiful here as Polly Benedict. I usually enjoy Sara Haden as Aunt Mildred in these films, but her presence here is very brief; not sure why. Maria Ouspenskaya -- not a gypsy fortune teller here (thank goodness) has a small but key role in the film as the old mother about to lose her house (thank's brief and only at the beginning of the film). Henry Hull -- rather sane here -- plays the family doctor.

    If you were only going to watch one of the Andy Hardy films, this might be the one to pick.
  • "Judge Hardy and Son" is the eighth in the series of Andy Hardy films. It contains Andy's usual high school hi-jinks, his usual money problems, and his usual girl troubles.

    It is important to remember that the studio was cranking out these Andy Hardy films as fast as they could, wanting to capitalize on Mickey Rooney's popularity. As a result, some of the scripts were repetitive, if not uninspired.

    In this installment, there are a couple of serious subjects, especially a threatening illness that befalls Andy's mother. Judge Hardy offers some sober observations about faith and the proper appreciation of life itself. Then the comedy continues.

    The film has a hasty resolution, as with an episode in a series. Because the next Andy Hardy film would follow shortly, this is understandable and, to some extent, excusable. But the overall story--except for the section about the illness--lacks depth. Even the sections devoted to Andy's love interests feel shortchanged.
  • bkoganbing16 December 2010
    The Andy Hardy series gets a little serious in Judge Hardy And Son. Mickey Rooney gets a chance to do a little detective work on behalf of the court looking for a daughter to an elderly Italian immigrant couple who are in danger of losing their home. The elderly couple is played by Egon Brecher and Maria Ouspenskaya, neither exactly Italian, but in those days they were always cast as all purpose European ethnics.

    Cecilia Parker and Mickey Rooney are having their usual brother and sister spats. And Rooney despite ever faithful Ann Rutherford gets himself involved with mush mouth southern belle June Preiser as a result of his search on behalf of Lewis Stone.

    The Hardy family does come to crisis when Fay Holden who begged off a trip to see her parents on their golden wedding anniversary develops a touch of pleurisy. That moves quickly to pneumonia and the woman needs round the clock nursing care. Everyone else's troubles fade as the heart of the home threatens to stop beating.

    Even Lewis Stone is knocked off kilter with his wife's illness, but in the end comes around to give Mickey Rooney the same old advice about love and life which Mickey keeps hearing, but it never quite takes.

    One of the more enjoyable Andy Hardy films.
  • Judge Hardy and Son (1939)

    ** (out of 4)

    Eighth film in the series has Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) trying to help a foreign couple who are about to lose their home. Back at the Hardy household Andy (Mickey Rooney) is having trouble with both money and girls but life's real lessons are brought up when his mother (Fay Holden) comes down with pneumonia and might die. This is a very somber entry in MGM's Andy Hardy series and I'm sure many might enjoy the darkness but overall I thought the film was one of the least entertaining as it just felt rushed and the story really didn't hit me as it should have. We'll start with the story involving the foreign couple. They pretty much just show up at the start of the film and this here allows Andy to do some detective work for his father but there's no laughs or drama to be had with this subplot. The stuff dealing with Mrs. Hardy's death was a mixed bag. On one hand it led to some overly dramatic speeches that were just really, really silly. I don't mean to make light of death but I think people even in 1939 knew the outcome and the preaching here was a tad bit too much for me. I know this series has a lot of people against it because it made life seem all too simple but I've never put any of the films down for that. The religious aspect to the film was just a tad bit too forceful in my opinion but there's no question that their heart was in the right place. It also allows Rooney to do some dramatic acting and he does a wonderful job with it especially in one scene where he finally breaks down at the thought of losing his mother. Stone also gets some very good moments with his son Andy as the two talk about death and what might end up happening. Fans of Universal's monster movies will be happy to see Henry Hull in a brief part as the doctor and Maria Ouspenskaya plays the foreign lady. Ann Rutherford is as charming as ever as Polly and we get a nice performance by Martha O'Driscoll as one of Andy's lady friends. This entry goes without much of the comedy of the earlier films and there's no question the moral lessons are on high alert but in the end none of it really worked for me. This certainly isn't a horrible film but at the same time the series has so many better efforts.
  • I enjoy the Andy Hardy pictures and they certainly were popular. However, I must admit that enjoying them and seeing them as excellent pictures is not the same thing. The plots are often very formulaic and even a bit silly...yet, you like the characters...well, that is except for the god-awful Euphrasia!

    The film begins in very typical fashion--Andy (Mickey Rooney) is in need of money. His broken down jalopy needs new tires and he wants to take Polly (Ann Rutherford) to the dance. When he learns about an essay contest with a $50 prize, that idiot Andy just ASSUMES he'll win and commits the $50 to a variety of merchants in town. Later, after finally getting down to reading the rules, he realizes he's not eligible for the prize money! What is poor Andy to do??? Well, he comes up with a scheme to help a couple girls possibly win the contest so he can split the money with them. He also learns that his father, the Judge (Lewis Stone), is looking for someone and Andy agrees to help...if he gets paid for the work. Will all this work out as planned? And where does the hellishly annoying Euphrasia Clark come into all this?! Oh, and by the way, Andy's mother almost dies...

    As usual, there's an ending where everything works out, several scenes where the incredibly wise Judge Hardy dispense great wisdom and women inexplicably chase Andy about as if he's Tyrone Power! Still, despite all this silliness, it's fun and quite enjoyable.