30 September 2009 | Michael_Elliott
Decent Entry in the Series
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
The ninth film in the series (if you don't count the two shorts) has the Hardy family going to New York so that the Judge (Lewis Stone) can help keep an orphanage open. Andy (Mickey Rooney) has gotten into some trouble because he told people back home that he knows a famous model (Diana Lewis) and that she has the hots for him. While he tries to track her down he's too stupid to realize that there's one young woman (Judy Garland) who really does care for him. Outside the two shorts, this here was my first film from the series and it was pretty much what I expected even though I've read this wasn't nearly one of the best of the series. There's enough charm and good will for two movies so it's hard to imagine someone not getting some entertainment out of the film. I think it goes without saying that this film, and the series for that matter, was built around moral lessons for young people as Andy has a problem and then Judge is there to help him. The problem here is Andy being poor and from a small town feeling as if he isn't good enough to be around those who might look down on him. The importance of social standing and money is something Judge has to explain and this scene, while over-dramatic, does deliver a nice message. Rooney is in top form and delivers another winning performance. His comic timing is just right and his attitude perfectly mixes in with the stern Stone. The two of them work well together but that's to be expected considering how long this series ran. Garland is also pretty good here and manages to get off two songs. Rutherford, Fay Holden and Cecilia Parker are also winning in their roles. The scene stealer is the young Clyde Willson who plays one of the orphans and gets a big laugh each time he says a line given to him by Andy.