Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance

Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941) Poster

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.


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25 June 2014 | utgard14
| "Gosh, I never realized before that a fella and a girl could be so frank and noble about things."
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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