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Film Review: Andy Hardy Meets Debutante

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Andy Hardy Meets Debutante

MGM, 1940 (BW, 89 minutes, Production No. 1139)

Mickey Rooney as Andy Hardy and Judy Garland as Betsy Booth remind us once again why they were the most beloved musical and comedy team of their time. Fresh from her work on The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland performs two musical hits, "Alone" and "Nobody's Baby". Andy is infatuated with a beautiful New York debutante, and when Judge Hardy has to go to New York to resolve a lawsuit threatening their hometown orphanage, Andy tags along - causing sparks to fly when he meets yet another 'special crush'."

[MGM Television press sheet]

Crew

Producer: J. J. Cohn (not included in credits on film)
Directed by: George B. Seitz
Screen Play by: Annalee Whitmore and Thomas Seller
Based Upon the Characters Created by Aurania Rouverol
Musical Program: "Alone" (by) Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed; "I'm Nobody's Baby" (by) Benny Davis, Milton Ager, Lester Santly
Musical Score: David Snell
Musical Conductor: Georgie Stoll
Musical Arrangements: Roger Edens
Vocal and Orchestration: Arnaud, Salinger, Van Eps, Heglin
Art Director: Cedric Gibbons
Associate: Gabriel Scognamillo
Set Decorations: Edwin B. Willis
Wardrobe by: Dolly Tree
Recording Director: Douglas Shearer
Directors of Photography: Sidney Wagner, Charles Lawton
Film Editor: Harold F. Kress

Filmed: February 1940 - April 1940 (Judy was 17 years old)
Released: July 1940

Cast

Lewis Stone ... Judge James K. Hardy
Mickey Rooney ... Andy Hardy
Cecilia Parker ... Marian Hardy
Fay Holden ... Mrs. Hardy
Judy Garland ... Betsy Booth
Ann Rutherford ... Polly Benedict
Diana Lewis ... Daphne Fowler
George Breakston ... Beezy
Sara Haden ... Aunt Milly
Addison Richards ... George Benedict
George Lessey ... Underwood
Cy Kendall ... Mr. Carrillo
Clyde Willson ... Francis
Charles Coleman ... Head Waiter
Additional Cast: Herbert Evans [Betsy's Butler], John Merkyl [Prentiss, Betsy's Chauffeur], Marjorie Gateson [Mrs. Desmond Fowler], Claire Du Brey [Mrs. Hackett, Daphne's Secretary], Charles Trowbridge [Davis, Daphne's Butler], Charles Wagenheim [Waiter], Arthur Belasco [Doorman], Lester Dorr [Photographer], Oscar "Dutch" Hendrian [Taxi Driver], Ethelreda Leopold [Sirocco Club Patron], Buddy Messinger [Elevator Boy], William Newell [Insurance Investigator], Sherrie Overton [Cigarette Girl], Thomas Pogue [Carriage Coachman], Edwin Stanley [Judge]

Musical Program

[0:41] Alone  (sung by Judy Garland)
[1:15] I'm Nobody's Baby  (sung by Judy Garland)
[cut] All I Do Is Dream of You  (sung by Judy Garland)
[cut] Buds Won't Bud  (sung by Judy Garland)

see soundtrack anthology CD review

Notes

This was Judy's second appearance as Betsy Booth in the Andy Hardy series. Previously, she had appeared in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), and in 1941 she would appear in her final episode, Life Begins for Andy Hardy. Judy was the only guest star to appear in three episodes. As was so often the case, she played a part much younger than herself. Judy was 17 during filming and turned 18 before the film was released, but her character - Betsy Booth - was only 15 years old.

Two of Judy's songs were cut - "All I Do Is Dream of You" was cut before release and "Buds Won't Bud" was cut following the preview. "I'm Nobody's Baby" became Judy's next chart hit for Decca.

Several sources refer to this film as being the one in which Mickey and Judy share their first screen kiss. However, this is not true - their first (and Judy's first) was in Babes in Arms, 1939.

All four songs, including the two cut from the film, are included on the MGM/UA Home Video laser disc box set "Judy Garland: The Golden Years at M-G-M," MGM/UA ML104869 (1994).

See Judy Garland Movies on Video for information about the latest releases of home video and sountrack.

See Class Act for more information on this and other classic films.

Critical Response

"Mickey Rooney thrives on his ability and determination to steal anything up to a death scene from a colleague. Some of cinemactor Stone's heartiest chuckles may be explained by the fact that 17 year old Judy Garland, growing prettier by the picture and armed for this one with two good songs, "Alone" and "I'm Nobody's Baby", treats Mickey with a dose of his own medicine."

- Time, July 22, 1940

"With second appearance of Judy Garland in the series indicating that she might move in for regular assignment later, if the Rooney-Garland duo might be required to strengthen later issues ... Miss Garland is prominent and lovely as the adoring girl friend in the big city."

- Variety, July 3, 1940

"Neither Rooney nor Miss Garland has ever turned in a more carefully-etched portrayal"

- Variety

Memorable Lines

Mrs. Hardy: "Andrew, we'll meet you and your father at the station. And be there early because the engineer may be in a hurry to start!"

Mrs. Hardy: "There, you see, Andy, even in New York a nice girl thinks more about growing up to be a good housewife than dancing the rumble."

Betsy: "I expect to live and die a bachelor."

Francis: "You said a mouthful, toots!"

Betsy (to Andy): "Oh, you and trouble just naturally gravitate to each other, don't you?"

Betsy: "Oh, why are some men so dumb?"

Betsy: "Whenever I get disillusioned, I always get a pain in my stomach."

Betsy: "Oh, listen, I've got a song that if it doesn't wake Andy Hardy up, he must be made out of concrete!"

Betsy: "Maybe I wasn't as swell when I was in Carvel, or maybe you just didn't notice."

Betsy: "If you mean that, maybe you'd better kiss me, even if we both don't want to."

Betsy: "I'll bet ya Polly Benedict couldn't be glamorous with a shiny nose!"

Andy: "How one's women do mount up!"

Supplemental Material

Supplement 1: "Movie and Radio Guide" Picture of the Week
Supplement 2: Review from unknown newspaper
Supplement 3: Miscellaneous stills

Mick 'n' Joots Album
Andy Hardy Fan Site


Andy Hardy Meets Debutante VHS
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Judy's songs included on soundtrack anthology
Buy soundtrack anthology







Original lobby card






MGM publicity still: Mickey and Judy






Sara Haden, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, Judy Garland, Lewis Stone, Fay Holden






Original music sheet






MGM publicity still: Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland






MGM publicity still: Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney






Andy Hardy meets debutante

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