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Film Review: Love Finds Andy Hardy

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Love Finds Andy Hardy

MGM, 1938 (BW, 92 minutes, Production No. 1050)

Little Judy Garland turns in a charming performance in her first outing as Betsy Booth in the Andy Hardy series. Even though she's "just a child" (as Andy says), she manages to manipulate Andy into taking her to the Christmas dance where she wows him with her singing talent. Judy laments her awkward age in "In-Between," and sings rousing renditions of "It Never Rains But What It Pours" and "Meet the Beat of My Heart." Lana Turner also turns in a fine performance as Cynthia Potter. Definitely one of the best episodes of the series!

See DVD Review

Crew

Producer: Carey Wilson
Director: George B. Seitz
Screenplay: William Ludwig
Based on stories by Vivian B. Bretherton and characters by Aurania Rouverol
Musical Score: David Snell
Song Score: Mack Gordon and Harry Revel, Roger Edens
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Stan Rogers
Wardrobe: Jeanne
Sound: Douglas Shearer
Cinematography: Lester White
Film Editing: Ben Lewis

Filmed: May 1938 - July 1938 (Judy turned 16 during filming)
Released: July 1938

Cast

Lewis Stone ... Judge James K. Hardy
Mickey Rooney ... Andrew Hardy
Cecilia Parker ... Marian Hardy
Fay Holden ... Mrs. Hardy
Judy Garland ... Betsy Booth
Lana Turner ... Cynthia Potter
Ann Rutherford ... Polly Benedict
Mary Howard ... Mrs. Tompkins
Gene Reynolds ... Jimmy MacMahon
Don Castle ... Dennis Hunt
Betty Ross Clarke ... Aunt Milly
Marie Blake ... Augusta
George Breakston ... Francis Bacon Anderson ("Beezy")
Raymond Hatton ... Peter Dugan
Frank Darien ... Bill Collector

Musical Program

[0:42] In-Between (sung by Judy Garland)
[1:20] It Never Rains But What It Pours (sung by Judy Garland)
[1:23] Meet the Beat of My Heart   (sung by Judy Garland)
[cut] Bei Mir Bist du Schon   (sung by Judy Garland)


see soundtrack anthology CD review

Notes

This was Judy's first appearance in a Hardy family film. She would appear in two more: Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) and Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941). She would be the only guest star to appear in three episodes. There were character players that appeared more than twice (e.g., Margaret Early), but not guest stars.

This was Judy's second outing with Mickey Rooney. They would be in a total of 10 films together, eight of which were made specifically for them. See the Mick 'n' Joots Album here on JGDB.

Lana Turner made her official MGM screen debut in this picture.

This was not Ann Rutherford's first appearance as Andy's girlfriend, Polly Benedict, as is often stated. Miss Rutherford appeared as Polly in the first regular series episode, You're Only Young Once, and continued as a regular throughout most of the series. See The Andy Hardy Series page for more details.

One of the most popular series of all time, Love Finds Andy Hardy was the fourth of the Hardy family films (there would be a total of 16), and is now generally considered to be the best of the series. The series was awarded an Oscar "for its achievement in representing the American way of life."

Judy was nearly dropped from the film when she suffered three broken ribs, a sprained back and a punctured lung in an automobile accident on May 24, 1938 (see the magazine article, "Judy Garland Keeps a Date"). The studio was not sure it could wait for her to recuperate, but - ever the trouper - she was back to work on June 11, the day after her 16th birthday, and completed her scenes in two weeks. Can you imagine singing and acting with broken ribs?!?

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

The Hardys, severally and collectively, are up to their old crises again. There is the crisis of the new cook. There is the crisis of Marion's attempt at coffee-making. There is the crisis of Andy's car - a $12 down payment and $8 to go. There is the crisis of grandmother's stroke. There is the crisis of the Christmas Eve dance...The nicest thing about all the Hardy crises, they resolve themselves so beautifully.

[Frank Nugent, film critic]

"Newcomer to the Hardy group of players ... is Judy Garland, who tops off a slick performance by singing three good songs ... Based on her showing, they will have to find a permanent place for Miss Garland in the future Hardys."

- Variety, July 13, 1938

"Fourth item in MGM's lively series on the homely, 100% American problems of the Hardy family, Love Finds Andy Hardy rises above the standard not only of its predecessors, but also of most of its producer's most expensive features."

- Time Magazine

Memorable Lines

Andy: "What kind of a car? How many cylinders?"
Betsy: "Two hundred."

Betsy: "I'll never be able to get a man, much less hold him - no glamour, no glamour at all!"

Andy (to Cynthia): "If you don't stop yelling, you're liable to get big muscles all over your face!"

Betsy: "You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna write an Andy Hardy page in my memory book and read it every day for five years. Cuz on account of you, I was grown up for one night - just like Cinderella - with an evening dress, and high heels and leading a grand march! You see, Andy, now I know how wonderful life's gonna be when I'm eighteen. And you did it all."

Supplemental Material

Supplement 1: "Song Hits" Magazine, October 1938
Supplement 2: "Song Hits" Magazine, November 1938
Supplement 3: "Life" Magazine Movie of the Week, August 8, 1938
Supplement 4: Publicity photos
Supplement 5: Movie stills

See DVD Review

Mick 'n' Joots Album

Andy Hardy Fan Site


Love Finds Andy Hardy DVD
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See DVD Review

Judy Garland Signature Collection DVD Box Set
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Love Finds Andy Hardy VHS
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Judy's songs included on soundtrack anthology
Buy soundtrack anthology



Original lobby card
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Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford, Judy and Mickey


Magazine clipping: Mickey and Judy at the drug store


Original music sheet


Mickey Rooney clowns around during rehearsal


Judy Garland singing "It Never Rains But What It Pours"

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