Love Finds Andy Hardy
(B&W, 1938, 91 minutes)
You gotta be smart to get into as much trouble as Andy Hardy! He's got a new jalopy to fix up and dates with two gorgeous
girls for the big Christmas dance - one of whom is sexy Lana Turner who likes kissing just as much as Andy does! The other
is his girlfriend Polly Benedict... she was supposed to be out of town, but now she's back! Andy can't take two girls to
the dance! The new girl next door (Judy Garland in her first portrayal as Betsy Booth) has a solution, but should she
share it? The dynamic star sings "Meet the Beat of My Heart," "It Never Rains But What It Pours" and her renowned
After the success of Judge Hardy's Children (and now that Andy has a tuxedo), MGM pulled out all the stops for this
really fun series sendoff. This is one of the best episodes in the series - maybe the best. This is the first to
feature Mickey Rooney, who by now was big box office. It was a smash hit, and
is still enjoyed today by millions. This is the only episode studio mastered on DVD today. I hope that Warner will release
a box set of the whole series! Warner Bros. are you listening?
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
Sound: Douglas Shearer
Cinematography: Lester White
Film Editing: Ben Lewis
Filmed: May 1938 - July 1938 (Judy turned 16 during filming)
Released: July 1938
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
[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 for additional information
This was Judy Garland'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 Garland'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 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 in many sources. 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.
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 a special 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 articles "Judy Garland Keeps a Date" and "Judy, The Brave Little Trouper"). 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?!?
"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
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."
Love Finds Andy Hardy
Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney
Betsy Booth sings at the dance
Mickey clowns around on the set