Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to In The Balcony. We hope you enjoy your visit.

You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free. Plus, you'll be eligible for the monthly $1 million prize. (Not really.)

Join our community!

If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
The Andy Hardy series
Topic Started: Apr 7 2014, 05:11 AM (2,463 Views)
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
A Family Affair (1937) Dir. George Seitz

In a virtual blueprint for every other Andy Hardy film I've ever seen, Judge Hardy grapples with a moral issue while his daughter(s) have soap-opera type problems and kid brother Andy is a jerk until he learns better.

The big difference here, of course, is the cast; this was apparently conceived as a stand-alone film that, when it became a hit, was re-routed into a long, successful series for MGM. Judge Hardy is Lionel Barrymore here, who has issued a temporary injunction against Selmer Jackson's new aquaduct, to the dismay of the town, all of whom want the jobs the new aquaduct will bring, and in particular daughter Cecelia Parker, whose new beau is one of the architects of it.

Sixteen-year-old Andy meanwhile, is fixed up much against his wishes with Polly Benedict, whom he hasn't seen since kindergarten, and turns out to be quite pleased to discover that she's grown up since then and in all the right places, too.

Enjoyable, breezy little film (scarcely more than an hour) and of course Barrymore is always interesting. Only Miss Parker and Mr. Rooney (and whoever played the Aunt) returned for the remaining films, the older sister (who was whoring around in a roadhouse and got in trouble in her marriage) was written out, and Spring Byington plays the mom here.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
You're Only Young Once (1937) Dir. George B. Seitz

And the series proper kicks off. Judge Hardy takes the family on a vacation to Catalina, where daughter Marian takes up with a married man and young Andy meets a 16 year-old girl who smokes, drinks, and fools around(!). Meanwhile, a financial disaster awaits the Judge back home but relax, everything works out in the end.

Million-dollar dialog, Judge Hardy to a young woman in court:
"'Drunkenness is bad enough in a grown up. In a man, it's disgusting. In a woman, it's worse. But in a GIRL! Mary, you've acted like a child. Therefore, your punishment must be suitable for a child. So I hereby sentence you to thirty days of going to bed at 6 o'clock in the evening."

They've jettisoned the elder Hardy daughter for the series, and one wonders why they kept Aunt Milly around, since she has nothing to do. The "courtroom" convened on the beach to try the married guy for wooing Marian is just creepy. And welcome Lewis Stone to the series.

I'll say this, you know what you're getting with an Andy Hardy picture. They're neither good nor bad, they're simply the Hardy family's latest misadventures.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
Judge Hardy's Children (1938) Dir. George B. Seitz

Maybe it's my own Midwest upbringing (which couldn't have been further than the small-town life depicted in these films if I'd been raised in the canals of Barsoom) but I really enjoy my occasional trips to Carvel to see what those Hardys are up to now. This, the third in the series, is the best so far. (Well, it IS.)

Impressed by his expertise in dealing with the viaduct (I know you all just went "Why a duck?" S'okay, so did I) issue in the last movie (each film in the series refers back several times to the previous adventures, which is one of the reasons I like the darn things), Washington summons Judge Hardy (at $200 a day, which Mrs. Hardy finds shameful and criminal and is SHE right) to chair a hearing on a municipal power company's monopoly. The Judge takes the kids; bad move, because the company sends a handsome mole to woo Marian and learn what daddy's talking about over the dinner table; Andy meets a young, beautiful French girl, daughter of an ambassador, and teaches her to jitterbug, thereby causing a national scandal that nearly leads to war; and Mr. Dithers from the Blondie pictures is the head of the power company that's going to blackmail the Judge into issuing in his favor. Pandemonium erupts in our nation's capital.

Million-dollar Advice from Judge Hardy to Daughter (and to Each and Every One of Us):
"If you don't suffer the shock of failure to let you know you're on the wrong track, you'll never get on the right one."

I suppose one either likes these things or one doesn't. I like 'em, at least, I have so far. Make certain you also watch the trailers; they're wonderful. The trailer for THIS film, for example, features the actors in and out of character and brings out the screenwriter, Kay Van Riper, to take a bow and talk about her own small-town upbringing (uh, she was born and raised in the tiny burg of, um, Minneapolis). The trailer for the next one, Love Finds Andy Hardy, gives us Andy watching love scenes from MGM movies and then meeting Judy Garland(!). Say, Warner Archive Buddy, why not offer boxed set of trailers for Archive movies? (Uh-oh, I'm talking like Dondi again.)

A nice mixture of comedy, drama, melodrama, soap opera, common sense, and jitterbugging. What's not to like about the Hardy family?

Bonus Million-dollar Dialog:

Mr. Harper: "Notice the financial page of tonight's paper?"
Judge: "Oh, yes. I always watch what's happened to the stocks I would have invested in if I invested in stocks."

This installment is on the Andy Hardy Collection Vol. 2 from our friends at the Warner Archive.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) Dir. George B. Seitz

Christmas in Carvel finds Andy without a date to the big dance; Polly is out of town with family, so he has to settle with bringing his absent guy friend's girl, Lana Turner, instead, only Lana makes a play for him, see, and it seems Polly is returning for the dance anyway. Andy doesn't even notice the "cute little girl" visiting next door, Judy Garland, but has SHE got eyes for HIM. Meanwhile, Judge Hardy has to sort out Andy's car finance troubles while Mother Hardy is in Canada with a sick relative, and Aunt Milly and sister Marian might as well've gone along with her, for all they're given to do in this movie, but hey, when you've got Ann Sheridan, Lana Turner, and Judy Garland all wrestling for celluloid time, what can you do?

Of all the Andy Hardy films, this is one of 'em. In fact, probably the most popular; it was the only one released on DVD until the Warner Archive came out with those boxed sets. Judy (16 playing "12 or 13") sings a few songs; she'd already done a film with Rooney, Thoroughbreds Don't Cry.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Andy's Philosophical Observation: "There's somethin' about a high-class ice cream soda that makes a fella feel as if he's wasting his time with meat and vegetables."

There's a long sequence with a ham radio that made me think they were a craze in the '30s that MGM thought would make the film more hep to the kid movie-goers. Certainly doesn't do anything for the plot. That said, the Andy Hardy films are what they are, although I'll be frank with you, the extra attention to Andy over the rest of the cast does not make the films any more appealing to THIS viewer.

DVD bonuses include a couple of Andy Hardy trailers, a six-minute overview of the series, and a short "Merry Christmas" wish featuring the cast. The trailer to the next one, Out West with the Hardys, "guarantees" that it's as thrilling and funny as Love Finds Andy Hardy, but doesn't tell you where you can get your money back if it isn't. And yes, it refers to the series as "thrilling".
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Inspector Carr
Member Avatar
Charter Member
[ *  *  * ]
for many years I never paid any attention to the Andy Hardy series assuming they were going to be the usual wholesome family value blueprint that Old man Mayer wished to portray in his films. A few years ago I caught one of them on TCM (which one I can's recall) and I found myself entertained enough to DVR the entire series when they ran a marathon and viewed them all in chronological order.
I must admit I stand corrected and found the series to be well written. well cast and to my surprise not that sugary sweet. I found myself invested in the characters as well....what surprised me the most was dark themes touched upon.....one episode where Mrs Hardy was very ill and could very well have died.....and most of all the film where Andy goes to New York City for school(Life Begins for Andy Hardy 1941).....not only the stress of going from small town America to the big City but the suicide of his room mate.

I can now understand why these films were popular with the American movie going public from the subject matter of the growing up angst of Andy Hardy to the wish one had a dad as level headed as Judge Hardy it hit all the right notes....and now I fully understand why the series was such a blockbusting powerhouse at the box office.....and extremely popular!
"Life is a Crapshoot however you need a pair of dice to participate"
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Frank Hale
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
I can't really dispute anything you say, but I could never get into the series.

Mostly, and like Gravy, I gather, I really have trouble with Mickey Rooney. He is just nails on a blackboard to me.

The sickly MGM wholesomeness, and some of the supporting characters like Ann Rutherford and June Preisser, are only slightly less irritating.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
CliffClaven
Member Avatar
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
Couldn't find it online, but a Jules Feiffer strip had a guy explaining how he longed for the good old days -- not his real past, but his MGM childhood as Andy Hardy.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
The trailers for these things are amazing little three-minute movies themselves, selling - and telling you what they're selling in clear terms - good ol' family wholesomeness brought to you by the greatest, most professional filmmakers in the business. "There's no way you won't love the next movie in this series!"
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Inspector Carr
Member Avatar
Charter Member
[ *  *  * ]
Frank Hale
Jan 19 2016, 09:56 AM
The sickly MGM wholesomeness,
I had read that when Louis B. Mayer entered the theatre business he showed the 1912 silent film about Jesus called "From Manger to the Cross" according to Wikipedia he showed it at his 600 seat theatre to help clean up the tainted reputation the theatre had. another mention of this ( I can't remember the source) was that with the financial success of From Manger to the Cross, Mayer vowed to create wholesome family friendly films.

Oddly enough MGM although a powerhouse studio has always been my least favorite of the major studios in regards to finished product.
However there are exceptions such as the Thin Man series among other things.

even their pre code output never really pushed the envelope in my my humble opinion. Warner Brothers always topped my list pehaps due to their Topical gritty (by production code standards) films always seemed to entertain the heck out of me.

in retrospect I will stand corrected it is rather sugary sweet in the big scheme of things. but obviously the movie going audiences of the time embraced it.

Mickey Rooney to me has always been an enigma to me regarding his popularity. the Hardy family films were a much needed shot in his arm. and as history played itself out. when the Andy Hardy series faded away so did Rooney's career as well until his resurgence on Broadway in Sugar Babies with Ann Miller.

of course the series helped showcase up and coming talent in the MGM stable. Lana Turner, Kathryn Grayson and Esther Williams.

I once met an opera singer who was a friend of Kathryn Grayson according to her Ms Grayson was rather well endowed. MGM went to great lengths to wrap her twin sisters tightly to her small frame. which according to her was not to keep the male viewers at bay. but mayer felt large breasts were trashy. lol

The Andy Hardy series was a time capsule of sorts from another time in accordance with MGM standards. and probably holds as much credibility of how things were during the 30's and early 40's as Leave it to Beaver did with the 50's

enough rambling.....too much java....lol
"Life is a Crapshoot however you need a pair of dice to participate"
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Frank Hale
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
Slightly OT, but talking about MGM, and recently Norma Shearer, gives me the opportunity to reprint this comment from Harlett O'Dowd at Nitrateville a couple of years ago. Sums up the whole MGM thing nicely IMO.

"Marie Antionette is an amazing film. Not a good film by any means, but amazing. That the world's most tone-deaf studio should star its most tone-deaf actress in a bio-pic of the world's most tone-deaf monarch is in itself a perverse bit of cinema verite."
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
mort bakaprevski
Member Avatar
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
At every film site I visit, it seems to be quite hip to denigrate old Louis B. ... & I don't get it. The guy wasn't molding taste, he was reflecting the taste of the time. And, it wasn't like he was somehow precluding other types of films from being produced. There were at least half a dozen other studios cranking out films with various points of view during his tenure.

If you don't like his product, don't watch it. That's certainly my approach.
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Frank Hale
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
Right.

Hey! I'll leave you (temporarily) with another favorite memory about Louis: A description I once read of him sitting in the Beverly Hills Friars Club after he had been fired, head in his hands, mumbling something on the order of "How did this happen to me??"

If it isn't true, it should be.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
The Batman
Member Avatar
Charter Member
[ *  *  * ]
mort bakaprevski
Jan 20 2016, 08:53 AM

If you don't like his product, don't watch it. That's certainly my approach.

Not trying to be the Devil's Advocate here, but aren't you famous for commenting on stuff around here that you don't like?

And, really, should every comment on every subject around here be all happy smiley faces? Ya gotta take the negative with the positive.



Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Frank Hale
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
I assume Mort was just trying to get some conversation going. But if he or someone else can build up a pro-Louis case, I'll be all ears (or eyes, since we're on the internets.)

I donít think that's especially likely. Given everything I've ever read about Mr. Mayer, he appears to have been a total skunk.

As to the other movie sites Mort referenced, sometimes (not often, I grant you) things are repeated because they are true, and not just because they are hip.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
mort bakaprevski
Member Avatar
Balcony Gang, Foist Class
[ *  *  * ]
The Batman
Jan 20 2016, 12:25 PM
Not trying to be the Devil's Advocate here, but aren't you famous for commenting on stuff around here that you don't like?

Bats, I told you over half an hour ago to get off my lawn... & you're still there.

Frank, Mayer was an asshole, alright. However, Harry Cohn & Jack Warner, who produced some great product, were assholes as well. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a studio head who wasn't considered something of an asshole. A job requirement, perhaps?

At any rate, the Mayer bashing has become tiresome in its endless repetition. And, you really can't blame Shearer on Louis.
"Nov Shmoz Ka Pop."
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
Go to Next Page
« Previous Topic · Serious Stuff · Next Topic »
Add Reply