Cast & Crew
George B. Seitz
Moonstruck by the image of Daphne Fowler, New York's reigning debutante, Carvel's Andy Hardy brags to his friends "Beezy" and Polly Benedict, the editors of his high school paper, that he is good friends with the socialite, whom he has never met. Andy's words return to haunt him when his father, Judge James K. Hardy, packs his family off to New York to protect the endowment of the Carvel orphanage. When Beezy and Polly threaten to print the story of Andy's romance, Andy realizes that to save face, he must prove his friendship with Daphne, and sets out to meet her. In New York, Andy is greeted by his old friend, Betsy Booth, who has a crush on Andy, but he ignores Betsy in his pursuit of Daphne.
Andy soon discovers that royalty does not mingle with the common folk, and so he dons airs of affluence to meet Daphne. When Andy hears Daphne's radio broadcast inviting her listeners to a dog lovers benefit at an expensive restaurant, Andy eagerly attends, but his pretext of wealth gets him in trouble when he is unable to pay his huge bill and is humiliated by the club's manager. Judge Hardy is also having difficulties in New York, and it looks as if he might lose his case for the orphanage. Andy's misery mounts when he receives an advance copy of the school paper featuring the humiliating story of his romance with Daphne.
Recognizing his son's unhappiness, Judge Hardy tries to make Andy realize that all men are created equal and snobbery is not to be admired, but he fails in his mission. Although the principles of equal opportunity fail to touch Andy, they inspire Judge Hardy to recast his case for the orphanage, and he wins the suit in court. The judge's victory proves to Andy the importance of equality and he renounces his snobbery. Andy then confides his predicament to Betsy, who solves his problems by introducing him to her good friend Daphne, thus allowing Andy to return home triumphant with a photo of Daphne embracing him.
George B. Seitz
Nacio Herb Brown
J. J. Cohn
Harold F. Kress
Robert Van Eps
Edwin B. Willis
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
Betsy's torch for Andy allows Garland to sing "I'm Nobody's Baby" and "Alone" with the self-assurance, verve and yearning emotion that she could conjure like no other young singer of her day. Andy Hardy Meets Debutante was shot on such a tight schedule that there was no time to write original songs for MGM's rising musical star, so these two standards were pressed into service. "I'm Nobody's Baby," coupled with "Buds Don't Bud," became the second best-selling single of Garland's burgeoning recording career.
Supporting player Lewis, soon to marry MGM star William Powell and retire from the screen, supplied the movie's sex appeal -- although Garland as Betsy comments, "Without her makeup on, she hasn't any more glamour than I have."
Reportedly impatient to be playing plain little Betsy again after having already costarred opposite Rooney in Babes in Arms (1939), Garland could at least comfort herself with the good notices - as in Time magazine's comment that "Seventeen-year-old Judy Garland, growing prettier by the picture and armed for this one with two good songs...treats Mickey with a dose of his own medicine."
Producer: J. J. Cohn
Director: George B. Seitz
Screenplay: Aurania Rouverol, Thomas Seller, Annalee Whitmore
Cinematography: Charles Lawton, Jr., Sidney Wagner
Film Editing: Harold F. Kress
Music: Milton Ager, Nacio Herb Brown, Benny Davis, Arthur Freed, Lester Santley, David Snell
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Cast: Lewis Stone (Judge Hardy), Mickey Rooney (Andy Hardy), Cecilia Parker (Marian Hardy), Fay Holden (Mrs. Emily Hardy), Judy Garland (Betsy Booth), Ann Rutherford (Polly Benedict), Diana Lewis (Daphne Fowler), Addison Richards (George Benedict).
BW-88m. Closed captioning
by Roger Fristoe
Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
The picture on "last year's" high school magazine that is shown is that of Lana Turner, who was in the Hardy Family series movie, Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938). The character she played, Cynthia Potter, is also mentioned.
According to the George B. Seitz papers contained in the AFI library, filming began in February 1940 and retakes were shot in April 1940. For additional information on the Hardy Family Series, see the entry above for A Family Affair and consult the Series Index.