Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
Cast & Crew
In the small town of Carvel, Judge Hardy and his wife Emily are eagerly anticipating the return of their son Andy, who has just received an honorable discharge from the Army after serving for two years. Soon after Andy returns home, Emily sees him looking at store window displays of wedding rings and baby clothing, and concludes that her son must be in love. Emily's suspicions are soon confirmed when the girl-crazy Andy barely notices Isobel Gonzales, an attractive young woman to whom he is introduced. Isobel, who is singing at the town's country club show, falls instantly in love with Andy, but her infatuation is not returned. Andy is preoccupied with thoughts of his college sweetheart, Kay Wilson, and looks forward to returning to Wainwright College as soon as possible to resume his romance. While attending the country club show with his parents, Andy panics when he learns that a telegram from Kay is about to be delivered to his house. Determined to keep the telegram and his romance a secret from his parents, Andy makes up an excuse to leave the show with help from a friend, who agrees to circulate a false story about a gushing water faucet at his home. Andy returns home in time to intercept the telegram, but a series of embarrassing mishaps ensue when Andy realizes that the police have turned off the water meter to the house. No sooner does Andy step outdoors in his bathrobe to switch the water back on than the front door shuts and locks behind him, leaving him stranded in the garden. Andy remains outside until moments after his parents return home and a passing police officer finds him lurking in the bushes. Though Andy tells the police officer that he lives there, the officer insists on taking him inside to confirm his story. Fearing that her son's erratic behavior is a sign that he has become blinded by love, Emily asks her husband to have a talk with Andy about the dangers of "designing women." When Andy confesses that he plans to ask his school sweetheart to marry him, his father and mother decide to follow him to Wainwright to keep him out of trouble. Soon after Andy returns to Wainwright, Duke Johnson, the president of the student council, asks him to be chairman of the freshman dance. Andy accepts the invitation, but is later disappointed when Kay tells him that she cannot be his date and that a family emergency requires that she must return home to be with Dane Kittridge, her legal guardian. When Duke learns that Andy is in need of a date, he sets him up with Coffy Smith, who is a great deal taller than Andy. Andy is initially embarrassed by the height difference, but he and Coffy soon become good friends. When Kay returns to Wainwright, she tells Andy that she has fallen in love with Dane and that she plans to marry him the following day. The news breaks Andy's heart, but he nevertheless agrees to be Kay's best man. After the wedding, Andy leaves Wainwright and returns home, where he plans a trip to South America to forget his sorrows. Judge Hardy, however, manages to persuade Andy to change his plans and return to Wainwright to complete his studies.
William Mckeever Riley
Earl K. Brent
Earl K. Brent
Ralph S. Hurst
Edwin B. Willis
Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
The war, then, is treated as a little blip, after which everything gets back to the usual formula of Andy Hardy's juvenile anguish and romantic shenanigans peppered with grave father-son talks.
MGM probably assumed that keeping the Hardy world insular and protected from the jittery, atomic, post-WWII real world would allow audiences a measure of reassuring nostalgia. But it had the stronger effect of making the film and characters seem anachronistic and dated. As The New York Times' Bosley Crowther wrote: "Now that Mickey Rooney is back from the late unpleasantness and has resumed in the series role which won him his chief popularity and fame, it appears that the nature of Andy is no different from what it was before, and that Mr. Rooney has grown a little broader, comically speaking, but he certainly hasn't grown up."
The film made some money, but the public was overall rather apathetic toward this fifteenth entry in the series, and it was clear that the Andy Hardy films had petered out in popularity. MGM returned to the franchise to make a final reunion edition in 1958, Andy Hardy Comes Home, but that fared even worse.
The comic highlight of Love Laughs at Andy Hardy is undoubtedly the frosh dance sequence, during which the five-foot-two-inch Rooney must jitterbug with the six-foot-two-inch Dorothy Ford.
Producer: Robert Sisk
Director: Willis Goldbeck
Screenplay: William Ludwig, Harry Ruskin; Aurania Rouverol (characters); Howard Dimsdale (story)
Cinematography: Robert Planck
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Henry McAfee
Music: David Snell
Film Editing: Irvine Warburton
Cast: Mickey Rooney (Andrew 'Andy' Hardy), Lewis Stone (Judge James K. Hardy), Sara Haden (Aunt Milly Forrest), Bonita Granville (Kay Wilson), Lina Romay (Miss Isobel Gonzales), Fay Holden (Mrs. Emily Hardy), Dorothy Ford (Coffy Smith), Hal Hackett (Duke Johnson), Dick Simmons (Dane Kittridge), Clinton Sundberg (Haberdashery Clerk), Geraldine Wall (Miss Hattie Geeves), Addison Richards (Mr. George Benedict).
BW-92m. Closed Captioning.
by Jeremy Arnold
Love Laughs at Andy Hardy
The working title of this film was Uncle Andy Hardy. An April 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that June Allyson was originally set for the part played by Bonita Granville, and that the picture was to be Rooney's last film before his induction into the service. The film, however, did not go into production until after Rooney completed his military service. According to Hollywood Reporter, filming was suspended briefly in early June 1946 pending Sara Haden's recovery from an operation. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Booth Tarkington was supposed to write the next film in The Hardy Family series, to be entitled The Hardy Family's Country Cousin, but that film was never made. Love Laughs at Andy Hardy was the last of The Hardy Family series, although a final film featuring many of the characters was released by M-G-M in 1958 under the title Andy Hardy Comes Home. That film, which was directed by Howard Koch, featured Mickey Rooney, Fay Holden, Sara Padden and Cecilia Parker reviving their roles in the series and included Rooney's son Teddy, who played "Andy's" son. Lewis Stone, who portrayed "Judge Hardy," had died in 1953 and his character was not included. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry A Family Affair in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-30 F3.1269.