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DVD: Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
Review Rating:   Standard  
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Warner Bros
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1 (NTSC)

April 6, 2004



Genre: Comedy / Family  
Andy Hardy's Christmas plans become a tangled mess when he's committed to bringing 3 girls to the upcoming holiday dance.  



Directed by:

George B. Seitz
Screenplay by:

William Ludwig

Music by: David Snell (score)
Produced by: (None Credited)

Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone, Judy Garland, Fay Holden, Cecilia Parker, Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford, Mary Howard, Gene Reynolds, Don Castle, Betty Ross Clarke, Marie Blake, George Breakston, Raymond Hatton, and Frank Darien

Film Length: 92 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.33 :1
Black & White
Anamorphic DVD: No
Languages:   English Mono and French Mono
Subtitles:   English, French and Spanish
Special Features :  

Introduction by Judy Garland biographer John Fricke with Ann Rutherford (4:50) / “Leo Is On The Air” Radio Promo / Theatrical trailer for “Love Finds Andy Hardy,” “Life Begins For Andy Hardy” and “Hardy Family Christmas Promotional Trailer”

Comments :

The Andy Hardy series was among the most popular family-oriented series, beginning with “A Family Affair” in 1937, and ending in 1958, with “Andy Hardy Comes Home.”

Whereas the Little Rascals shorts provided an idyllic playworld for younger audiences, Andy Hardy's teenage stumbling was better suited for a slightly older set, already taking baby steps into the dating game. Somewhat responsible for fashioning the ideal family unit, the series eventually showed its age, and was ultimately eclipsed by more contemporary variations, like the similarly iconic “Father Knows Best” TV series. Fifties boob tube fodder may have codified the formula of the modern sitcom, but the Andy Hardy films certainly refined key ingredients that inspired one of TV's most successful genres.

Warner Bros.' first Hardy offering is one of the best, partly due to its cast of up-and-coming stars, like sweater-girl favorite Lana Turner, and sixteen year-old Judy Garland; two actresses whose own careers would eventually surpass the popularity of star Mickey Rooney.

To give some backstory to the series, the DVD includes an introductory interview with Ann Rutherford, who portrayed Andy's regular girlfriend, Polly Benedict, and a series overview from Garland biographer John Fricke. The film's print quality is decent, with visible wear restricted to the head and tail sections of a few film reels.

Made between the Depression era and before the outburst of WWII, the Hardy pictures can be viewed as an idealized nuclear family, living in a small town that's unaffected by the evils of the outer world. The branding of these quaint characters is evident in a short Christmas promo, archived on the DVD, with the Hardy family gathering to open their presents, before addressing the camera to wish audiences a happy holiday.

A short radio promo (brought to by MGM's ace “reporter”) is a pseudo-news broadcast saluting MGM's latest “must-see” comedy, and the short program includes an orchestral version of the Andy Hardy theme, and Judy Garland singing the film's 2 songs.

The chemistry between Garland and Rooney was amiably exploited in 8 subsequent films, so hopefully this DVD will kick off a release of the entire Andy Hardy series.

This title is available separately or as part of the Judy Garland Signature Collection that includes: “For Me And My Gal,” “The Harvey Girls,” “In The Good Old Summertime,” “Love Finds Andy Hardy,” “A Star Is Born,” “The Wizard Of Oz” and “Ziegfeld Girl.”


© 2004 Mark R. Hasan

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