LOVE LAUGHS AT ANDY HARDY. MGM, 1946. Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone, Fay Holden, Bonita Granville, Lina Romay, Sara Haden, Dorothy Ford. Director: Willis Goldbeck.

   This was the last of the Andy Hardy films before the 1958 reunion film, Andy Hardy Comes Home, and you certainly can tell the series had seen better days. Andy comes home from the war in this one, just before heading off for college as a 20 year old freshman.

   But since Mickey Rooney was something like 26 years old at the time, he looks absolutely ludicrous in a beanie, to say the least. And he’s also far too old to continue his usual juvenile approach to love and romance any longer, even though he’s serious enough about it now to be ready to pop the question to Bonita Granville. But as you can tell from the title,  it doesn’t work out, in a twist of the plot even more ridiculous then the sight of grown men wearing stupid little caps.

   Lina Romay may not set Andy’s heart on fire, but she does add a little spice to the proceedings. And while I haven’t been able to locate Dorothy Ford in any of my standard  references, in this movie she plays a coed who is about 6 foot 6 inches tall, and when she dances with Andy (who comes only about breast high), it is really something to behold:

   Overall, while I didn’t care that much for the picture, Judge Hardy’s patented father-to-son talk with Andy at the end of the movie is as good as ever (but ruined by the local station that interrupted it in mid-sentence for yet another commercial).

– Very slightly revised from Mystery*File 26, December 1990.