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Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) is the second of three "Andy Hardy" movies in which Judy Garland plays Betsy Booth, the hometown gal-pal with a way of helping Andy (Mickey Rooney) sort out his romantic life, even while yearning for him herself. In this edition of the popular series, Betsy shows Andy around New York City and introduces him to wealthy debutante Daphne (Diana Lewis). Although Daphne is definitely out of his league, Andy falls hard for her and suffers through public humiliation before realizing that happiness lies back at home with his true-blue sweetheart Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford).
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