- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Bleak Reality hits the ideal world of Andy Hardy!
- Sara Brideson
This is one of the first Andy Hardy films I saw as a child, mainly because I knew Judy Garland co-starred in it. However, this film is of interest to everyone, even if they are not Judy fans. This installment in the series is much more grounded in reality than the other films. It is very aptly titled, as it does indeed show real life beginning for Andy. The film does not so much concern his boyish mishaps in love, but rather, focuses on his struggle for survival as he lives in NYC for one month to prove he is a man capable of supporting himself. He ends up hungry and broke until he lands a job as an office boy. There, he falls for a woman who tricks him into spending money on her. Another storyline, which is really the most unusual for an Andy Hardy film, is about a young man Andy sneaks into his room when he discovers the young man is homeless. The boy, played by tap dancer Ray McDonald, dies in Andy's apartment. Andy thinks it is suicide, but it is actually heart failure. This bleak subject was handled with empathy and care in the film, devoid of any moralistic preaching. I found the film relatable today, especially as it is more and more difficult for young people to get a start in the modern world. However, the difference between today and the time of Andy Hardy is that, today, not as many young people have families to fall back on or a moral conscience to guide them away from a seedy lifestyle. It is refreshing to watch a film that shows a world where human connections are the difference between falling into hopelessness and rising above a slump in one's life. I'd highly recommend this film, especially with the stellar performances by Judy Garland and Ray McDonald. This Andy Hardy film has more meat in it than the usual ones-- so don't miss it!
Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941)
Certainly an unusual Andy Hardy film, much more grim than the others, but more moving as well. Andy is on his own in New York City and things are pretty rough. Judy Garland's presence is a big plus.