Cast & Crew
Howard W. Koch
California attorney Andy Hardy returns to his small Midwestern hometown of Carvel and is welcomed warmly by his mother, sister Marian and Aunt Milly. Upon arriving home, Andy is greeted by his old friend, Beezy Anderson, who invites him to a party the following evening. Later, back in his old room, Andy spends a few moments recalling his tumultuous teen years with a few special girlfriends. Later, Andy tells Mother Hardy that he has come home in order to purchase property on which his company, Gordon Aircraft, can build an electronics plant. The next day Andy visits the land office at City Hall, which is run by Betty Wilson, the younger sister of one of Andy's former school mates. Betty assists Andy and soon they discover an ideal tract owned by a Carvel newcomer, businessman Thomas Chandler. Andy visits Chandler and the men arrange to sign a contract the following day upon approval by Andy's boss, Mr. Gordon. While walking home, Andy decides to stop in at Doc's Malt Shop where he recalls old times with Doc, then orders his favorite ice cream sundae, the "Unkwinit." Marian's teenage son, Jimmy stops by the malt shop and he and his friends are startled by the enormous sundae which Andy is surprised he cannot finish eating. At home that afternoon, Andy contacts Gordon who gives enthusiastic approval for the Chandler deal. Andy then telephones his wife Jane to share the good news. The next morning, Andy meets with Chandler and is surprised to discover the terms of their agreement have changed and that Chandler has doubled the charge per acre. When Chandler insists he has a right to make as much money as possible off of a wealthy company, Andy cancels the deal. Andy returns to City Hall and with Betty's help, spends the rest of the day trying to find another appropriate tract of land. Andy then remembers Beezy's party and upon learning that Betty has also been invited, escorts her there, arousing the jealousy of Betty's boyfriend, Jack Bailey. When Jack continues to sulk about Betty's tardiness, she tells him about Andy's confidential business problems with Chandler. Meanwhile, Beezy notices Andy's distraction and Andy explains his predicament. Beezy reveals that his father left him eighty acres of land just outside of Carvel and offers to sell a portion to Andy. Delighted, Andy accepts, then relays the news to Betty, which further aggravates Jack, who leaves the party early. The next afternoon Andy meets Beezy at his property and is overwhelmed when his friend offers it to him for a third of the price originally negotiated with Chandler. Unknown to the men, however, at a city meeting of the Octavian Service Club, Jack blithely tells Chandler about Beezy's offer to Andy. Disgruntled by the cancellation of his deal, Chandler tells the club members that Andy promised an exorbitant price for his land, then lists the number of ills that would befall Carvel should a large factory come to town. Chandler recommends re-zoning to prohibit factories in Carvel, then suggests Jack head a committee to gather signatures for the bill. Jack reluctantly accepts and later quarrels with Betty at City Hall about helping Chandler out of spite for Andy. Jack spends the rest of the afternoon gathering signatures for the petition. Upon learning of the drive, Beezy assures Andy that he will arrange with Councilman Warren to campaign for the factory. At his home, however, Beezy's wife Sally expresses misgivings about Beezy's loyalty to Andy, fearing that his support will alienate the town and bring about unpleasant ramifications for the Anderson family. Unhappily, Beezy agrees and tells Andy that he must withdraw his support. Depressed, Andy contacts Gordon who reminds him that he supported Andy's recommendation to buy land in Carvel at the board meeting. Noting Andy's gloom, Mother Hardy advises him to send for Jane and their two children to comfort him. Andy agrees and the next day Jane, Andy, Jr. and Cricket arrive in Carvel. Disheartened by a newspaper editorial attacking him, Andy seeks solace in his father's old study. Reinvigorated by thoughts of Judge Hardy, Andy tells his mother that he has resolved to fight the petition and arranges a city council meeting to debate the factory plan. That night at the council meeting, Chandler prompts associate Mr. Fitzgerald to list the numerous complaints against building the factory, including bringing noise, pollution and strangers toward Carvel. Several townspeople agree. Andy then addresses the meeting, declaring his affection for Carvel and his hope to bring economic growth and benefits to the town. Andy confesses his hurt at being depicted as an outsider and acknowledges his intention to move back to Carvel should the factory be built. Declaring that no member of the Hardy family ever fostered ill-will toward Carvel, Andy and his family depart. That afternoon, Andy, Jr. meets Andy in Judge Hardy's study to admit that he fought with a boy who slurred Andy. Andy counsels his son against fighting, but Andy, Jr. reminds his father of his own advice to stand up for one's beliefs. Touched, Andy praises his son. The next morning as Andy and his family prepare to return to California, Beezy stops by and asks to meet with Andy outside. There, Andy is startled to be greeted by Mayor Benson, Jack and several townspeople who offer Andy an apology for doubting him. The mayor declares that Andy's speech prompted many to realize that Carvel should prosper and resulted in the defeat of the re-zoning bill and a commitment to bring Gordon Aircraft to town. Stunned, Andy thanks his supporters. Mayor Benson then takes Andy and Jane into Judge Hardy's office and offers Andy the vacant judgeship. Overwhelmed, Andy hesitates, until Benson confides that he has contacted Gordon, who approves of Andy leaving his job. With Jane's warm approval, Andy accepts his appointment as the next judge of Carvel.
Howard W. Koch
Johnny Weissmuller Jr.
Hal K. Dawson
J. Anthony Hughes
Robert Morris Donley
William A. Horning
Edward Everett Hutshing
Dr. Wesley C. Miller
John B. Rogers
William W. Spencer
Harold E. Wellman
Andy Hardy Comes Home
Andy Hardy Comes Home came at a time when the boyish vigor of Mickey Rooney, by then in his late 30s, was giving way to the inevitable onset of middle age. After several years of being one of the top box office draws in Hollywood, Rooney was dismayed to find during the decade since he had made his last Andy Hardy film (Love Laughs at Andy Hardy ) that he was no longer in great demand. It was not an easy pill for the aging actor to swallow. "I wanted to keep going on," said Rooney in his 1991 autobiography Life Is Too Short. "I needed an audience. I needed acclaim...I could have retired...But I didn't want to retire. I still wanted to be the toast of the world. And I wasn't. How, I asked myself, could I be Andy Hardy again?"
On the strength of his critically acclaimed Emmy-nominated performance in television's Playhouse 90 production of The Comedian, Rooney approached MGM in early 1958 with the idea to revive the Andy Hardy character with a new film. It wasn't difficult to convince the studio with the proven track record of the hugely successful Hardy series, and Rooney's enthusiasm was infectious.
The original story plan was to have Andy Hardy be a judge, just like his father in the older films played by Lewis Stone, and married to longtime childhood sweetheart Polly Benedict (played in the series by Ann Rutherford). Rooney and MGM were able to round up some of the old regular cast members for the new film including Fay Holden and Cecilia Parker as Andy's mother and sister as well as Sara Haden as Aunt Milly. However, Andy's father, Judge Hardy, would be conspicuously absent in the new film since actor Lewis Stone had passed away in 1953.
Despite a personal plea from Mickey Rooney, no amount of convincing could make Ann Rutherford agree to reprise her role as Polly Benedict. Rutherford, who had married a studio executive and retired from acting, turned him down flat. "I said, 'Mickey, in the first place very few people grow up to marry their childhood sweethearts,'" explained Rutherford in the 1986 Arthur Marx book The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney. "'So that gets rid of me right away. And in the second place, you should not come back as Judge Hardy. You should come back as Andy Hardy; Andy Hardy would not grow up to be a judge. Andy Hardy would grow up to be Bob Hope or Red Skelton or a great radio performer.'" With a few story changes, Andy was eventually turned into a lawyer who married a girl named Jane that he had met at work.
To play his young son Andy Hardy, Jr., Mickey Rooney called on his real-life lookalike son Teddy from third wife Martha Vickers. At eight years old, Teddy Rooney had begun to follow in his father's footsteps, having already amassed some television and film credits, including the Doris Day feature It Happened to Jane (1959).
For fans of the Hardy series, Andy Hardy Comes Home was a nostalgic trip down memory lane complete with clips from some of the earlier films as Andy reminisced at the old homestead. Mickey Rooney and MGM had hoped that the film would rekindle public interest in seeing Andy Hardy regularly up on the big screen again and were optimistic enough to end the film with the words "to be continued". However, it appeared that audiences had outgrown Andy Hardy and no more films were ever made in the series, much to Mickey Rooney's disappointment. "So I came back to Carvel in Andy Hardy Comes Home," said Rooney in his autobiography, "but the trouble was, nobody noticed. The public simply didn't care what had happened to Andy Hardy."
Regardless of its disappointing performance at the box office, Andy Hardy Comes Home serves as an affectionate tribute to the series that celebrated the warmth of family and small town life.
Producer: Red Doff
Director: Howard W. Koch
Screenplay: Edward Everett Hutshing, Robert Morris Donley; Aurania Rouverol (characters)
Cinematography: William W. Spencer, Harold E. Wellman
Art Direction: William A. Horning, Urie McCleary
Music: Van Alexander
Film Editing: John B. Rogers
Cast: Mickey Rooney (Andrew 'Andy' Hardy), Patricia Breslin (Jane Hardy), Fay Holden (Mrs. Emily Hardy), Cecilia Parker (Marian Hardy), Sara Haden (Aunt Milly Forrest), Joey Forman (Beezy 'Beez' Anderson), Jerry Colonna (Doc), Vaughn Taylor (Thomas Chandler), Frank Ferguson (Mayor Benson), William Leslie (Jack Bailey), Tom Duggan (Councilman Warren), Jeanne Baird (Sally Anderson), Gina Gillespie (Cricket Hardy), Jimmy Bates (Chuck), Teddy Rooney (Andrew 'Andy' Hardy Jr.)
BW-81m. Closed Captioning.
by Andrea Passafiume
Andy Hardy Comes Home
Andy Hardy Comes Home was the final film using characters created by Aurania Rouverol and featured in the long running and extremely successful M-G-M "Hardy Family" series that began with the 1937 M-G-M production A Family Affair (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Mickey Rooney returned in the starring role of "Andy Hardy" while Fay Holden, Cecilia Parker and Sara Haden reprised their original roles as "Mother Emily Hardy," "Marian Hardy" and "Aunt Milly." According to a May 7, 1958 Los Angeles Times article, actress Ann Rutherford, who played Andy's girl friend, "Polly Benedict," in a number of the earlier Hardy Family films, was unavailable to reprise her role in Andy Hardy Comes Home. A portrait of actor Lewis Stone (1879-1953) as "Judge Hardy" was featured prominently in the film. Andy Hardy Comes Home contained brief clips from three previous Hardy Family films, the 1938 Love Finds Andy Hardy, with Lana Turner; the 1940 Andy Hardy Meets Debutante from 1940, with Judy Garland and the 1942 Andy Hardy's Double Life with Esther Williams.
In M-G-M publicity materials, Andy Hardy Comes Home, which was released eleven years after the previous Hardy Family film, was described as "a continuation" rather than another in the series. However, in the closing credits of the film, a title card reads: "To Be Continued." The Variety review states that M-G-M intended to re-embark on the Hardy series, but no additional films in the series were made. A March 1959 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that the film did well at the box office and several reviews remark about the simultaneous televising of episodes of the original Hardy Family series. For more information on the Hardy Family Series, see the entry for A Family Affair in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 and consult the Series Index.
Released in United States August 1958
Released in United States Summer August 1958
film extract "Andy Hardy's Double Life" (1942)
film extract "Love Finds Andy Hardy" (1958)
Released in United States August 1958
Released in United States Summer August 1958