Andy Hardy Comes Home
|Andy Hardy Comes Home|
|Directed by||Howard W. Koch|
|Produced by||Red Doff|
|Written by||Edward Everett Hutshing|
Robert Morris Donley
|Based on||characters created by Aurania Rouverol|
|Music by||Van Alexander|
|Cinematography||William W. Spencer|
Harold E. Wellman
|Edited by||John Baxter Rogers|
|22 December 1958|
Andy Hardy Comes Home is a 1958 film, the 16th and final film in the Andy Hardy series, with Mickey Rooney reprising his signature role. It was made 12 years after the previous Hardy film, and was an attempt to revive what had once been an enormously popular series. However, the film fell short of box office projections and the series did not resume.
Returning to his hometown of Carvel after several years' absence, Andrew "Andy" Hardy (Mickey Rooney), now a high-flying West Coast lawyer, reminiscences about his past (with flashbacks to his earlier filmed exploits alongside Judy Garland, Esther Williams, and Lana Turner). He also reconnects with his mother, aunt, sister (returning co-stars Fay Holden, Sara Haden, and Cecilia Parker, respectively), and nephew Jimmy (Johnny Weissmuller, Jr.) as he attempts to convince the skeptical townsfolk to let his company build a factory there.
When his plan to buy land from his old friend Beezy (now played by Rooney's TV co-star Joey Forman) runs into difficulty, Andy brings his wife, Jane, (Patricia Breslin) and two children, Andy Jr. (played by Rooney's real-life son Teddy) and Cricket, to bolster his resolve, and to help him live up to the lessons instilled in him by his late father.
While all seems lost, the closing moments reposition the resurrected series for a new set of Andy Hardy films, but these never materialized.
- Mickey Rooney as Andy Hardy
- Patricia Breslin as Jane Hardy
- Fay Holden as Mrs. Emily Hardy
- Cecilia Parker as Marian Hardy
- Sara Haden as Aunt Milly Forrest
- Joey Forman as Beezy "Beez" Anderson
- Jerry Colonna as Doc
- Vaughn Taylor as Thomas Chandler
- Frank Ferguson as Mayor Benson
- William Leslie as Jack Bailey
- Tom Duggan as Councilman Warren
- Jeanne Baird as Sally Anderson
- Gina Gillespie as Cricket Hardy
- Jimmy Bates as Chuck
- Teddy Rooney as Andrew "Andy" Hardy, Jr.
- Johnny Weissmuller, Jr. as Jimmy
- Pat Cawley as Betty Wilson
Songwriter Robert Donley and journalist Edward Hushting wrote an original Andy Hardy synopsis on speculation and brought it to Rooney's agent, Red Doff. He showed it to Rooney, who was enthusiastic, and they pitched the project to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a co-production with Rooney's own company, Fryman Enterprises. The studio, then under the control of Joseph Vogel, agreed to make the film.
"We feel it's time for another Hardy picture," said Doff. "Time for a good, warm, wholesome family comedy - no violence, no monsters, no sex! There are millions who have seen and loved the Hardys - and who would like to see them again. And there are millions who never saw them on the big screen, but who are being presold by seeing them on TV. People like things nostalgic. We believe they'll be curious to see a re-creation of what they loved 15 and 20 years ago."
Lewis Stone, who had played the beloved Judge Hardy in the earlier films, had died in 1953, and his character's passing was noted in the film. Fay Holden, Sara Haden, and Cecilia Parker all reprised their roles. (The latter had been mostly retired since the series ended, devoting herself to raising her children.)
Mickey Rooney tried to persuade Ann Rutherford to return as Polly Benedict, Andy's on-and-off sweetheart in most of the original movies, so the two characters could be a married couple, but Rutherford's salary demands were too high, and the character was written out . Andy's wife in the film, Jane (played by Patricia Breslin), had no prior connection to the town of Carvel.
In line with MGM's practice of introducing studio contract players in the series, contractee Pat Cawley was given a role.
Filming started on 7 May 1958.
According to MGM records, the movie earned $400,000 in the US and Canada and $210,000 elsewhere, making a loss to the studio of $5,000.
Before the film was released, Hutshing and Donley worked on a sequel about Andy Hardy as a judge called Andy Hardy Carries On. There was also some talk of an Andy Hardy TV series. In the early 1960s, a pilot was shot for a prospective Andy Hardy sitcom for NBC, with a totally different cast and with the character of Judge Hardy returning, but NBC did not pick it up as a series.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
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- Andy Hardy to Live Again: Lewis, Nugent on 'Owyhee'; Guinness Sets Three Films Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 08 Jan 1958: B7.
- MGM to Make Huge Schedule of New Films Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 Jan 1958: B20.
- CECELIA PARKER IN 'HARDY' MOVIE: Kid Sister In Series Ending 12-Year Screen Absence -- James Garner in Film By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 02 May 1958: 30.
- Article on film at Turner Classic Movies accessed 11 Jan 2014
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- Father Damien's Life Due for Carey: 'Daphnis and Chloe' Planned; Studios Vie for 'Size' Sets Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 23 May 1958: B7.
- Looking at Hollywood: Hits for Mickey Rooney: Hardy Movie, and a Song Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 15 July 1958: a6.