Friday, August 02, 2019

Tonight's Movie: The Hardys Ride High (1939)

I was traveling for several days last week, hence the recent lack of reviews. (Some trip photos should be coming soon!) At our hotel late one evening I was able to wrap up a busy day relaxing with THE HARDYS RIDE HIGH (1939) thanks to the Watch TCM app on my iPad.

It was my first time to see this entry in the Hardy Family series, which finds Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) being informed he's inherited two million dollars from a distant relative.

The Hardys travel to Detroit to take care of the legal work, and they also contemplate the possibility of moving into the mansion there which comes along with the inheritance.

While in Detroit both Andy (Mickey Rooney) and his sister Marian (Cecilia Parker) find themselves making poor decisions in light of their family's apparent new wealth. Marian charges an expensive dress and then lies about it, while Andy finds himself alternately attracted to and frightened by a mercenary chorus girl (Virginia Grey) he meets thanks to the machinations of a wicked distant relative, Phil Westcott (John King).

Aunt Milly (Sara Haden), meanwhile, is courted by a man (Minor Watson) she met on the flight to Detroit. Could this be true love for Milly at last?

Little do the Hardys know that complications will ensue regarding the inheritance...but you didn't really think they'd leave their cozy house in Carvel forever, did you?

This might not be the best of the Hardy films I've seen, but it's definitely entertaining. While Andy's story gets overly silly, I thoroughly enjoyed the expanded role for Sara Haden, an actress I always enjoy. Viewers learn much more about Milly's personality and aspirations than usual, and Haden is touching in the role.

I found it particularly fun that the film happens to feature three actresses I wrote about in a column on "B" Western Actresses for Classic Movie Hub last spring, Ann Rutherford, Virginia Grey, and Marsha Hunt. They don't share any scenes together, but I found it a fun coincidence that they all happened to be in the same film.

Along with Grey's chorus girl, Rutherford has a recurring role as Andy's longtime sweetheart Polly, who seems interested in a wealthy young man from Boston (played by future Warner Bros. TV producer William T. Orr). Hunt turns up in Judge Hardy's office in one of the opening scenes, as the Judge solves her marital problems with her husband (Donald Briggs).

Grey and Rutherford had both appeared in DRAMATIC SCHOOL (1938) the year before and also both appeared in other films together while at MGM, including KEEPING COMPANY (1940), WASHINGTON MELODRAMA (1941), and WHISTLING IN THE DARK (1941).

Rutherford and Hunt appeared together in THESE GLAMOUR GIRLS (1939) and most memorably were two of the Bennet sisters, Lydia and Mary, in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940).

THE HARDYS RIDE HIGH was directed by George B. Seitz and filmed by Lester White and the uncredited John F. Seitz. It runs 81 minutes.

The supporting cast also includes Fay Holden as Mrs. Hardy, plus Halliwell Hobbes, Ann Morriss, and Aileen Pringle.

THE HARDYS RIDE HIGH is available on DVD from the Warner Archive in the Andy Hardy Film Collection, Vol. 2.


Blogger Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

I just adore the Andy Hardy films! Mickey Rooney is truly the best! What an actor! No one has ever been or will ever be like him again.

Each Andy Hardy movie has something special and meaningful in it - when it comes to the Hardy family. When I first discovered these films on TCM years ago, I thought at the time, I had struck gold! I still feel that way! Thanks to TCM - I've seen every one of them now. Of course, I like some storylines over others, but as a whole, I truly love them all!

Thank you for this post! I always enjoy reading about these movies and seeing images from the filming.

Blessings! Net

12:35 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Net! These movies are really quite delightful. Was there ever a more patient and understanding movie father than Judge Hardy?! And so many interesting young actresses on their way to stardom appear in these films.

Thanks very much for your note!

Best wishes,

11:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older