4/26/13: Love Laughs at Andy Hardy

Hi readers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxVFHyeweEU Excuse me. “Hi, Dad. Ya, it’s Paulie. Thanks for calling me back. Remember all of that money I gave you to hold for me & told you not to give it back to me under any circumstances? Yeah, well wire me 62.50 of it right away, will ya?” Sorry about that. Today’s Blog is of Willis Goldbeck’s 1946 comedy, Love Laughs at Andy Hardy, with Mickey Rooney in the title role. It was the second to the last installment in the Andy Hardy franchise, all of which starred Rooney.


In Love Laughs, Andy returns from World War II intending to go to college to find, marry & raise a family with his sweetheart Kay, played by Oscar Nominee Bonita Granville. But things don’t go exactly as planned. Oscar Nominee Lewis Stone is great as Andy’s Dad, the patient Judge Hardy, who gives Andy life advice. His Mom & Aunt Milly, Fay Holden & Sara Haden respectively, round out the Hardy family. 2 other key roles are Andy’s new female friends, singer/dancer Isobel (Lina Romay) and Coffy (Dorothy Ford). Coffy is well over a foot taller than Andy.

LLAAH - Andy LLAAH - Kay LLAAH - Dad LLAAH - Mom LLAAH - Aunt Milly LLAAH - Isobel LLAAH - Andy & Coffy

Mickey Rooney, one of the most prolific screen actors of all time, was born in 1920. He appeared in 823 films, shorts, documentaries, TV series & TV shows with 2 works in progress. He was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, won the Juvenile Award in 1939 at the 11th Oscars , and received an Honorary Award in ’83 . Rooney first appeared on film in ’26 when he was 5 in the silent short Not to Be Trusted, for which he was paid $200. But his acting career began 4 years earlier as part of his parents’ vaudeville show. He was married 8 times. His first wife was Oscar Nominee, Ava Gardner. 6 of his marriages ended in divorce. His 5th marriage, to Carolyn Mitchell, ended as a result of her murder at the hands her adulterous lover, Milos Milosevic. Milosevic shot the 29-year-old actress then turned the gun on himself, taking his own life, on 1/31/66 when he learned of her intention to end the affair & return her husband. Mickey married his current wife, Jan, in 1978. They became born again Christians in the early ‘70s when he claimed an angel appeared to him in a diner. He credits Christianity for helping him overcome his addictions to drugs, alcohol & gambling which brought him to bankruptcy in 1962. 

LLAAH - Mickey & Ava   LLAAH - Milos, Carolyn & Mickey  LLAAH - Mickey & Jan

Now, the Andy Hardy franchise consisted of 16 full length features & one short between 1937 & 1958. Franchises like Rocky and Fast & Furious are very popular today but rarely go beyond 5 or 6. But live action, character-based franchises dominated early American film. There are 20 such franchises of 25 or more movies & shorts that began before the first Andy Hardy film including: Over 200 about Sherlock Holmes, the most of any character, from 1916 to the most recent Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr. in 2011, most of which were released long ago; almost as many Dracula, the first in 1922; 35 Charlie Chan pictures; over 100 about Cinderella, the first in 1899; plus Jesse James, Hopalong Cassidy, Frankenstein, Tarzan, and Rin Tin Tin to name a few. Click on the link below to get a glimpse of the franchise formula during the Golden Age of Hollywood as portrayed by Mickey Rooney in his 16th performance as the character in Willis Goldbeck’s Love Laughs at Andy Hardy. 3 Stars!


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