Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sex finds Andy Hardy

TCM is showing all of Mickey Rooney's Andy Hardy movies as part of their Star of the Month salute to him. The only thing is, they're showing them in reverse chronological order. One with a particularly interesting cast member is Love Finds Andy Hardy, which is airing overnight at 2:30 AM ET.

Love Finds Andy Hardy isn't so much a love triangle as it is a love icosahedron, or some other complex Euclidian solid. Andy's traditional love interest Polly (Ann Rutherford) is going away for Christmas, leaving Andy girlless for the big town Christmas party. Except that somebody has an escort for him. That escort is his old pal Beezy, who is going away for Christmas himself, but has a girlfriend, Cynthia (a young Lana Turner). Beezy doesn't want anybody going after Cynthia, so he offers to pay Andy to play the part of an escort for the holiday season. Andy takes him up on the offer, as it will give him the appearance of a girl, as well as some much-needed money.

Things begin to get complicated, though. Cynthia begins to fall for him, and there's always the threat that either Beazy or Polly will come back early, discovering this blossoming new love. Worse for Andy is his obnoxious new neighbor Betsy (Judy Garland), visiting her grandmother for the holidays. She's got a crush on Andy, but he thinks she's much too young for him. However, she's got a mother who's loaded and apparently doesn't care about her daughter's profligate spending. (Always like a woman to spend.) Andy could certainly use that money, and being the inveterate schemer that he is.... You know Andy's scheme will eventually backfire, until his father the judge (Lewis Stone, as always) has a heart-to-heart talk with Andy which helps Andy solve the whole problem.

Love Finds Andy Hardy is typical of the Andy Hardy movies, but with the plus of having Lana Turner. If you like the Andy Hardy movies, you've probably already seen this one; if not, it's pleasant enough to watch once. It'a also available on DVD.

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