This pic doesn’t vary much from the basic formula used in the numerous predecessors in the Hardy family saga, but why should it?
Mickey Rooney is a couple of years older but doesn’t look it, and certainly doesn’t act it. A diminutive dynamo, Rooney bounces through his paces with his usual zest, capering, mugging and energetically stealing every scene he’s in – and he’s in practically every one.
Always a pillar of strength, Lewis Stone is back at his old stand as Judge Hardy, still playing the grave, distinguished, and ideally understanding dad. Other cast regulars in the series include Fay Holden, who does a convincing job as Andy’s anxious mother, and Sara Haden, in a walk-on part as Aunt Milly. Filling in as Andy’s heart throb is Bonita Granville, who registers nicely as the campus siren but who had better watch her waist and chin line for the future.
Bowing to the fact that Rooney is growing older, if no larger, story lines pushes him to the brink of a marital plunge. Back from the wars, Andy picks up his academic career as a college freshman and falls badly for Granville, who trips him up by marrying someone else. Heartbroken, Andy is set to pack up for exile in South America until he’s diverted back to normal by the chili wiles of Lina Romay, a south-of-the-border chick who happens to be visiting the town of Carvel.