Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942) Poster

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A Typical Andy Hardy Movie
AL01-312 July 2000
Like most Andy Hardy movies, this film is fun, uplifting and entertaining. It's hard to watch it without smiling.

In this edition of the series, Andy, played by Mickey Rooney, is preparing to depart for college. Before he leaves, he encounters one of his typical adolescent crises as Polly Benedict(his ex-girlfriend) and her visiting friend decide to teach him a lesson. Ann Rutherford returns as Polly, and her friend is played by Esther Williams in her studio debut. The acting, writing and directing are all very good in this picture.

Although this type of movie might not appeal as much to modern audiences, it is still a good film worthy of your time, and if you enjoy Andy Hardy movies, I would certainly recommend that you see this one.
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Andy's Going To College Despite World War II
bkoganbing26 May 2011
Andy Hardy's Double Life finds Andy planning to go off to Wainwright College which was the Judge's alma mater. Interesting that in 1942 the war apparently had not yet come to Carvel. I would have thought that Andy would be worried about the draft at this time.

But Mickey Rooney has his usual girl trouble and I swear I never did understand why Ann Rutherford as Polly Benedict just didn't give this guy the heave ho. It seemed like every film he was getting involved with some other girl, usually an MGM starlet the studio was trying to showcase.

In this case it was quite the showcase as Esther Williams who played a college coed and guest of Ann Rutherford decides to do some psychological research on the American male. Guess who she decides will be her guinea pig?

Cecilia Parker as Rooney's sister is also having troubles with William Lundigan who is a drinker and is before Lewis Stone for driving while intoxicated. As this hits close to home, Stone is looking for a root cause of the alcoholism as opposed to just tossing Lundigan in the clink.

In an even briefer role at the very end of the film is another MGM showcase Susan Peters. She plays a young woman off to Wainwright College and she will be the first in a class of coeds as the venerable institution is admitting girls for the first time. That gets Rooney's attention real fast.

Peters would have too brief a career, falling victim to a hunting accident that caused paralysis. She was a lovely talented young lady, probably best known as Ronald Colman's niece in Random Harvest.

Andy Hardy's Double Life is an average entry in the series and will satisfy the fans of the eternal Mick.
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"Somehow or other when I see a girl in a bathing suit, it brings out all my natural weaknesses."
utgard1424 May 2015
Despite having graduated from high school three movies ago, Andy Hardy has still not started college. And he won't start it in this movie, either! That comes in the next entry, Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble. Here, though, we have Andy selling his jalopy to get the money to retrieve his convertible from storage in New York. The problem is the boys he's sold it to keep stalling on paying him and Andy's already written a check that will bounce if he can't get the money in time. Andy's also dealing with his usual drama with the opposite sex as well as trying to help his sister Marian and father Judge Hardy with their problems. Marian's still in love with her beau Jeff, the drunk driver. Judge Hardy is bending over backwards to prove a lumber company truck was responsible for an accident with a little boy (Robert Blake).

This one's notable for being the feature film debut of Esther Williams. Esther plays a psychology student who teams up with Ann Rutherford's Polly Benedict to teach Andy a lesson. Have no fear, Esther fans, she does get into a bathing suit for one scene. Gorgeous as always, Esther also showcases her romantic comedy potential. Her scenes with Mickey are some of the movie's highlights. This is also, sadly, the last of the Hardy films with Ann Rutherford. She left the series after this and never returned. Rutherford was one of my favorite parts of these movies. She was always adorable beyond words with great comic timing and wonderful chemistry with Mickey Rooney. Cecilia Parker gets more to do as Marian than she has in awhile. She was a larger presence in the early films in the series. If I'm to be honest, she was never a favorite part for me. She might appeal more to many viewers as Marian is a slightly more modern (i.e. flawed) character. This would be her last appearance in the Hardy series until the attempted reboot in the '50s. Lewis Stone is perfect, of course. Judge Hardy was often the highlight of these movies, even when Andy was the focus. Here Stone gets a little comedy to work with but the best parts of the movie are his father-son scenes with Mickey Rooney. For his part Rooney is excellent, handling both comedy and drama with ease. Fay Holden gets few scenes as Mrs. Hardy but makes the most of them, stealing the picture each time she's on screen.

This is one of the best Andy Hardy movies. A delightful mix of comedy and light drama. I smiled through the whole thing. I happen to love the Andy Hardy movies, corn and all. Your mileage may vary, though. If you're too cynical to enjoy these innocent movies with their sentimentalism and old-fashioned values, then spare yourself the trouble of watching. Also spare the rest of us as the world has enough snarky cynics as it is.
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Introducing… Esther Williams!
wes-connors26 April 2015
Before leaving for Wainwright College, Andy (Mickey Rooney) has time for another romance set in his Carvel hometown. This time it's MGM's future swimming sensation Esther Williams (as Sheila Brooks). Introduced in this film as a psych major, Ms. Williams quickly became a major star. Inspiring half (or all) of the film's title, she is very beautiful. In their most memorable scene, Williams and Andy share an underwater swimming pool kiss. Meanwhile, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) gets involved in a dispute involving mischievous preteen Bobby (Robert) Blake (as "Tooky").

This episode's main storyline is that Andy doesn't want Judge Hardy to appear with him at college, which gives the two actors a nice generational conflict...

"Double Life" featured the last appearance of Andy's off-and-on Carvel girlfriend Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford) in the movie series. She was eventually asked back, but declined. After this feature, Mr. Rooney's "Andy" finally did go to college. He spent the last several films preparing. It seemed like MGM was reluctant to change the setting. They probably should have tried to do so earlier, because the series had become very tired; ironically, the scenes with the older Mr. Stone are the acting highlights. In a couple of scenes, Rooney has an obvious lip ailment (possibly a "cold sore").

**** Andy Hardy's Double Life (12/42) George B. Seitz ~ Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone, Esther Williams, Ann Rutherford
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Can't Knock The Innocence, But Too Corny For Today
ccthemovieman-124 March 2006
I am one of the biggest supporter of wholesome values even though I have some sick movies in my collection. The point I am trying to make is that these Andy Harvy movies are about as innocent and wholesome as they come, but I still find them too corny to watch. Judging by the amount of reviews here, most people agree.

Actually, I kept one in my collection ("Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever") but discarded the rest, including this. I did like the first 30 minutes but once "Andy" (Mickey Rooney) got involved with two girls - his regular girl "Polly Benedict" (Ann Rutherford) and her new friend "Sheila Brooks" (Esther Williams) is got stupid or should I say, sappy.

That first half hour was entertaining mainly because of the lingo. Many of the day's hip phrases were used and they were fun to hear. However, these romance angles keep popping up in the films and are so annoying and dumb I eventually lose interest.
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Worth Watching for Rooney and Williams
Michael_Elliott1 July 2010
Andy Hardy's Double Life (1942)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Andy (Mickey Rooney) is about to head off to college but he's got a few things to take care of before leaving. For starters, he must try and sell his junk car for $20 to pay for a bill and he must convince his father (Lewis Stone) not to go with him to college. Worst of all is that Polly (Ann Rutherford) wants to make up but her best friend (Ester Williams) decides to give Andy a test. Number thirteen in the series isn't the greatest movie ever made and it's not even a good one but there's enough innocent charm to make it worth viewing. I'd probably put this towards the middle of the series as it's not even close to some of the better entries but there's no denying we get some very funny moments but at the same time, the screenplay offers up some weak stuff. The one sequence that really didn't work for me was an attempt at comedy when mom was trying to sleep in but people keep ringing the door bell. The comedy they were going for here just seemed rather weak and it didn't make me laugh. Some of the film's better moments, of course, happen when Andy must turn to his father and try to get advice on his life, which he just can't understand. I thought it was rather funny that Andy also gets to teach his dad a few things, which was a nice change of events. We also get a side plot about a case Judge is working on as it involves an injured boy and his broke mother. It goes without saying by Rooney and Lewis are at the top of their game and both men turn in very good performances. By this time both were so comfortable in their roles that there isn't a false step anywhere. Fay Holden, Cecilia Parker and Sara Haden are all good as the family. Rutherford gets a slightly bigger than normal part, which is good as she too is delightful. The real standout is Williams. There's no question that she's the highlight of the film and especially the sequence with her and Rooney "test" kissing by the pool. This entire pool sequence is classic Hardy stuff and makes the film worth sitting through.
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I love Esther Williams.
JohnHowardReid12 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Producer: Carey Wilson. An MGM Picture, copyright 1 December 1942 by Loew's Inc. New York opening at Loew's State: 11 January 1943. U.S. release: December 1942. Australian release: 23 December 1943. U.S. length: 8,281 feet (92 minutes). Australian length: 8,326 feet (92½ minutes).

SYNOPSIS: Shuttling between Ann Rutherford and Esther Williams, Andy Hardy finally decides on...

NOTES: In 1942, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented a Special Award to MGM "for its achievement in representing the American Way of Life in the production of the Andy Hardy series of films". this was Number 13 in the series. Film debut of Esther Williams.

COMMENT: Even with Esther Williams in the cast, this overload of homespun philosophy is pretty hard to take. MGM evidently didn't want Andy to get to college too soon. In fact, this film's final sequences are used as the beginning for the next film in the series, Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble. This film is really nothing more than some tedious padding and marking time. The direction of George B. Seitz is, as usual, aggressively nondescript.

Still 19-year-old Esther Williams is a very nice girl and she is most attractively photographed by photographer Folsey. It's an impressive debut. Her scenes positively sparkle. What a shame the rest of the movie is such a bore! Fortunately, I love Esther Williams.
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Okay...but once again, Andy is a bit of a dope.
MartinHafer29 June 2016
This is a fair installment of the Andy Hardy series. While it's very watchable, the story itself isn't especially strong. The bottom line is that Andy's problems (and he ALWAYS has problems) seem easy to solve but he manages to make them seem like Armageddon! The only particularly outstanding thing about the film is that it marks the debut of Esther Williams...and MGM often tried out new female talent in the Hardy films (such as Judy Garland, Ruth Hussey, Marsha Hunt and Lana Turner in some of their earliest films).

When the film begins, Andy is preparing to go off to college. The film EASILY could have simply gone from his high school graduation to him being in college but instead we see Andy struggle...mostly over things that really didn't amount to much. One problem is money some friends owe him (which EASILY could have been resolved), another involves two girls who conspire to make Andy think he's engaged to them and the final involves Judge Hardy's case involving a child (Bobby Blake) who is injured...and Andy steps in to help him with the case. All in all, Andy is a dope (as usual) and the film moderately entertaining.
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Typical Hardy corn given a boost by luscious Esther Williams...
Doylenf23 November 2007
ESTHER WILLIAMS fans will get a kick out of her luscious appearance in one of her early MGM "training" films wherein she gets to show her stuff in and out of a bathing suit. She's delightfully sly (and coy) in her kissing scenes with Andy, proving even then why she was about to become one of MGM's hottest box-office stars. Not only does she look more beautiful than ever, but she shows a distinct flair for light comedy.

As for MICKEY ROONEY, he's the same old Andy--having heart to heart (or man to man) talks with Judge Hardy (LEWIS STONE), getting advice on how to deal with women from big sister (CELIA PARKER), putting up with foolish Polly Benedict (ANN RUTHERFORD) and her schemes to get even with him for jilting her. It's all very silly, cornball and yet entertaining fluff, made worthwhile by the presence of Esther Williams in a key role and such other up and coming personalities as WILLIAM LUNDIGAN and SUSAN PETERS.

The only reason I gave this one a watch is to see how Esther Williams fared in her supporting role. Otherwise, these Hardy stories are really too much to bear sitting through tolerably with the cornball stuff too obvious and sentimental for today's viewing.
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Judge Hardy and Son
lugonian21 December 2019
ANDY HARDY'S DOUBLE LIFE (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1942), directed by George B. Seitz, marks the 13th chapter to the popular "Judge Hardy's Family" series that originated with A FAMILY AFFAIR (1937). Recurring series regulars resume their notable roles, including Lewis Stone (Judge James K. Hardy), Mickey Rooney (Andy Hardy),. Cecilia Parker (Marian Hardy), Fay Holden (Emily Hardy), Sara Haden (Aunt Milly Forrest), Ann Rutherford (Polly Benedict), Addison Richards (George Benedict). This entry is notable more for its introduction of Esther Williams, who would soon win fame in swimming musicals starting with BATHING BEAUTY (1944).

The story begins one week before Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney) is to leave his hometown of Carvel for Wainwright College. Andy has sold his broken-down jalopy to Botsy (Robert Pittard) and his pals at a $20 cost, the money Andy needs to get his car driven from New York so he could use it for college. While Andy doesn't get the money needed after sending over a check, and with only $18 in his banking account, his father, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) has problems of his own, trying a case outside his jurisdiction involving a widowed mother, Mrs. Stedman (Mary Currier) and her little boy, "Tooky" (Bobby Blake), with arm in a cast, involving an accident against a trucker working for the Lincoln Lumber Company. With high hospital expenses, if Mrs. Stedman doesn't win her case, she may lose custody of her home, making it more difficult for the judge to settle this case fairly . The judge also must settle a reckless driving charge against Jeff Willis (William Lundigan), in spite that his daughter, Marian (Cecilia Parker) very much in love with him. As for Andy Hardy's double life, to teach him a lesson following an argument, his girlfriend, Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford) has her visiting friend, Sheila Brooks (Esther Williams), a champion swimmer and college girl studying psychology, to win his affections and get him into trouble. More trouble arises with Andy Hardy trying to come up with an excuse to not have his father accompany him to his former college of Wainwright without hurting his feelings. Others in the cast include: Mantan Moreland (Prentiss, the Butler); Charles Peck (Jack); Arthur Space (The Attorney); Edward Gargan (The Policeman), and Susan Peters (Sue, the girl on the train).

With Judge Hardy and son taking up much of the proceedings, Marian has her limitations but it's both Mrs. Hardy and Aunt Milly having less to do this time around. Parker's Marian does help out Andy by giving him some sisterly advice on what he could and and do to a girl without being taken too seriously involving marriage. Esther Williams makes an impressive movie debut 20 minutes into the story with her shadowy image on the wall conversing with Polly Benedict, but comes in full view a little later, especially with her lengthy and scoreless underwater swimming pool and bubbly kissing with Andy Hardy. Though her scenes involved were somewhat limited for her screen introduction, even with limited acting ability, she was attractive enough to arouse attention for movie audiences. Other lengthy scenes include Andy teaching his father modern slang language teenagers use, the early morning doorbell and telephone ringing involving Andy and his newly awakened father, a serious man-to-man talk involving how Andy truly feels about having his father tag along with him to Wainwright College without hurting his feelings, as well as the judge amusingly having car trouble while trying to make it on time to the train station. Both Rooney (age 22) and Parker (age 37) have matured physically by this time, and manage to get buy playing characters much younger than themselves, especially Andy at age 18.

Standard 92 minute family comedy-drama that marked Rooney's only movie opposite Williams, the final appearance of Ann Rutherford in the series, and Cecilia Parker's last as well before returning for the reunion series finale, ANDY HARDY COMES HOME (1958). Formerly available on video cassette in the 1990s, ANDY HARDY'S DOUBLE LIFE, also on DVD, often turns up on cable television's Turner Classic Movies. Next in the series, ANDY HARDY'S BLONDE TROUBLE (1944), which continues where ANDY HARDY'S DOUBLE LIFE left off (nearly two years later). (**1/2)
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Another Andy Hardy Story, But With A Significant Debut
atlasmb19 June 2016
The thirteenth in the series of Andy Hardy films, "Andy Hardy's Double Life" follows the formula faithfully, with Andy (Mickey Rooney) trying to juggle the attentions of two women while dealing with other issues, like jalopies and finances.

Meanwhile, Judge Hardy (Lewis Stone) has a perplexing court case on his mind. Andy lends a hand.

But the real meat of this episode (and the reliable tearjerker) is the drama surrounding Andy's upcoming departure for college. This milepost is the beginning of Andy's manhood and Andy has to have a (real) man-to-man talk with Dad, effectively telling the Judge that the first four letters in father are also the first four letters in fathead.

The real reason for seeing this Andy Hardy installment is the film debut of Esther Williams, whose on-screen charms are immediately apparent. In short order she will have her own series of aqua-musicals to dominate the box office.
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Andy Hardy's Double Life is worth it mainly for the presence of Esther Williams
tavm12 February 2015
Before this one, the only previous Andy Hardy movie I'd watched in its entirety was Love Finds Andy Hardy-the first one to feature Judy Garland. The main reason I just watched this one was because since I've just watched most of the Our Gang comedies in chronological order, I had a yen to also watch many of the films outside the series that had at least one member in it as this one has Bobby "Mickey Gubitosi" Blake as a kid with a broken arm named Tooky. There's also some funny scenes involving Esther Williams in her film debut as a practicing psychiatrist who's a friend staying at Andy's on-off girlfriend Polly Benedict's house. Having just seen and liked Ann Rutherford in Whistling in Dixie, I liked her here as well. There are some touching scenes involving some talk between Andy and his father the judge. Mickey Rooney and Lewis Stone have a natural rapport which shouldn't be too surprising since they have been together in this series for so long in so many entries. So on that note, Andy Hardy's Double Life was a worthy entry for me.
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Typical wholesome Andy Hardy movie
scottat4529 November 2014
I agree with the other reviewers,Its not the best in the series,but still is fun to watch.If you have any partiality towards Andy Hardy,it's still a must see.It feels like a continuation from the previous movie "The Courtship Of Andy Hardy". There is Andy getting ready to go to college,plus another subplot involving one of the Judges court cases.And as usual, girl trouble.And what Girls they are!I am in love with both Esther Williams and Ann Rutherford in this one.Both are very beautiful,and the HD version of this flick I saw,brings their beauty more to life.I very much enjoyed it.Although in HD it can tell Andy has a cut lip in some scenes,and not in others.I mean it was as clear as day.I wonder what that was all about.Has to be some back story to that somewhere.
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Esther Williams really looks "hot" this flick!
mr_enquirer28 December 2003
I must admit that aqua-fem Esther certainly made a big "splash" in this, her film debut. I can certainly understand how she's able to turn Andy into mush with her charm assault and why he prefers her company to plain old Polly, who looks pretty pedestrian in comparison to Esther's ethereal (yet s-e-x-y!) beauty.
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