While Judge Hardy handles a couple’s divorce, Andy takes a shine to their shy daughter.
User Reviews: When this film was first screened, viewers were aware of two major changes since the last Andy Hardy film. First, Mickey Rooney had married Ava Gardner. Secondly, the country had just entered World War II after the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor. One might surmise that they were curious to see Rooney and they yearned for the comfort of an Andy Hardy film to remind them of life before the harsh realities of wartime.
The stories in this film have to do with the return of sister Marian to the small-town life of Carvel and a divorce case being handled by Judge Hardy.
Marian rebels against the provincial ways of Carvel, trying to assert her new-found sensibilities and her freedom as an adult.
Meanwhile, Judge Hardy involves Andy in his case, asking him to date the socially awkward daughter of the bitterly divorcing parents. The daughter, Melodie, is played by Donna Reed in her sixth film role. At age twenty or twenty-one, Miss Reed plays a younger girl who has never been on a date. Her performance is excellent. In only four years, she will appear in "It’s A Wonderful Life’.
As always, this Hardy family film delivers morals to warm the heart and, perhaps, to remind America of its central values. The virtues of the family unit and sobriety are promoted quite strongly.
The central themes compete. An ancillary story about a mail order purchase by Mrs. Hardy serves to further complicate the narrative. Still, this is a satisfying Hardy story with a pleasant resolution.