Hoping his son will attend his alma mater, Judge Hardy agrees to let Andy look for work in New York for the summer before committing to start college. In the big city, Andy is confronted with the harsh realities of life and love.
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With his high school graduation behind him, Andy Hardy decides that as an adult, it's time to start living his life. Judge Hardy had hoped that his son would go to college and study law, but Andy isn't sure that's what he wants to do so he heads off to New York City to find a job. Too proud to accept any help from Betsy Booth, Andy finds that living on his own isn't so easy. With perseverance he eventually finds a job and even gets to date the pretty receptionist in his office. He also has to face several of life's lessons leading him to conclude that he may still have a bit of growing up to do.Written by
Four songs prerecorded by Judy Garland were not used in the film: Cole Porter's "Easy to Love" (available on the Rhino CD, "Judy Garland: Collectors' Gems from the M-G-M Films"); the patriotic "America (My Country Tis of Thee)" (written by Henry Carey and Samuel Francis Smith); plus two religious songs: "Abide with Me" and "The Rosary." Miss Garland's one musical moment in the release print was her unaccompanied rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" (music and lyrics by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill). The movie's original poster raves, "Mickey woos! Judy sings! Best Hardy yet!" See more »
The next ten years are the best years of my life.
At any age, the next ten years are the best years in a man's life.
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The darkest of the Andy Hardy films, "Life Begins" is a startling departure from the usual small-town antics of young Hardy.
Andy decides to move to the big city rather than attend college. There, he discovers the harsh realities of finances, unemployment, and lack of a support system. But it's his choice to eschew the support of family and his friend Betsy (Judy Garland). He struggles, but sticks to his principles.
Judy Garland's part is smaller than originally intended, but she is splendid in her role. The real surprise of the film is Patricia Dane who plays Jennitt Hicks, an experienced woman of the city who helps him find a job. Miss Dane's striking presence on screen had me wondering why I was not familiar with her film work. A review of her bio revealed that her career was brief and controversial, and unfortunate.
The Andy Hardy films often discuss the concept of becoming a man. This film addresses the real meaning of manhood in direct and sophisticated ways. Though Andy retains his boyish charm, he certainly crosses a threshold in this film.
As with all the films in this series, there are morals to learn, but they are not as simplistic or obvious.
The film suffers from competing concepts that result in a schizophrenic story and unrealized potential, but the remaining elements are still interesting, especially those involving Miss Dane.
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