Watch Andy Hardy's Private Secretary
- 1 hr 41 min
In the year 1941, "Andy Hardy's Private Secretary" was released. It's a romantic-comedy classic directed by George B. Seitz and produced by Louis D. Lighton. Mickey Rooney is the lead protagonist, who is a teen sensation and the project features a stellar cast including veterans like Lewis Stone, Fay Holden, and Ann Rutherford. The film revolves around the life of the titular character, Andy Hardy. He is a high school senior, evident from his graduation gown and his friends' graduation caps perched on car antennas. Despite his graduation, he still feels ill-equipped to handle the real world, which is made clear when he can't describe his career aspirations to his father, Judge James K. Hardy, portrayed by Lewis Stone. The Judge tasks Andy to work at a law office during his summer break, hoping to imbibe some professionalism in his son. Andy's initial days at the office are a bust, with the teenager finding himself struggling with simple tasks like sharpening pencils. In a humorous sequence, the audience gets a sneak peek into Andy's incompetence as he is seen trying to arrange books in alphabetical order, but with little success. His boss, Mr. Benedict, played by Gavin Gordon, gives him a well-deserved earful every time he botches things up. However, Andy hits his stride when he is assigned to accompany his boss to a business trip that involves meeting a wealthy client, 'Mrs. Holden' (Fay Holden) in New York. While Andy wants to see New York as a tourist, he accompanies Mr. Benedict to meet Mrs. Holden. Upon realizing that Mrs. Holden is a widowed mother of two daughters, he is initially wary of them. However, he falls for the elder daughter, Daphne, played by film noir legend Esther Williams. Daphne, a professional swimmer, does not share Andy's feelings initially and dismisses him as "furniture," after mistaking him for a bellboy and instructing him to carry her luggage to her room. The plot of the movie takes an unexpected twist when Mrs. Holden requests Andy to keep an eye on her younger daughter, Marion, played by Kathryn Grayson, who insists on pursuing her singing career in New York City. Andy obliges, secretly hoping to use this opportunity to impress Daphne. In his attempt to help Marion, he spends all the money allotted for her music lessons on frivolous spending. Andy feels guilty and takes up various odd jobs to save face and ensure Marion's music lessons aren't affected. Daphne, who starts warming up to Andy, finds out that he's been gambling with Marion's money, and her father (who manages Marion's career) is furious. Meanwhile, Andy's boss realizes that he's not cut out for the corporate world and fires him. The Hardy family and Daphne come to Andy's rescue and help him pay his debts off. The movie ends with Andy being forgiven by everyone he wronged and learning significant life lessons. Andy Hardy's Private Secretary is a film about personal growth, love, and life-lessons. Rooney's impeccable comic timing and Lewis Stone's endearing performance capture the spirit of the film effectively. The film launched Esther Williams' career, who later went on to become a household name for her swimming feats. The movie was a commercial success, earning over $2 million, a staggering figure for that era. It went on to spawn sixteen sequels, with the last one being released in 1958. The movie is considered a quintessential coming-of-age comedy, capturing the difficulties one faces when transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.