AT THE UNIVERSITY
When the Judge Hardy series started out as minor second features, they had captured an ideal combination of humor and sentiment; now, as was probably inevitable, their success has prompted Hollywood to less care in their making, and they have become stereotyped. This is partly due, of course, to the fact that the audience knows perfectly well what is going to happen. They know that the Judge will become heavily involved in a deal and nearly lose everything; that Marion will fall in love with the wrong man, and have quite a time until her exasperatingly benevolent father straightens things out; that Andy and Becky will quarrel and then make up with one of those wonderful cave-man kisses. Realizing that the audience is familiar with the formula they are using, MGM should have introduced some new ideas, if such phenomena exist in California. Instead, the hackneyed plot has been made even more important--and even more unconvincing; the slushy sentimentality is slopped on in gobs; and there is an undercurrent of heavy seriousness that weighs the picture down. Only Mickey Rooney of the principal players retains his original spontaneity, and his scenes really sparkle; the other players, especially Cecilia Parker, might almost as well be photograph records. The film is strictly for those unfamiliar with the Hardys, and "Dramatic School," the co-feature, is strictly for fans of Luise Rainer.