A Family Affair
Film Poster
Directed byGeorge B. Seitz
Written byKay Van Riper
Hugo Butler
Based onSkidding
1928 play
by Aurania Rouverol
Produced byLucien Hubbard
Samuel Marx
StarringLionel Barrymore
Cecilia Parker
Spring Byington
Eric Linden
Charley Grapewin
CinematographyLester White
Edited byGeorge Boemler
Music byDavid Snell
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • March 12, 1937 (1937-03-12)
Running time
69 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$178,000[1]
Box office$502,000[1]

A Family Affair is a 1937 American comedy film. It was the first of 16 movies now known as the Andy Hardy series, though Andy Hardy, played by Mickey Rooney, did not become the main character in the series until a few more installments had been made. The movie features Lionel Barrymore as Judge Hardy and Spring Byington as his wife, who are Andy's parents. Barrymore and Byington were replaced in their roles by Lewis Stone and Fay Holden in the subsequent films.[2]

In this film, the highly respected judge has to deal with family and political problems. It was based on the 1928 play Skidding by Aurania Rouverol.

Trailer Title Card
Trailer Title Card

Plot summary

Judge James K. Hardy (Lionel Barrymore) hopes to be re-elected, but his campaign is put in jeopardy by his opposition to a wasteful public works program.[3] Hardy and his family—wife Emily, adult daughters Joan and Marion, and teenage son Andy (Mickey Rooney)--live in Carvel, a small, fictional midwestern American town.

Spurned contractor Hoyt Wells and newspaper publisher Frank Redmond swear to block Hardy's re-election campaign. Frank agrees to use his paper, The Carvel Star, to publish disparaging stories about the family.

That evening Judge Hardy's daughter Marion returns home from college. Older daughter Joan Hardy Martin moves in as well, after a secret separation from her husband Bill. The family throws a party for returning Marion. At the party they are warned by a Star gossip columnist that only negative stories are going to be published about the family. Later that night teenaged Andy Hardy reluctantly takes his childhood sweetheart Polly to a party, and is pleasantly surprised by what a beautiful woman she has grown into. Marion has found love in Wayne Trent, an engineer who has come to town to work on the aqueduct. Facing the possibility of her boyfriend losing his job, she questions her father’s decision to block the construction.

Meanwhile, Joan confesses to her father that she and Bill are separated after she went to a roadhouse with another man. Although the encounter was innocent, Bill was enraged, and they soon separated.

The Carvel Star publishes an article stating that people are calling for Judge Hardy’s impeachment. Judge Hardy attempts to bring contempt of court proceeding against the Star.

Cast

Original play

Skidding
Written byAurania Rouverol
Date premiered21 May 1928
Place premieredBijou Theatre
Original languageEnglish
Genrecomedy
SettingThe living room of Judge Hardy in a certain town in Idaho

The movie was based on the play Skidding by Aurania Rouverol.[4]

Production

The film was made in the wake of the success of Ah, Wilderness! (1936). Many of the same cast from that movie returned.[5]

Reception

The film made a profit of $153,000.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 324
  2. ^ "Internet Movie Database". Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  3. ^ AllMovie
  4. ^ Skidding at IBDB
  5. ^ Article on A Family Affair at Turner Classic Movies accessed 15 January 2014