The Five Best Mickey Rooney Movies of His Career

Mickey Rooney was born to be a star, there’s really no other way to say it. Born to parents who were both vaudevillians and later on raised in Hollywood when his parents split, his options didn’t seem like they included a lot of divergent paths that he could have taken. On top of that he took to the stage in a big way since the moment he could walk, when a lot of kids are still learning their finer motor functions and aren’t quite ready to act on cue. All in all Mickey had acting in his blood and he was one of the biggest names in Hollywood for quite some time until later on in life when his career began to even out a bit and his fame was overtaken by each new wave of talent as Hollywood began to change in a big way and the business he’d grown up in was altered in a manner that many didn’t see coming. Throughout it all though he did manage to be his old and very amusing self, right up until the end.

Here are the five best movies of his career.

5. Boys Town

Letting a group of young men come up with their own laws, their own community, and their own punishments sounds like a bad idea in this day and age but back in Rooney’s day it was something that was determined could help turn troubled boys into responsible men by teaching them the consequences of their actions early on. Whitey, played by Rooney, is the most troublesome of the boys in all of Boys Town, and makes it known by throwing his weight around as much as he can. When he’s finally humbled into realizing just what Boys Town is all about and what kind of life could await him if he screws up again, Whitey eventually changes his tune.

4. Pete’s Dragon

Lampie is the kind of guy that most don’t take seriously since he’s usually in his cups or appears kind of half-crazed most times for one reason or another. But Rooney played the part perfectly since it couldn’t have been done any better. Pete’s Dragon is a classic that was likely better off not being remade since the remake didn’t really go all that far and a lot of people tend to enjoy the first movie in any case. As he got older Rooney’s cut act kind of went by the wayside but his comedic performances and his ability to contribute to a movie didn’t diminish in the least since he was still a valued cast member.

3. Night at the Museum

How quickly would anyone up and quit if they saw that the museum came to life at night when no one was around? It’s bad enough that there’s a T. Rex fossil that wants to play fetch, but the addition of wax dummies coming to life and being able to cause physical harm is something that a lot of people might see and just say ‘pass’. Even more disturbing is that the trio of elderly night watchmen are using the same power source that brings the exhibits to life to remain eternally youthful, at least in one sense, and are intent on stealing as much as they can and pinning it on the new guy.

2. The Black Stallion

This is one of those classic stories that people never really get tired of since it’s inspiring, it’s easy to watch, and it has that certain emotional oomph that people tend to love that doesn’t challenge anyone or require too much. Alec and the Black take some time to get used to each other since the horse is wary of human beings after being mistreated so often, but eventually the two form a bond that has been described as impossible to break. When they begin to see just how fast Black is they realize that his strength and his endurance are incredible as they eventually enter one of the most famed races of the year.

1. Babes in Arms

One reason that anyone might speak out against this movie is that it does use blackface, which as most people should know by now was seen as something that happened back in the day, whether it was right or wrong. Apart from that this is a movie about life in show business and what it takes to continue the show and keep it moving forward without suffering too many setbacks. In a big way this almost feels as though it’s partially about Mickey’s life in some regards, if only because since his youngest days he was a part of the show and remained as such until his elder years.

He was one of the greats, there’s no doubt about that. Keeping his memory and many others alive is still important to this day.


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