Mickey Rooney was a beloved American actor who appeared in hundreds of films and television shows over the course of his career, spanning several decades.

He was known for his energy, charisma, and versatility as an actor, and his movies continue to captivate audiences around the world.

In this article, we will highlight some of the best Mickey Rooney movies that showcase his talent, charisma, and enduring appeal.

Best Mickey Rooney Movies/strong>

From his early work as a child star to his later roles in classic Hollywood films, these movies provide a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of American cinema and the enduring power of great performances on the big screen.

1. Pete’s Dragon (1977)

“Pete’s Dragon” is a live-action/animated musical film released in 1977 and directed by Don Chaffey. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in a supporting role as Lampie, the lighthouse keeper who befriends the main character, a young orphan boy named Pete and his dragon, Elliott.

The film follows Pete and Elliott as they escape from their abusive foster family and seek refuge in the small coastal town of Passamaquoddy. There, they meet Lampie and his daughter Nora, who take them in and help them avoid the clutches of the evil Dr. Terminus.

Rooney’s performance in the film is heartwarming and memorable, showcasing his talent for portraying lovable and eccentric characters.

The film also features impressive animation and special effects, creating a vivid and immersive portrayal of the fantastical world of Pete and Elliott.

“Pete’s Dragon” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of Disney’s film library. Rooney’s performance adds depth and humor to the film, making it a must-watch for fans of his work and family-friendly cinema.

Sale
Pete's Dragon (1977) DVD
  • Pete's Dragon ( Pete's Dragon (High-Flying Edition) )
  • Pete's Dragon
  • Pete's Dragon (High-Flying Edition)
  • Walter Barnes, Helen Reddy, Jim Dale (Actors)
  • Don Chaffey (Director) - Pete's Dragon ( Pete's Dragon (High-Flying Edition) ) (Producer)

2. The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970)

“The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County” is a western comedy film released in 1970 and directed by Anton Leader. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Pockets, a con artist who teams up with a group of bumbling cowboys to pull off a heist.

The film follows Pockets and his cohorts as they plan and execute a daring robbery, encountering various obstacles and misadventures along the way. Rooney’s performance is comedic and charming, showcasing his talent for delivering witty one-liners and playing the lovable rogue.

“The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County” was a modest success upon its release, and it has since become a cult favorite among fans of western comedies.

   

Rooney’s performance adds a fun and lively energy to the film, making it a must-watch for fans of his work and fans of classic comedy.

The Cockeyed Cowboys Of Calico County
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dan Blocker, Nanette Fabray, Jim Backus (Actors)
  • Ranald Macdougall (Director) - Ranald MacDougall (Writer) - Ranald MacDougall (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. Evil Roy Slade (1972 TV Movie)

“Evil Roy Slade” is a western comedy television movie released in 1972 and directed by Jerry Paris.

The movie stars Mickey Rooney in a supporting role as the diminutive gunslinger, Arnold the Kid, who helps the main character, Evil Roy Slade, played by John Astin, in his quest for revenge against the people who wronged him.

The film follows Evil Roy Slade, a notorious outlaw, as he seeks revenge against the people who betrayed him and left him for dead. Along the way, he meets Arnold the Kid, a quick-draw gunslinger with a Napoleon complex, who becomes his loyal sidekick and helps him in his quest.

Rooney’s performance in the film is hilarious and memorable, showcasing his comedic timing and talent for playing quirky and unconventional characters. The film also features a talented cast of comedic actors and a witty script, making it a must-watch for fans of western comedies.

“Evil Roy Slade” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it has since become a cult classic among fans of classic television movies.

Rooney’s performance adds a fun and irreverent energy to the film, making it a must-watch for fans of his work and fans of classic comedy.

Evil Roy Slade
  • EVIL ROY SLADE (DVD MOVIE)
  • Edie Adams, John Astin, Pamela Austin (Actors)
  • n/a (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

4. A Yank at Eton (1942)

“A Yank at Eton” is a drama film released in 1942 and directed by Norman Taurog. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Ronnie Kenvil, a brash American teenager who is sent to a prestigious British boarding school to receive a proper education.

The film follows Ronnie as he struggles to adapt to the strict rules and customs of the school, and he clashes with his classmates and teachers along the way. Rooney’s performance is dynamic and engaging, showcasing his talent for playing rebellious and energetic characters.

“A Yank at Eton” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of Rooney’s filmography.

The film offers a compelling look at the clash between American and British cultures during World War II, and Rooney’s performance adds a fun and lively energy to the proceedings.

   

Overall, “A Yank at Eton” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and charisma as an actor and offers a fascinating glimpse into the cultural and historical context of the era.

A Yank at Eton
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mickey Rooney, Freddie Bartholomew, Ian Hunter (Actors)
  • Norman Taurog (Director) - George Oppenheimer (Writer) - John W. Considine Jr. (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Quicksand (1950)

“Quicksand” is a film noir crime thriller released in 1950 and directed by Irving Pichel. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Dan Brady, a down-on-his-luck auto mechanic who becomes embroiled in a web of crime and deception.

The film follows Dan as he falls for a femme fatale named Vera, played by Jeanne Cagney, and becomes entangled in a scheme to embezzle money from his boss.

Rooney’s performance in the film is nuanced and captivating, showcasing his range as an actor and his ability to play complex and flawed characters.

“Quicksand” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a classic of film noir cinema. The film offers a thrilling and suspenseful story, with Rooney’s performance adding depth and nuance to the proceedings.

Overall, “Quicksand” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic film noir, as it highlights his talent and versatility as an actor and showcases the enduring appeal of this iconic genre of cinema.

Quicksand 1950
  • Mickey Rooney, Peter Lorre, Jeanne Cagney (Actors)
  • Irving Pichel (Director)

6. The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942)

“The Courtship of Andy Hardy” is a romantic comedy film released in 1942 and directed by George B. Seitz. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Andy Hardy, a young man who is torn between two romantic interests, played by Donna Reed and Ann Rutherford.

   

The film follows Andy as he navigates the ups and downs of love and relationships, while also dealing with the challenges of growing up and taking on more responsibility.

Rooney’s performance in the film is charming and endearing, showcasing his talent for playing lovable and relatable characters.

“The Courtship of Andy Hardy” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of the romantic comedy genre.

The film offers a heartwarming and nostalgic portrayal of small-town life and the challenges of coming of age.

Overall, “The Courtship of Andy Hardy” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and charm as an actor and offers a delightful and engaging story that continues to captivate audiences today.

The Courtship of Andy Hardy
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mickey Rooney, Donna Reed, Lewis Stone (Actors)
  • George B. Seitz (Director) - Agnes Christine Johnston (Writer) - Carey Wilson (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958)

“Andy Hardy Comes Home” is a comedy-drama film released in 1958 and directed by Howard W. Koch. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Andy Hardy, a young man who returns to his hometown after many years away.

The film follows Andy as he reconnects with his family and friends, and tries to come to terms with the changes that have occurred in his absence. Rooney’s performance in the film is heartfelt and poignant, showcasing his talent for playing complex and emotionally resonant characters.

“Andy Hardy Comes Home” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of the Andy Hardy film series. The film offers a poignant and nostalgic look at small-town life and the challenges of coming home after many years away.

Overall, “Andy Hardy Comes Home” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and emotional depth as an actor and offers a poignant and engaging story that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Andy Hardy Comes Home
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mickey Rooney, Patricia Breslin, Fay Holden (Actors)
  • Edward W. Koch (Director) - Edward Everett Hutshing (Writer) - Red Doff (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

8. A Family Affair (1937)

“A Family Affair” is a comedy-drama film released in 1937 and directed by George B. Seitz. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Andy Hardy, a mischievous teenager who is always getting into trouble.

The film follows Andy as he tries to prove to his family and friends that he is responsible and mature enough to handle the challenges of adulthood. Rooney’s performance in the film is energetic and charming, showcasing his talent for playing lovable and relatable characters.

“A Family Affair” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it launched the Andy Hardy film series, which would span over a decade and include 16 films in total. The film offers a heartwarming and nostalgic look at small-town life and the challenges of growing up.

Overall, “A Family Affair” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and charm as an actor and offers a delightful and engaging story that continues to captivate audiences today.

9. Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937)

“Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry” is a comedy-drama film released in 1937 and directed by Alfred E. Green. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Joey, a young stable boy who dreams of becoming a jockey.

The film follows Joey as he tries to pursue his dreams and overcome the obstacles that stand in his way, with the help of a young heiress named Cricket, played by Judy Garland.

Rooney’s performance in the film is energetic and engaging, showcasing his talent for playing plucky and determined characters.

“Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it launched the successful pairing of Rooney and Garland in several films over the years.

The film offers a heartwarming and nostalgic look at the world of horse racing and the challenges faced by those who pursue their dreams.

Overall, “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and charisma as an actor and offers a delightful and engaging story that continues to captivate audiences today.

Thoroughbreds Don't Cry
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Sophie Tucker (Actors)
  • Alfred E. Green (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

10. The Human Comedy (1943)

“The Human Comedy” is a drama film released in 1943 and directed by Clarence Brown. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Homer Macauley, a young telegraph messenger who comes of age during World War II.

The film follows Homer as he navigates the challenges of growing up, dealing with the loss of his father, and trying to find his place in the world during a time of great uncertainty and turmoil.

Rooney’s performance in the film is nuanced and powerful, showcasing his talent for playing complex and emotionally resonant characters.

“The Human Comedy” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of wartime cinema. The film offers a poignant and nostalgic look at small-town life and the challenges of coming of age during a time of great upheaval and change.

Overall, “The Human Comedy” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and emotional depth as an actor and offers a poignant and engaging story that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Sale
The Human Comedy
  • The Human Comedy
  • by WILLIAM SAROYAN
  • Hardcover Book
  • William Saroyan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

11. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939)

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is an adventure film released in 1939 and directed by Richard Thorpe.

The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Huckleberry Finn, a young boy who embarks on a series of adventures down the Mississippi River with his friend Jim, an escaped slave.

The film follows Huck and Jim as they encounter various obstacles and challenges along the way, including dangerous criminals and treacherous rapids. Rooney’s performance in the film is energetic and adventurous, showcasing his talent for playing plucky and daring characters.

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of American literature.

The film offers a thrilling and engaging adaptation of the classic novel, with Rooney’s performance adding an energetic and captivating energy to the proceedings.

Overall, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and adventurous spirit as an actor and offers a thrilling and engaging story that continues to captivate audiences today.

The Adventures of Huck Finn (1939)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mickey Rooney, Walter Connolly, William Frawley (Actors)
  • Richard Thorpe (Director) - Hugo Butler (Writer) - Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. Girl Crazy (1943)

“Girl Crazy” is a musical film released in 1943 and directed by Norman Taurog. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in the lead role of Danny Churchill, a wealthy playboy who is sent to a small college in the West to straighten out his ways.

The film follows Danny as he falls for the local postmistress, played by Judy Garland, and becomes involved in a variety of musical and comedic shenanigans.

Rooney’s performance in the film is energetic and charismatic, showcasing his talent for singing and dancing as well as his natural charm as an actor.

“Girl Crazy” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of the musical genre. The film offers a lively and engaging story, with Rooney’s performance adding a fun and energetic energy to the proceedings.

Overall, “Girl Crazy” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood musicals, as it highlights his talent and charisma as a performer and offers a delightful and entertaining story that continues to captivate audiences today.

Girl Crazy (1943)
  • Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton (Actors)
  • Norman Taurog (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

13. The Black Stallion (1979)

“The Black Stallion” is an adventure film released in 1979 and directed by Carroll Ballard. The movie stars Mickey Rooney in a supporting role as Henry Dailey, a horse trainer who helps a young boy named Alec, played by Kelly Reno, train a wild Arabian stallion.

The film follows Alec and the horse as they form a strong bond and embark on a series of adventures, including a thrilling race against two other horses. Rooney’s performance in the film is understated and nuanced, showcasing his talent for playing wise and supportive characters.

“The Black Stallion” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it remains a beloved classic of family-friendly cinema. The film offers a thrilling and engaging story, with Rooney’s performance adding a subtle and emotional depth to the proceedings.

Overall, “The Black Stallion” is a must-watch for fans of Mickey Rooney and classic Hollywood cinema, as it highlights his talent and emotional range as an actor and offers a captivating and heartwarming story that continues to resonate with audiences today.

The Black Stallion
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney (Actors)
  • Carroll Ballard (Director) - Walter Farley (Novel) (Writer) - Fred Roos (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3 Reasons To Watch Mickey Rooney Movies

Rooney’s range as an actor: Mickey Rooney was a versatile actor who was capable of portraying a wide range of characters, from plucky young heroes to complex and nuanced adults.

Watching his movies allows audiences to appreciate the depth and breadth of his talent and to see how he evolved as an actor over time.

Rooney’s impact on Hollywood history: Rooney was a key figure in the evolution of Hollywood cinema, working in the industry for over 80 years and appearing in hundreds of films and television shows.

Watching his movies provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of American cinema and the changing landscape of the film industry.

Rooney’s enduring appeal: Despite being made decades ago, many of Rooney’s movies continue to captivate audiences today with their timeless themes of love, friendship, and perseverance.

His performances continue to inspire and entertain generations of viewers, making him a true icon of American cinema.

Best Mickey Rooney Movies – Wrap Up

Mickey Rooney was a Hollywood legend, known for his dynamic and versatile performances in a wide range of films spanning several decades.

From his early days as a child star in the 1930s to his later work in the 2000s, Rooney’s movies showcase his talent, charisma, and enduring appeal to audiences around the world.

Some of Rooney’s most notable and beloved films include “Boys Town,” “Babes in Arms,” “National Velvet,” “The Human Comedy,” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

These films highlight his range as an actor, from his youthful exuberance to his mature and nuanced portrayals of complex characters.

Rooney’s films are not only entertaining but also offer a glimpse into the history of Hollywood cinema, as he worked alongside many of the greatest directors and actors of his time.

His enduring legacy as a performer continues to inspire and entertain generations of viewers, making him a true icon of American cinema.

Whether you’re a fan of classic Hollywood movies or simply appreciate great performances, Mickey Rooney’s films are definitely worth watching. They showcase the power and range of his talent and offer a glimpse into the evolution of American cinema over the decades.