Mickey Rooney Movies

Mickey Rooney has IMDb credits from 1926 to 2016....90 years!

Mickey Rooney has IMDb credits from 1926 to 2016….90 years!

Want to know the best Mickey Rooney movies?  How about the worst Mickey Rooney movies?  Curious about Mickey Rooney box office grosses or which Mickey Rooney movie picked up the most Oscar nominations? Need to know which Mickey Rooney movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

“The audience and I are friends. They allowed me to grow up with them. I’ve let them down several times. They’ve let me down several times. But we’re all family..” –  Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) had an incredible acting career.  Rooney started performing as a 15 month old in 1921.  On April 16th, 2016 Rooney’s final movie will be released.  That is almost 100 freaking years!  His film career was one awesome (and very long) roller coaster ride….with lots of highs and lows.  He was the biggest star in Hollywood from 1938 to 1942….including the Top Star in 1939, 1940 and 1941.  By 1962 he was bankrupt.  During his long career he picked up 4 acting Oscar® nominations and received 2 Honorary Oscars®.

His IMDb page shows 334 acting credits from 1926-2016. This page will rank 77 Mickey Rooney movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Television appearances, cameos and movies not released in North America were not included in the rankings.  Normally we try and find every movie in a person’s career….but we acknowledge that Rooney’s career is just too damn big to list every Rooney movie ever made.  So we tried to include all of his major movies and all the Rooney movies in our database.  By taking out his 76 television appearances, his 82 shorts, his 83 movies that never saw theaters that leaves 93 possible Rooney movies.  We have 77 ranked….so I feel good that we have almost all of his quality movies.  Please comment if I have made a horrible mistake and left off a quality Rooney movie.

Mickey Rooney played Andy Hardy in 16 movies

Mickey Rooney played Andy Hardy in 16 movies

Mickey Rooney Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Mickey Rooney movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Mickey Rooney movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Mickey Rooney movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Mickey Rooney movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and many Oscar® wins each Mickey Rooney movie received and
  • Sort Mickey Rooney movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive. For example type “Spencer” in the search box and up pop the 3 movies that Spencer Tracy/Rooney movies.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Mickey Rooney Table

  1. Thirty-six Mickey Rooney movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 46.75% of his movies listed. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) was his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Mickey Rooney movie grosses $113.20 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  44 of Mickey Rooney’ movies are rated as good movies…or 57.14% of their movies. Boys Town (1938) is his highest rated movie while The Extraordinary Seaman (1969) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Nineteen Mickey Rooney movie received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 24.67% of his movies.
  5. Ten Mickey Rooney movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 12.98% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Ranking  (UMR) Score is 40.00.  47 Mickey Rooney movies scored higher than that average….or 61.03% of his movies. Boys Town (1938) got the the highest UMR Score while The Extraordinary Seaman (1969) got the lowest UMR Score.
Mickey Rooney helped Spencer Tracy get both of his Best Actor Oscars...Mickey was in both Boys Town and Captains Courageous.

Mickey Rooney helped Spencer Tracy get both of his Best Actor Oscars…Mickey was in both Boys Town and Captains Courageous.

Possibly Interesting Facts About Mickey Rooney

1. Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York.

2. After appearing in almost 100 shorts from 1926 to 1932….Rooney gained noticed for playing Clark Gable as a child in 1934’s Manhattan Melodrama.  Manhattan Melodrama was the movie that John Dillenger watched right before leaving the theater and being gunned down by the FBI.

3.  Mickey Rooney was a Top Ten Box Office Star 6 years.  He was ranked 4th in 1938, 1st in 1939 (Tyrone Power was 2nd) , 1st in 1940 (Spencer Tracy was 2nd), 1st in 1941 (Clark Gable was 2nd), 4th in 1942 and 9th in 1943.

4.  When looking at adjusted domestic box office grosses….Mickey Rooney has 24 movies that reached the $100 million mark.  Of the close to 300 performers looked at here at UMR that is the 6th best total.  Only Cary Grant (29 movies), John Wayne (29 movies), Dean Martin (26 movies), Spencer Tracy (25 movies) and Tom Cruise (25 movies) have a better total of $100 million movies.

5. Mickey Rooney was married 8 times in his life.  His most famous bride was actress Ava Gardner.  He had 9 children.  My favorite Rooney quote on all of his marriages.  “How can you be married eight times?” But I played the hand dealt me the way I was supposed to. I was friendly with most of my ex-wives. My God, there’s a Mickey Rooney’s Former Wives Marching Band!

6.  Mickey Rooney served 22 months in the U.S. Army during World War II. Five of those months were with the Third Army of Gen. George S. Patton. Rooney attained the rank of Sergeant, and won a Bronze Star, among other decorations.

7.  Mickey Rooney is in Guinness book of world records for longest movie career of 89 years (1925-2014).

8.  Mickey Rooney was a compulsive gambler on horse racing.  My favorite Rooney quote on his gambling issues.  “I lost $2 at Santa Anita and I’ve spent $3 million trying to get it back”.

9.  Mickey Rooney was nominated for 4 acting Oscars®.  He received Best Actor Oscar® nominations for 1939’s Babes in Arms and 1943’s The Human Comedy.  He received Best Supporting Actor nominations for 1956’s The Bold and the Brave and 1979’s The Black Stallion.  He was given two Honorary Oscars®….the first was in 1939 and the second 44 years later in 1983.

10.  Mickey Rooney was the only surviving screen actor to appear in silent films and still continue to act in movies into the 21st century. His film debut was in the movie Not to Be Trusted (1926), when he was 4 years old.

But wait! There is more! How about adjusted Worldwide grosses on 43 Mickey Rooney Movies?

  1. Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958) $27.80 million adjusted worldwide gross
  2. Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939) $227.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  3. Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) $225.30 million adjusted worldwide gross
  4. Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (1944) $187.20 million adjusted worldwide gross
  5. Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942) $203.20 million adjusted worldwide gross
  6. Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary (1941) $233.20 million adjusted worldwide gross
  7. Babes in Arms (1939) $401.30 million adjusted worldwide gross
  8. Babes on Broadway (1941) $374.50 million adjusted worldwide gross
  9. Baby Face Nelson (1957) $64.90 million adjusted worldwide gross
  10. Big Operator, The (1959) $27.20 million adjusted worldwide gross
  11. Boys Town (1938) $443.70 million adjusted worldwide gross
  12. Captains Courageous (1937) $405.90 million adjusted worldwide gross
  13. Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) $200.80 million adjusted worldwide gross
  14. Family Affair, A (1937) $57.40 million adjusted worldwide gross
  15. Girl Crazy (1943) $280.80 million adjusted worldwide gross
  16. Hardys Ride High, The (1939) $222.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  17. Human Comedy, The (1943) $306.70 million adjusted worldwide gross
  18. Judge Hardy and Son (1939) $213.30 million adjusted worldwide gross
  19. Judge Hardy’s Children (1938) $94.40 million adjusted worldwide gross
  20. Killer McCoy (1947) $196.50 million adjusted worldwide gross
  21. Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941) $241.50 million adjusted worldwide gross
  22. Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) $280.40 million adjusted worldwide gross
  23. Love Laughs At Andy Hardy (1946) $152.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  24. Manhattan Melodrama (1934) $129.00 million adjusted worldwide gross
  25. Midsummer Night’s Dream, A (1935) $123.40 million adjusted worldwide gross
  26. National Velvet (1944) $496.80 million adjusted worldwide gross
  27. Night at the Museum (2006) $736.00 million adjusted worldwide gross
  28. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) $371.80 million adjusted worldwide gross
  29. Off Limits (1952) $106.20 million adjusted worldwide gross
  30. Out West With The Hardys (1938) $238.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  31. Platinum High School (1960) $11.10 million adjusted worldwide gross
  32. Reckless (1935) $135.00 million adjusted worldwide gross
  33. Riffraff (1936) $117.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  34. Slight Case of Larceny, A (1953) $25.10 million adjusted worldwide gross
  35. Stablemates (1938) $198.10 million adjusted worldwide gross
  36. Strike Up The Band (1940) $299.80 million adjusted worldwide gross
  37. Strip, The (1951) $47.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  38. Summer Holiday (1948) $96.10 million adjusted worldwide gross
  39. Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937) $95.20 million adjusted worldwide gross
  40. Words and Music (1948) $252.50 million adjusted worldwide gross
  41. World Changes, The (1933) $71.40 million adjusted worldwide gross
  42. Yank At Eton, A (1942) $200.60 million adjusted worldwide gross
  43. Your’re Only Young Once (1937) $87.10 million adjusted worldwide gross

Check out Mickey Rooney’s movie career compared to current and classic stars on our Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time page.

For comments….all you need is a name and a comment….please ignore the rest.

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42 thoughts on “Mickey Rooney Movies

  1. 1 The 77 movies in the main table come to some $8.7 billion which is what they would earn if released at current ticket prices to the same number of people who originally saw them The latter will never happen of course and as Cinema seat prices were much cheaper in real terms in the Classic Era than today the purchasing power of those 77 movies would be $5.3 billion in 2017 dollars.

    2 The Numbers categorises each actor’s actual gross as shown in the following table where the example used is the worldwide actual grosses of the 65 movies that The Numbers lists for Sir Maurice Micklewhite.

    15 supporting roles amounting to $5.3 billion
    10 leading roles at $980 million
    6 ensemble roles $1.15 billion
    34 unclassified roles $472 million
    Grand Total $7.9 billion

    3 Whilst this format is too convoluted for my taste it should be acknowledged that $8.7 billion flatters Mickey Rooney’s actual personal box office pull as it includes many movies in which he played supporting parts or even hardly appeared and if taken at face value the $8.7 would put him up with the likes of Cooper, Wayne and Gable, which he wasn’t. When only those movies in which he had star roles are taken into account the $8.7 drops sharply to $5.8 billion with a purchasing power of $3.3 billion in 2017 dollars

    4 Nonetheless despite the various permutations that are used to calculate inflation and assess box office performance I still think the processes of THIS SITE best show the relative popularity of films and movie stars over the years and I admire the clarity with which the stats are presented in the Cogerson tables which can be read in a variety of ways via the highly useful sorter buttons.

    1. Hey Bob…. great breakdown on the career of Mickey Rooney. I agree with most of what you wrote. His career gross is amazing…but you are right the movies at the beginning and end of his career were supporting roles.

      I know the Numbers is a competing website….but rarely do I find much new there. Sometimes Google ranks them higher than UMR….even when we have 50 movies with box office and they have 3….makes no sense.

      I think the sortable tables is one of the best features on our site….I think the tables at Cogerson Movie Score were prettier but they would not sort….so in the end I will take sort vs beauty….lol.

      Good feedback as always.

      1. 1 Mickey himself in a TV interview that I saw laughed at the idea that he was in the Gable box office league stressing the Rooney heyday was largely in the 1940s whereas Gable was “forever”. However such considerations do not detract from the fact that Joe Yule Jr was a screen original and a colourful live-wire. According to Steve “Mr Mason” was glad to appear in Botany Bay (1953) with Laddie as he was able to observe first hand the “Ladd phenomenon” as he described it and Mason concluded that it rested on the fact that despite being small in stature Ladd was so athletic in those days that his every move in front of the camera was strikingly graceful [a kind of a Roger Federer of the movies]. I am sure that had Mason co-starred with Mickey he would have been impressed with Rooney bouncing about the set like a rubber ball and that like Laddie Mickey would have been allowed to call Mason James!

        2 Another reason why I find The Numbers useless is that it it does not adjust for inflation. You mentioned somewhere that sometimes it did but I have never been able to locate a single example.

        1. Hey Bob…..I think his late 1930s success was pretty stout as well.

          Comparing the legacy of Gable and Rooney is pretty one sided…as Gable towers of Rooney. I bet Rooney did not even come close to making the AFI Top 25.

          As for the Numbers…the adjusted numbers I have seen are suspiciously close to the numbers listed on this page. Granted it is our “actual” numbers which include the multiplier I used to use.

          Thanks for the follow up comment.

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