"There isn't any such thing in the world as a bad boy."
Even people who haven't seen "Boys Town
" know Spencer Tracy
's line, in character as Father Edward Flanagan
, as the credo of the real Boys Town
, the institution renowned for its care of orphaned and troubled kids. The classic movie, released 75 years ago this week (on September 9, 1938), was a huge hit, a milestone in the careers of Spencer Tracy
and Mickey Rooney
, and an inspiration to wayward kids and those who would help them, all over the country.
As beloved as the movie has been for generations, there's still plenty you may not know about it -- how it almost didn't get released, how Tracy's Oscar victory almost turned into a publicity nightmare, and how the movie almost did more harm than good to the real Boys Town
Read on for 25 true tales behind the making of "Boys Town