Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee ... See full summary »

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Gene Reynolds ...
Edward Norris ...
...
The Judge
Minor Watson ...
The Bishop
Jonathan Hale ...
John Hargraves
Bobs Watson ...
...
Skinny
Mickey Rentschler ...
Tommy Anderson
Frankie Thomas ...
Freddie Fuller
Jimmy Butler ...
Paul Ferguson
Sidney Miller ...
Mo Kahn
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Storyline

Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee Wee is hit by a car, returns. He runs away and joins his brother's gang. Flanagan and the boys capture the crooks and the reward saves the town. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The life story of a boy who was "born to be hung"! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boys' Town  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Boys Town organization hoped that the success of the movie would increase the amount of donations. In fact, the amount of donor money sharply decreased because many donors thought that the organization had made a huge profit due to the movie's success. See more »

Goofs

Whitey lowers his baton twice when he steps up to make his election speech. See more »

Quotes

Father Edward J. Flanagan: There is no such thing as a bad boy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme Music of Boys Town
(uncredited)
Music Traditional, from "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes"
Special Lyrics Anonymous
Played often in the Score
Sung by the Boys Town Acapella Choir at an Assembly
See more »

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User Reviews

A fine story of one man's love for the forlorn and another's discovery of humility
21 March 2001 | by (Pasadena, CA) – See all my reviews

A classic tale of one man's belief in the inherent goodness in every human being. Spencer Tracey, in one of his finest performances, essays the role of Father Flanagan who, in spite of mounting pressure from society, champions the cause of juvenile delinquents and gives them a shelter and some much-needed care. But the order in Boys Town is marred by the reluctant entry of Whitey Marsh (played effortlessly by Mickey Rooney), a cocky street-smart urchin who loathes having to adjust his ways to suit the others. However, as the events unwind, Whitey slowly starts loving Boys Town so much so that he stakes his life for it. What impressed me about the movie most was the brilliant performance from Spencer Tracey - a delicate balance of charm, wit, care and enormous willpower.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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