IMDb > Boys Town (1938)
Boys Town
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Boys Town (1938) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   3,449 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Meehan (screenplay) and
Dore Schary (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Boys Town on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 September 1938 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
BOYS' TOWN IS Real! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »
Plot:
Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"There's no such thing in the world as a bad boy." See more (39 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... Father Flanagan

Mickey Rooney ... Whitey Marsh

Henry Hull ... Dave Morris
Leslie Fenton ... Dan Farrow
Gene Reynolds ... Tony Ponessa
Edward Norris ... Joe Marsh
Addison Richards ... The Judge
Minor Watson ... The Bishop
Jonathan Hale ... John Hargraves
Bobs Watson ... Pee Wee
Martin Spellman ... Skinny
Mickey Rentschler ... Tommy Anderson
Frankie Thomas ... Freddie Fuller
Jimmy Butler ... Paul Ferguson
Sidney Miller ... Mo Kahn
Robert Emmett Keane ... Burton
Victor Kilian ... The Sheriff (as Victor Killian)
Boys Town Acapella Choir ... The Choir (voice) (as Boys Town A Cappella Choir)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arthur Aylesworth ... Tim (uncredited)
King Baggot ... Derelict in Mission Next to Weasel (uncredited)

Barbara Bedford ... Catholic Nun (uncredited)
James Blaine ... Court Officer (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Guard (uncredited)
Edwin Brian ... Boy (uncredited)
Everett Brown ... Darky (uncredited)
Orville Caldwell ... Warden (uncredited)
Bennie Chorre ... Young Thunder (uncredited)
Richard Clucas ... Boy (uncredited)
Roger Converse ... Newspaper Reporter Lane (uncredited)
George Cooper ... Tramp (uncredited)
Nell Craig ... Catholic Nun (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Catholic Nun (uncredited)
Calvin Ellison ... Boy (uncredited)
Wesley Giraud ... Butch (uncredited)
Robert Gleckler ... Mr. Reynolds (uncredited)
Donald Haines ... Alabama (uncredited)
John Hamilton ... Warden (uncredited)
Murray Harris ... Hillbilly (uncredited)
Billy Hazard ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Train Guard (uncredited)
Al Hill Jr. ... Apples (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Rod (uncredited)
Donald Hull ... Newsboy (uncredited)
George Humbert ... Calateri (uncredited)
Gladden James ... Doctor (uncredited)
Raymond Kelly ... Boy (uncredited)
Don Latorre ... Boy (uncredited)
Billy McCullough ... Boy (uncredited)

Claire McDowell ... Catholic Nun (uncredited)
Jackie Morrow ... Boy (uncredited)
Paul Nichols ... Boy (uncredited)
Ray Nichols ... Boy (uncredited)

Tommy Noonan ... Red (uncredited)
Jay Novello ... Gangster (uncredited)
Ronald Paige ... Jimmy (uncredited)
Charles Ramos ... Mex (uncredited)
Kane Richmond ... Newspaper Reporter Jackson (uncredited)
Kent Rogers ... Tailor (uncredited)
Nelson Scott ... Commissioner (uncredited)
Jimmy Sommerville ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Bobby Stone ... Boy Mopping Floor (uncredited)
Chuck Stubbs ... Slats - in Prologue (uncredited)
A.W. Sweatt ... Jackie - in Prologue (uncredited)
Phillip Terry ... Newspaper Reporter (uncredited)
Johnny Walsh ... Charley Haines (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Sonny Boy Williams ... Boy on Bannister (uncredited)
Robert Winkler ... Boy (uncredited)
William Worthington ... Governor (uncredited)

John Wray ... Weasel (uncredited)
Walter Young ... Judge (uncredited)

Directed by
Norman Taurog 
 
Writing credits
John Meehan (screenplay) and
Dore Schary (screenplay)

Dore Schary (original story) and
Eleanore Griffin (original story)

Jack Mintz  contributor to screenplay construction (uncredited)

Produced by
John W. Considine Jr. .... producer
 
Original Music by
Edward Ward 
 
Cinematography by
Sidney Wagner (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Elmo Veron 
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Joe Cooke .... unit manager (uncredited)
Jay Marchant .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Horace Hough .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Urie McCleary .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Special Effects by
Slavko Vorkapich .... montage effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo Arnaud .... musical arranger
 
Other crew
Howard Dietz .... press representative (uncredited)
Orville O. Dull .... production associate (uncredited)
Edward Flanagan .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Carl 'Major' Roup .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Boys' Town" - USA (poster title)
See more »
Runtime:
96 min | 93 min (DVD version) | West Germany:107 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | USA:TV-G | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #4528) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Actor Don Barry was spotted at a UCLA game with a Texas All-Star team. Mickey Rooney attended the game with John Wayne. Even though his team lost 21-14, Barry impressed the two actors who offered to open doors for him if he wanted a film career. Rooney got him a job on "Boys' Town," but Barry kept blowing the scene with Tracy he had been assigned and was replaced.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Whitey lowers his baton twice when he steps up to make his election speech.See more »
Quotes:
Father Edward J. Flanagan:I know that a mother can take a whip to the toughest boy in the world, and he forgets it because he knows that she loves him.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Hatful of Rain (1957)See more »
Soundtrack:
Theme Music of Boys TownSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
"There's no such thing in the world as a bad boy.", 30 October 2004
Author: classicsoncall from United States

Spencer Tracy earned a second Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Father Flanagan, the inspirational founder of Boys Town, a haven for troubled youth on the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska. Flanagan was spurred to action by the execution of a prison inmate whose life paralleled many of the boys that Flanagan has come to know in his own home town. With a shoestring budget, and the aid of practical but good hearted businessman Dave Morris (Henry Hull), Flanagan begins the task of building a home and a legacy for hundreds of troubled young men.

Flanagan soon meets Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney), a street wise punk who is about to follow in the footsteps of his criminal brother; but it was big brother Joe (Edward Norris) who asks Flanagan to befriend Whitey. At first, Whitey wants none of it, but there always seems to be something holding Whitey back, whether the thought of a good meal, the effort to make an impression on the other boys, or just the friendship of another young boy Pee Wee (Bobs Watson) who looks up to Whitey. Rooney gives an incredibly fine performance here, portraying a wide range of character and emotions. His near breakdown when Pee Wee is injured and the thought that he was responsible is enough to cause a tear jerk reaction.

The film does get a bit simplistic at times, and some of the situations seem contrived to keep the story moving. But it's anchored by a sense of faith and hope in Father Flanagan's crusade to make the world just a little bit better for one boy at a time. In that, the film has a timeless appeal, and resonates as strongly today as it must have in the late 1930's.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (39 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Boys Town (1938)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
why did tony cry? Binkles
They had better Never Remake this movie! keeperspencer
No DVD??? FibberMcGee18
Whitey's Walk to 30th and Dodge huskerfanlife
Whitey Marsh leroykevin
Filming locations on campus.. dallas_osborn
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