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   3,403 votes »
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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
Giving the kids a break 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)
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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
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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: The blackface Whitey wipes off in line doesn't match when he arrives back at the barber.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:
Soundtrack:
Silent Night, Holy NightSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Giving the kids a break, 31 October 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Boys Town is not the actual story of the founding of the famous orphanage in Nebraska for homeless male youth. True some of the problems that Father Edward J. Flanagan had in making his dream come true are dealt with here. But about a third of the way through the story line changes and it deals with the problems of one of the youths Boys Town takes in.

The youth is Mickey Rooney and Father Flanagan is played by Spencer Tracy. They are some contrast in acting styles. It's a tribute to Director Norman Taurog in that he was able to reign in Rooney, who's performance some times goes a little over the top.

Tracy however beautifully underplays against Rooney. San Francisco two years before was a milestone film for Tracy. Previous to San Francisco, Tracy had played mostly roughewn types on either side of the law. No pun intended, but as the priest there, Spencer Tracy became the wise paternal figure so beloved in so many films.

There's a lot of Father Tim Mullin continued on in Tracy's Father Flanagan. No new ground was broken, but the ground was carefully cultivated by Tracy in Boys Town, earning him a second Oscar in a row. That Oscar resides at Girls and Boys Town today, the place did go co-ed in the Seventies.

Tracy was under a lot of pressure in this part because Father Flanagan was still alive. Rumor hath it that he enjoyed Tracy's portrayal very much.

Well if my life story was ever important enough to bring to the screen, I couldn't ask for anyone better than Spencer Tracy to play me.

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Message Boards

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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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