Based on the actual "Boy's Ranch" located in Oldham County, Texas northwest of Amarillo, Texas. The ranch was started in 1939 by ex-wrestler Cal Farley of Amarillo as a home for underprivileged boys when rancher Julian Bivins donated the old Tascosa courthouse and 120 acres of land for Farley's project. It started with Farley and his wife and nine boys, and currently has over 400 boys and fifty buildings on 4000 acres of farm/ranch land and its own post office and school. Now known as Cal Farley's Boy's Ranch. This film is a semi-western version of MGM's earlier "Boy's Town" plot-wise in which a snarling little petty thief and liar (played by, who else, Skip Homeier in a repeat of his Nazi brat in "Tomorrow the World") who comes to the ranch and immediately makes problems. His comeuppance and redemption is a foregone conclusion, although many viewing the film were rooting for him to end up in Tascosa's old Boot Hill. James Craig and Dorothy Patrick play the characters of Cal Farley ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
"This is the story of a new kind of ranch. It is in Potter County, Texas, not far from Amarillo, and it raises a new kind of crop - men. This crop of men is raised from boys who might otherwise have gone wrong. It all began at a baseball park one day in midsummer " Like "Boys Town" (1938), this "Boys' Ranch" was (and still is) a real place. In MGM's film version, skinny Skip "Skippy" Homeier (as Skippy) and his cute pal Daryl Hickman (as Hank) say goodbye to handsome ballplayer James Craig (as Dan Walker) by giving him an expensive knife. However, the teenage boys stole the knife and are picked up by the police...
Benched by his coach, Mr. Craig moves to a ranch with his pretty blonde wife Dorothy Patrick (as Susan) and pigtailed preteen daughter Sharon McManus (as Mary). Craig agrees to be a parole officer for Mr. Homeier and Mr. Hickman, finding them bed and board at a nearby ranch. Alas, they are neglected and run away. When Homeier's appendix bursts, Craig finds Hickman and a group of the boys living at an empty ranch owned by Ray Collins (as Davis Banton). Craig decides to start "Boys' Ranch" for orphaned and neglected youth. Because the boys are considered "hoodlums", the ranch is put on probation...
Craig grows a mustache to look more "dignified" for his boys and welcomes ornery preteen Jackie "Butch" Jenkins (as Butch Taylor) to the group. The story loses its pace as we overdose on comic relief antics with young Jenkins, who even sings a song. Possibly, when Jenkins was signed, MGM ordered his part expanded. Jenkins is top-billed and bloody-nosed Rudy Wissler (as Rudy) is a glaring omission in the "cast" credits. Likable and unique, Jenkins was the biggest "box office" draw in the group. However, the star is Homeier and the focus slowly returns to his incorrigible character's climactic salvation.
****** Boys' Ranch (7/18/46) Roy Rowland ~ Skip Homeier, James Craig, Daryl Hickman, Jackie "Butch" Jenkins
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