|Index||6 reviews in total|
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining B Drama., 18 July 2010
Author: nova-63 from Canada
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Audie stars as the bad boy of the title, a youngster who has a history
of crime and violence. His salvation is Lloyd Nolan, who runs a Variety
Club Ranch for boys who are in trouble with the law. Nolan's goal is to
help all the young men by teaching them a trade and giving them an
opportunity to earn an education. Audie proves to be a hard nut to
crack and he remains aloof and withdrawn.
The boys at the ranch make Audie an outcast, but Nolan tries to dig into his past to find a reason for his bad behaviour. As Nolan digs, Audie continues on with his criminal ways, stealing a gun and robbing a local store. Ultimately Nolan uncovers Audie's secret, the boy believes he accidentally murdered his mother. Nolan's probe reveals that Audie is mistaken and his mother died from natural causes. However, by this time, Audie finds himself in another terrible jam with the police. Can Nolan reach Audie before the police end his criminal ways for good.
The film takes a sober, no punches pulled approach. This works rather well as the viewer is never sure if Audie will be rehabilitated or if he will be shot down in a blaze of bullets. Bad Boy is certainly not a masterpiece, but it is a well made, entertaining B' crime film. On a final note, the cast is quite good, especially Nolan as the serious but caring ranch owner, who the boys call "Coach".
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Audie Murphy Introduces His Movie Persona, 29 June 2011
Author: Alonzo Church from United States
Audie Murphy, a BAD BOY on his way to career in the pen, is sent to
Lloyd Nolan's ranch for delinquents in a last effort to straighten him
out. Can Nolan find out what makes Murphy act so mean before he becomes
a lifer at San Q?
Audie Murphy gets a bit of a bad rap as a movie star, because his movie star career, sometimes, felt like the reward of a grateful nation for his extraordinary war heroism. It's not fair. Audie can be very good -- as he demonstrates here, in his first starring role. In this movie, Murphy personifies a nice, polite, southern boy with a dangerous streak. This is the sort of kid who, one minute, can charm (in a mother/son kind of way) Lloyd Nolan's wife with good manners and genuine sweetness, and in the next, pound the smithereens out of one of his colleagues at the ranch for no good reason. Of course -- this being the 40s -- there is a very Freudian reason for this -- but until we get the psychotherapeutic ending, Murphy plays a kid on the knife's edge of good and rotten exceptionally well. What's interesting is that there is none of the acting awkwardness found in some of his early Westerns. One wonders if Murphy's directors didn't know what they had.
All the character actors give the performances you expect (Nolan is quite good here), the story moves along crisply, and one is left wondering why this one isn't better known. And, also, why Murphy didn't get to do more crime movies -- he has the acting chops for it.
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Well Intentioned Little Programmer, 18 September 2011
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
Looks like this movie was piggy-backing on the similar "troubled boy"
film of a year earlier, Boys' Ranch (1946). This version, however, is
more melodramatic than the sometimes humorous Boys' Ranch.
Here, troubled boy Danny (Murphy) is remanded to the head of Variety Ranch (Nolan) after conviction of armed robbery. At the ranch he causes trouble by refusing to reform, to the point where even the patient head, Mr. Brown, is about to turn him over to the state reform school. Just what is Danny's problem, we wonder.
Considering how quickly farm boy, war hero Murphy was thrust into the national spotlight and then onto Hollywood, he does pretty well in this his first starring role. Oddly, he seems to have the most difficulty projecting the occasional meanness his role calls for. Anyone familiar with his later cowboy roles knows how he can snarl with the best of them. Here, I gather, he is still learning, and more than anything else, comes across as a nice boy. Only the script tells us otherwise.
It's a well-meaning little film, with that fine actor Lloyd Nolan in the lead and everybody's favorite mom of the 1950's Jane Wyatt as his understanding wife. Then there's a 60-year old James Gleason as a surprisingly effective ranch enforcer. But it's the irrepressible Stanley Clements who steals the film as the goofy BitsyI really liked his plowboy-cowboy song and the scene that went with it.
All in all, it's an entertaining little programmer with a good positive message that you just don't see anymore. (In passingI note that the Variety Clubs of the show- biz world produced the movie and apparently helped sponsor the real Texas boys' ranch. I wonder if they still do.)
Another Tough Kid Gets Redeemed, 1 November 2011
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
After two bit parts in other films Audie Murphy got his first starring
role in Bad Boy, an Allied Artists film where the 24 year old Murphy
plays a teenage kid going down the wrong path in life. It was the
beginning of a film career where Audie Murphy traded in on his youthful
appearance for years, mostly in westerns.
After attempting to pull off a holdup of some high rollers at a swank Dallas hotel where his partner William Leicester shot and wounded one of them, Murphy is given a break and sent to the Variety Club Boys Ranch run by Lloyd Nolan and his wife Jane Wyatt. They are assisted by the cynical James Gleason, but Nolan subscribes to the Father Flanagan philosophy that their ain't no such thing as a Bad Boy.
At the ranch Murphy's got the same problems as Mickey Rooney at Boys Town and doesn't interact well with other Hollywood juveniles like Stanley Clements, Jimmy Lydon and Tommy Cook. In fact the only one who Murphy warms up to is Wyatt.
Nolan does some digging to find the root causes of Murphy's anti-social behavior. The story line has it can he discover them and redeem Murphy before he does something that puts him way out beyond deserving to be redeemed?
Two people I wish had gotten more screen time were Murphy's stepfather and stepsister Rhys Williams and Martha Vickers. Williams is what you would now call a motivational speaker and quack psychologist and his attitudes are the root causes of Murphy's problems. Also Selena Royle who would shortly have blacklisting problems plays a sympathetic judge who goes way out on a limb for Audie.
Given that this is a cheap B film from Allied Artists, Bad Boy is surprisingly good. Murphy shows what a natural he is before the camera and the rest of the cast supports him well.
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Audie Murphy Grows Up the Hard Way, 16 September 2011
Author: wes-connors from Earth
In Texas, baby-faced bellboy Audie Murphy (as Danny Lester) is caught
in the opening act beating up his co-worker and stuffing him in a
locker. The narrator informs us that Mr. Murphy is 17-years-old, and
WANTED by the police. There are 62 different charges against him. He is
taken to Dallas county juvenile court and receives a "pass" from the
reformatory. A very handsome young man, Murphy strokes his wavy hair
for the female judge, but she sees through his act. Due to his numerous
crimes, the court thinks Murphy is too dangerous for leniency. However,
they let him go to "Varsity Clubs Boy's Ranch" under the care of kindly
Lloyd Nolan (as Marshall "Coach" Brown) for a trial run...
Murphy continues to cause trouble, getting into a fight with Mr. Nolan's Navy veteran assistant James Gleason (as "Chief"). Murphy mixes poorly with the other "boys" in the bunkhouse. These include singer-guitarist Stanley Clements (as Bitsy Johnson), college-bound boxer Jimmy Lydon (as Ted Hendry), and likewise good-looking Dickie Moore (as Charlie). Nolan thinks there is no such thing as a "Bad Boy" so we need to figure out if this is correct and look for evidence. Murphy calls out for his mother at night and is very nice to Nolan's mothering wife Jane Wyatt. A flashback reveals much; in it, Murphy plays himself as a 12-year-old. There is so much else unconvincing in the story, you hardly notice.
***** Bad Boy (2/22/49) Kurt Neumann ~ Audie Murphy, Lloyd Nolan, Stanley Clements, Jane Wyatt
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
This 'Bad Boy' is Awfully Good ****, 23 June 2011
Author: edwagreen from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What makes this true story so good was that Lloyd Nolan never gave up
on the Audie Murphy character in this 1949 film. He kept seeking why he
was unable to make headway with Murphy at the camp for wayward youth.
He comes upon an unusual story where Murphy thought that the medicine he gave his mother had actually caused her demise.
By the age of 17, the Murphy character, was a career criminal on his way to at least 20 years in jail, and on the route to a killing.
Jane Wyatt plays the sympathetic wife of Nolan and James Gleason is absolutely wonderful as Nolan's assistant who is ready to kick Murphy in the rear end.
This story of ultimate redemption was quite good. Sociologists would have a field day with it.
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