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(2005)

Plot Summary

  • In the early days of television most broadcast markets had a local children's personality. Some were clowns, fairy godmothers, or spacemen but Boston had a real cowboy named Rex Trailer. He is the subject of this first feature-length film by Massachusetts native Michael Bavaro. Trailer's interactive Western-themed show 'Boomtown' was a weekend staple for the 4 million children who watched on WBZ-TV in Boston and which reached into most states of New England. More than 200,000 kids appeared live on the show during its run throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The 3-hour show offered music, games, cartoons and life-learning lessons. This meticulously constructed documentary is a treasure of salvaged footage, including a 1952 kinescope, found on Ebay from Rex's early days at WPTZ in Philadelphia. While 'Boomtown' aired live every Saturday and Sunday, it was uncommon and expensive to record each show to videotape but the few that survived are classic eye-candy entertainment. The film is told through the memories of more than 100 grown-up kids who were interviewed from Boston to California. Television stars Jay Leno, Tom Bergeron, Mike O'Malley, comedians Steven Wright, Lenny Clarke, Jimmy Tingle, and Boston mayor Tom Menino are just some of the more celebrated figures who share their childhood passion for this real life cowboy and broadcast pioneer. Rex Trailer's Boomtown' is a time machine back to an age of innocence, 'WANTED' posters, and live one-take TV.

    - Written by Michael Bavaro
  • Relive an age of innocence, 'WANTED' posters, and live one-take TV as Jay Leno, Jimmy Tingle, Mayor Tom Menino, Steven Wright and more than 100 grown-up kids share their memories of 'Rex Trailer's Boomtown' in this moving documentary about Boston's beloved cowboy and pioneer of children's television.

    - Written by Emily Singer

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