7.3/10
5,078
53 user 23 critic

Boys Town (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama | 9 September 1938 (USA)
Trailer
3:12 | Trailer
When a death row prisoner tells him he wouldn't have led a life of crime if only he had had one friend as a child, Father Edward Flanagan decides to start a home for young boys.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

John Meehan (screenplay), Dore Schary (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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Storyline

When a death row prisoner tells him he wouldn't have led a life of crime if only he had had one friend as a child, Father Edward Flanagan decides to take action. An advocate of child rights and an opponent of the severe approach to juvenile delinquency at the time, Flanagan genuinely believes that there is no such thing as a bad boy. Starting with just a few boys in a rented house, Father Flanagan eventually establishes Boys Town on 200 acres of land 10 miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska. Much of the film focuses on Flanagan's attempts to influence one boy, Whitey Marsh, who will become a hoodlum if he doesn't change his ways. When Whitey is implicated in a bank robbery, it puts all of Boys Town at risk. Throughout it all Flanagan has to fight prejudice in those who believe delinquents should just be locked up and the never-ending shortage of money to accomplish his goals. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest heart drama of the year. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Some of the Best (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore A. Metz
Played by the Boys Town Band
See more »

User Reviews

There is no such thing as a bad boy - Father Flanegan
8 June 2004 | by thursdaysSee all my reviews

The "true story" of Father Flanagan, an Catholic Priest in early 1900's Nebraska, whose motto "There is no such thing as a bad boy" lead him to open a large orphanage for boys nobody wanted. With love and the insistance that there is always hope, the man "gets through" to even the toughest kids anyone else would have called "hopeless".

Spencer Tracy won his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar as the long suffering Flannegan. Mickey Rooney is great as Flannegan's "toughest challenge", and many of the orphans give genuine performances in this Hollywood Classic. The movie "Boys Town" was a major boost to the real-life orphanage, eventually catapulting it to a successful multi-million dollar organization, helping boys (and girls) throughout the US!

"Boy's Town" gives hope to all of the "orphans" among us. Whether without parents, or from unhappy homes. There are always caring individuals whose life goal it is to "leave no child behind". Where there is life, there is hope!*****


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

9 September 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boys' Town See more »

Filming Locations:

Boys Town, Nebraska, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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