7.3/10
4,681
48 user 21 critic

Boys Town (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama | 9 September 1938 (USA)
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 do something about. An advocate of child... See full summary »

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

John Meehan (screenplay), Dore Schary (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On TV

Airs Tue. Feb. 19, 10:15 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy return in this sequel to the original Boys Town. This time the school faces financial trouble as Father Flannigan tries to help every little boy he meets. ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Bobs Watson
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

82 year old inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison is honored in 1929 and he reflects back on his sixty year career of scientific achievement.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Rita Johnson, Lynne Overman
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, along with the financial and organizational trouble of arranging the wedding.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Barbary Coast saloonkeeper and a Nob Hill impresario are rivals for the affections of a beautiful singer, both personally and professionally in 1906 San Francisco.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin
Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise
Test Pilot (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jim is a test pilot. His wife Ann and best friend Gunner try their best to keep him sober. But the life of a test pilot is anything but safe.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rival reporters Sam and Tess fall in love and get married, only to find their relationship strained when Sam comes to resent Tess' hectic lifestyle.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Fay Bainter
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An old Cuban fisherman's dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea. Based on Ernest Hemingway's story.

Directors: John Sturges, Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos, Harry Bellaver
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the ... See full summary »

Directors: Henry King, Otto Brower
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Nancy Kelly, Richard Greene
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker
Jezebel (1938)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
Edit

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
Edit

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 do something about. An advocate of child rights and an opponent of the severe approach to juvenile delinquency at the time, Flanagan genuinely believed 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:

BOYS' TOWN IS Real! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Father Edward Flanagan may have been the basis for Harold Gray's character Collar John, a boxer turned priest who appeared in his comic strip "Little Orphan Annie". 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

Referenced in Home and Away: Episode #1.591 (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme Music of Boys Town
(uncredited)
Music Traditional, from "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes"
Performed by the Boys Town Acapella Choir (as Boys Town A Cappella Choir)
[Sung at an assembly]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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!*****


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 48 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed