Baseball player Dan Walker being benched doesn't bother him as it allows him to make the easy decision to be a full time Texas rancher - his goal to own his own ranch - and be at home with ...
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Baseball player Dan Walker being benched doesn't bother him as it allows him to make the easy decision to be a full time Texas rancher - his goal to own his own ranch - and be at home with his wife and daughter, Susan and Mary. The one thing Dan will miss about not being a ball player is the casual friendship he has with a bunch of disadvantaged boys at his team's ballpark. Without knowing their full stories, Dan could always manage to get a few of them into the ballpark to watch games for free. When Dan learns that two of them, Skippy and Hank, will be sent to reform school, with the probable outcome being they growing up to be adult criminals due to that experience, Dan feels he has no choice but to take the two with him to Texas to try to get them jobs on ranches. Dan learns both that city boys being thrown into the deep end in ranching duties doesn't sit well with the locals, and that there are just as many disadvantaged boys in the country as there are in the city, they who just ...Written by
This film was first telecast in Cincinnati Saturday 17 August 1957 on WXIX (Channel 19) (Newport KY); it first aired in Los Angeles 9 September 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Philadelphia 28 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Hartford CT 8 October 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Amarillo 25 October 1957 on KFDA (Channel 19), in Tucson 1 November 1957 on KVOA (Channel 4), in Phoenix 10 November 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Cleveland 30 November 1957 on KYW (Channel 3), in Chicago 21 December 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Honolulu 4 January 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Columbus 23 February 1958 on WLW-C (Channel 4), in Portland OR 6 March 1958 on KGW (Channel 8), in Nashville 22 March 1958 on WLAC (Channel 5), and in San Francisco 12 April 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); the Boys finally found their way to New York City 21 October 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
Skippy kicks off his shoes and dives into the water to rescue his friend Hank. After he drags Hank to the shore, Skippy no longer has his socks but is barefoot. See more »
The parallels between 'Boys' Ranch' and 'Boys Town' are certainly far more than coincidental. Both the Ranch and the Town start out as a new way to take care of the flotsam and jetsam of boys who need guidance and a place to live. Both are riding on the success of the place to secure funding for their continued existence. Both have a strong male authority figure who cares about kids, a bad kid who nearly spoils everything for everyone else, a cute little kid who is supposed to tug at our heartstrings, and in both films the bad kid redeems himself at the end for a happy conclusion to the story.
TCM showed this film and the on-screen rating (with Dish network) gave it only one star out of four. Okay, this is not a great movie, but really - I think 'one star' should be reserved for badly dubbed low budget import films, or the worst of the last of the Bowery Boys, trash like that. This film while far from a masterpiece at least deserves two stars for making an honest effort of it. The parts are played in earnest, the scenes are decently set; it is better than a one-star film.
A few of the young actors stand out for one reason or another. The youngest of these, Butch Jenkins, was a fairly popular child star. Well he sure didn't get that way from his performance in 'Boys Ranch'... you can almost see him reading his lines, his performance is so wooden. Far from 'cute', here he is annoying and nothing else. Darryl Hickman as one of the better boys gave his usual workmanlike performance. The real standout of the cast is Skippy Homeier who went on to a long career playing supporting characters, mostly as bad guys in Westerns. Here he's a rather nasty and cynical kid, the approximate equivalent of Mickey Rooney's "Whitey Marsh" in 'Boys Town'. Near the end of the movie he has a change of heart and soon all ends well. With as large a role in the film as anyone, Homeier takes the prize for best actor. His best moment may be another take on Whitey Marsh, when Skippy (and that is also his name in the film) breaks down and cries when it seems his actions are going to spell an end to the Boys Ranch. He does a good job of that scene and quite to the opposite end of the scale from the "Butch Jenkins" I-am-reading-my-lines performance given by the younger boy who got higher billing. Homeier was the star of this film - period. Was that ad line about a "lovable, thrillable star" referring to Butch Jenkins? They had to be kidding!
In all, this is a wholesome late-40's family movie, admittedly a little duller than it could have been, but still worthy of more than just one star. You could do a hundred times worse by leaving on Sponge Bob.
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