7.3/10
4,840
53 user 22 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
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
San Francisco (1936)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
The Champ I (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich
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
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
The Citadel (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Andrew Manson (Robert Donat), a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson
Going My Way (1944)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Father Charles O'Malley, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Fredric March, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Woods
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dr. Jekyll allows his dark side to run wild when he drinks a potion that turns him into the evil Mr. Hyde.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Boom Town (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert
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 Flanagan was paid $5000 for the movie rights to his book; the movie made a profit of $2 million. See more »

Goofs

Pee Wee is hit by a car. Whitey rushes to see whether he is injured. You'd expect the car driver to come and see as well, but the driver has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Father Edward J. Flanagan: There is no such thing as a bad boy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

My Mammy
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Title Sung a cappella by Mickey Rooney
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Going my way
21 September 2010 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

It's been some years since the story about the Catholic Church sheltering pedophile priests came to light.I do hope it's only a minority.

But it's comforting to watch a movie based on this wonderful priest ,Father Flanagan (brillantly portrayed by the great Tracy)If there are saints in the universe,he must be one of them.After listening to the story of a prisoner about to be executed -a victim of fate more than a criminal-,the man of God decides he would take in all the boys standing in great danger of going to the dogs in a town he would build for them.

One of Flanagan's most salutary qualities is his superb tolerance :before lunch,every boy prays his own God ,not only Jesus (they are even allowed to have no God),which was revolutionary!thirty years later,when I was in a catholic holiday camp,we had to pray and thank OUR Lord before we ate.

Many viewers will praise Mickey Rooney and he is impressive as a "gangster in miniature" ,but my favorite is the adorable Pee Wee!


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed