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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 »

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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
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:

The greatest heart drama of the year. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Don 'Red' Barry was spotted at a UCLA game with a Texas All-Star team. Mickey Rooney attended the game with John Wayne. Even though his team lost 21-14, Barry impressed the two actors, who offered to open doors for him if he wanted a film career. Rooney got him a job on this film, but Barry kept blowing the scene with Spencer Tracy' he had been assigned and was replaced. See more »

Goofs

Whitey lowers his baton twice when he steps up to make his election speech. See more »

Quotes

Freddie Fuller: On a clear day you can see Omaha from here.
Whitey Marsh: Yeah? And then what do ya got.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ball of Fire (1941) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Worth watching over and over.
18 November 2003 | by SushifreakSee all my reviews

Very touching story about a man who knows the right thing to do and is selfless in giving the boys a chance at life with no regard to how it might affect his own life. I think that viewing this should be manditory for some of the people who have lost touch of what matters most in this life and it's not money.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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