You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Boys Town

The story of Father Flanagan's struggle to make a successful boy's home and then an entire community near Omaha, Neb, is the motivating theme throughout. Producers shrewdly have not made it entirely a paean of praise for Boys Town, but rather a realistic portrayal of Father Flanagan's untiring efforts to make something of wayward youngsters who otherwise might wind up in the electric chair.

Cast:
Spencer Tracy Mickey Rooney Henry Hull Leslie Fenton Gene Reynolds Bobs Watson

The story of Father Flanagan’s struggle to make a successful boy’s home and then an entire community near Omaha, Neb, is the motivating theme throughout. Producers shrewdly have not made it entirely a paean of praise for Boys Town, but rather a realistic portrayal of Father Flanagan’s untiring efforts to make something of wayward youngsters who otherwise might wind up in the electric chair.

With Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney as the priest and the incorrigible lad, in tailor-made roles, Boys Town is a tear-jerker of the first water. Yet it has equal distribution of humorous and bitter moments. Rooney virtually takes the production away from the capable and veteran Tracy, though not appearing until feature is half-finished.

Rooney is the toughie whose repartee is as laughable as his cocky walk and mannerisms. Slow curbing of his desires as he bucks Boys Town customs and rules is a transition of character that is logically worked out. Tracy, showing necessary restraint, makes his portrayal of Flanagan sincere and human. It is not the first time he has played the role of a priest on the screen.

Henry Hull, the money-supplying pawnbroker who makes possible the boys home, builds this comparatively minor role into an impressive assignment.

1938: Best Actor (Spencer Tracy), Original Story (Eleanore Griffin, Dore Schary).

Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Screenplay

Boys Town

Production: M-G-M. Director Norman Taurog; Producer John W. Considine Jr; Screenplay John Meehan, Dore Schary; Camera Sidney Wagner; Editor Elmo Veron; Music Edward Ward

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Spencer Tracy Mickey Rooney Henry Hull Leslie Fenton Gene Reynolds Bobs Watson

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Directors Guild Begins Expulsion Process Against Harvey Weinstein

    The story of Father Flanagan’s struggle to make a successful boy’s home and then an entire community near Omaha, Neb, is the motivating theme throughout. Producers shrewdly have not made it entirely a paean of praise for Boys Town, but rather a realistic portrayal of Father Flanagan’s untiring efforts to make something of wayward youngsters […]

  • Josh Brolin'Only the Brave' film screening,

    Josh Brolin Mourns 'Deadpool 2' Stuntwoman's Death: It Was an 'Absolute Freak Accident'

    The story of Father Flanagan’s struggle to make a successful boy’s home and then an entire community near Omaha, Neb, is the motivating theme throughout. Producers shrewdly have not made it entirely a paean of praise for Boys Town, but rather a realistic portrayal of Father Flanagan’s untiring efforts to make something of wayward youngsters […]

  • 'Surviving Peace' Review: Does Israel Truly

    Film Review: 'Surviving Peace'

    The story of Father Flanagan’s struggle to make a successful boy’s home and then an entire community near Omaha, Neb, is the motivating theme throughout. Producers shrewdly have not made it entirely a paean of praise for Boys Town, but rather a realistic portrayal of Father Flanagan’s untiring efforts to make something of wayward youngsters […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: Tyler Perry's 'Boo 2!' Set to Top Sluggish Weekend Ahead of 'Geostorm'

    The story of Father Flanagan’s struggle to make a successful boy’s home and then an entire community near Omaha, Neb, is the motivating theme throughout. Producers shrewdly have not made it entirely a paean of praise for Boys Town, but rather a realistic portrayal of Father Flanagan’s untiring efforts to make something of wayward youngsters […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content