Like its predecessor Boys Town, this one carries socko entertainment for wide general appeal, including plenty of tear-jerking and sentimental episodes to blur the eyes of the most calloused, and spotlighting the life work of Father Edward J. Flanagan in his enterprise devoted to rehabilitation of wayward boys.
Spencer Tracy again presents a sincere and human portrayal of the priest, while Mickey Rooney displays plenty of restraint in handling the assignment of the completely-reformed boy who goes out briefly to practice the precepts of the school head. Lee J. Cobb, as the fund-raiser to keep the institution open, gives a fine performance.
Story introduces Larry Nunn into the institution. Kid is bitter because of the crippled back sustained in a reform school beating, and Rooney heads a group of boys to try to make him laugh again. The kindly Father Flanagan and a dog do the trick.
Picture hits a consistent gait, always pointing up the sentimental angles in its dramatic unfolding.
Direction by Norman Taurog again demonstrates his unique talents in handling boys and their varied characteristics.