The devout but iron-willed Father Flanagan (Spencer Tracy) leads a community called Boys Town, a different sort of juvenile detention facility where, instead of being treated as underage criminals, the boys are shepherded into making themselves better people. But hard-nosed petty thief and pool shark Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney), the impulsive and violent younger brother of an imprisoned murderer, might be too much for the good father’s tough-love system.
Runtime: 96 min
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull
Director: Norman Taurog
Writer: John Meehan, Dore Schary
One thought to “Boys Town (1938)”
We love this movie and the premise that there is no such thing as a bad boy. Father Flannagan has this motto, and sets out to prove that there is no such thing as a bad boy, when all society thinks the boys need to go to the reformatory, which ends up leaving them on the street. His approach is that the boys need someone that cares for them, and loves them, and that will make all the difference in a boy’s life. It teaches a lot about how to teach children how to govern themselves and to take ownership in their lives, which is something we could all use a little more.