Boys Town (1938)


boys town“There is no such thing as a bad boy. ” – Father Flanagan

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Feb 2015)

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of Father Flanagan who created a town in Nebraska to help keep troubled youths off the street.

My Take on it – Spencer Tracy is one of only two men who were able to win two consecutive best actor oscars; the other is Tom Hanks who won for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994).

Tracy had won one the previous year for Captains Courageous (1937) and became the first actor to accomplish this difficult feat.

Tracy did an amazing job here portraying this iconic priest who managed to single handedly save the lives and futures of hundreds if not thousands of boys by keeping them safe in his town for boys.

Mickey Rooney plays one of his most difficult charges and also does a great job.

The story is quite emotional, but felt very subdued perhaps because it was made in the 30’s.

Bottom Line – Excellent acting job by Tracy (as usual) which earned him his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar. Emotional story, but the movie feels too subdued in certain parts. Rooney is also great as the most difficult pupil Flanagan ever encountered. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The day after Spencer Tracy won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in this film, an MGM publicist released a statement – without consulting Tracy first – that the actor would donate his Oscar to the real Boys Town in Nebraska. Tracy agreed to make the donation if the Academy would send him a replacement Oscar. When the replacement arrived, the engraving on the award read: “Best Actor – Dick Tracy.” (via IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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7 thoughts on “Boys Town (1938)

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