Boys Town Overview:

Boys Town (1938) was a Biographical - Drama Film directed by Norman Taurog and produced by John W. Considine Jr..


The story of Father Flanagan, who battled the courts and the community to create a home for boys that society had tossed away. Rooney plays a particularly tough challenge.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1938 --- Ceremony Number 11 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActorSpencer TracyWon
Best DirectorNorman TaurogNominated
Best PictureMetro-Goldwyn-MayerNominated
Best WritingDore Schary, Eleanore GriffinWon
Best WritingJohn Meehan, Dore ScharyNominated

BlogHub Articles:


By Terry on Apr 22, 2019 From Stardust and Shadows

The sequel remains pretty much as it is today:? repeat box office receipts with the same formula.? That itself is passable in the day of the studio system when film output to fill the theaters with product was required.? Sometimes it works? as in BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) and sometimes it doesn&#... Read full article

Com os Bra?os Abertos / Boys Town (1938)

By L? on Dec 30, 2017 From Critica Retro

Com os Bra?os Abertos / Boys Town (1938) N?s precisamos desesperadamente de her?is. We're in desperate need of heroes. Mas n?o ? qualquer her?i que serve. N?s dispensamos o Batman, o Aquaman, o Super-Homen, o Homem de Ferro, a Mulher-Maravilha – se bem que ela ? demais – e c... Read full article

Mickey Rooney in Boys Town

By Amanda Garrett on Dec 28, 2014 From Old Hollywood Films

Saintly Father Flanagan (Spencer Tracy) knocks some sense into juvenile delinquent Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney) in this clip from Boys Town (1938). New York Times critic Frank Nugent gave Rooney a rare rave review for his performance in Boys Town. "Mickey is the Dead End gang rolled ... Read full article

getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon Post: Boys Town

By Annmarie Gatti on Sep 26, 2014 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

“There is no such thing as a bad boy” – Father?Edward J. Flanagan That’s right, there’s no such thing as a bad boy — or is there? ?Well, well, well…that brings me to my getTV Mickey Rooney Blogathon pick: Boys Town. Why Boys Town??This should be an easy ques... Read full article

Boys Town (1938)

By Beatrice on Nov 21, 2013 From Flickers in Time

Boys Town Directed by Norman Taurog Written by John Meehan and Dore Shary from a story by Shary and Eleanore Griffin 1938/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Repeat viewing More evidence of what a great screen actor Spencer Tracy was. This is an MGM dramatization of the life and work of Father Flanagan, the p... Read full article

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Quotes from

Father Edward J. Flanagan: There is no such thing as a bad boy.

Tony Ponessa: If you're a Catholic or a Protestant, you can go right on being one.
Whitey Marsh: Well, I'm nothin'.
Tony Ponessa: Then, you can go right on being nothin', and nobody cares.

Dan Farrow: [panicky, about to die in the electric chair] How much time have I got, Father?
Father Edward J. Flanagan: Eternity begins in forty-five minutes, Dan.
Dan Farrow: What happens then?
Father Edward J. Flanagan: Oh, a bad minute or two.
Dan Farrow: And after that?
Father Edward J. Flanagan: Well, Dan, that's a question that scientists and philosophers have been asking for a million years.

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Facts about

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."
Freddie Bartholomew was considered for the part of Mickey Rooney's best friend, but was not cast because the producers felt he was too associated with Little Lord Fauntleroy and so would not be believable in this film.
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Best Actor Oscar 1938

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Also directed by Norman Taurog

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Also produced by John W. Considine Jr.

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