Boys Town 1938 NR CC

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(116) IMDb 7.3/10
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Spencer Tracy stars with child-star Mickey Rooney in this Oscar nominated moving story of a priest who develops a school for juvenile delinquents.

Starring:
Spencer Tracy, Henry Hull
Runtime:
1 hour 33 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Boys Town

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Norman Taurog
Starring Spencer Tracy, Henry Hull
Supporting actors Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton, Gene Reynolds, Edward Norris, Addison Richards, Minor Watson, Jonathan Hale, Bobs Watson, Martin Spellman, Mickey Rentschler, Frankie Thomas, Jimmy Butler, Sidney Miller, Robert Emmett Keane, Victor Kilian, Boys Town Acapella Choir, Arthur Aylesworth, King Baggot
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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Thank you, so much, for offering this wonderful movie on DVD.
starmaster83
Boys Town/Men of Boy's Town DVD is a wonderful example of what it takes to help troubled boys to grow up being responsible leaders in their own communities.
M. R. Epp
I loved watching this movie when I was a kid on Family Classics on WGN in Chicago.
April Morgano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on November 15, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
"Boys Town", is I believe one of those very special movies that only comes along occasionally in a viewing lifetime. I never fail to be moved and inspired by this wonderful story and by the very special man who is central to this story; Father Edward J. Flanagan, the man who founded Nebraska's famed Boys Town which has given hope and a decent future to countless homeless and abused young boys and girls ever since. MGM here created a perfect story out of this unique man's life and they ended up with a stunning motion picture that has remained a much loved classic ever since. Spencer Tracy will always be remembered for his Academy Award winning portrayal of Father Flanagan and it is he who gives "Boys Town", its lasting appeal with a performance full of honesty, and a belief in the basic decency of all people regardless of religion, age or colour. The films most famous line that "there is no such thing as a bad boy", echoes Father Flanagan's philosophy throughout his life and it creates a lasting impression that has succeeded in touching each new generation of movie goers who have loved this film.

"Boys Town", was planned as one of MGM Studios biggest productions for 1938 and having Spencer Tracy play the famous priest was an inspired piece of casting if ever there was. Tracy actually built up a reputation for his roles as a priest from his earlier work in "San Francisco". It indeed would be hard to find a better marriage of actor and role than we have here with Spencer Tracy and Father Flanagan. Playing the Priest as a caring, warm and endlessly optimistic man Spencer Tracy also injects the character with enough toughness and inner drive to make him a believable person who at times questions his own judgement and inner faith.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bill Ford on August 22, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Keeping this review "short", I am compelled to echo the kind words of previous reviewers. There's much to be said of Boys Town, but it would fill a 1500 page book and still be too short. Father Flanagan died in Germany May 15, 1948. The tears still well up today, more than a half century later. Watching these 1938 and 1941 films is like reliving my childhood all over again. I recall so well the scenes in the movie.... but "I" remember the rooms, the buildings, the birch trees lining the entryway to Boys Town and the wooden stage where Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney) was elected Mayor of Boys Town. Father Flanagan's office (and the rest of the building) where PeeWee got his candy treats became the gradeschool principal's office. I remember it all so well. I relive my childhood with every viewing. Oh yes.... in real life I was there: 1948 - 1953. These two movies are part of me today to share my history with my children and their children.
How could I possibly "not" like these great works?
Bill Ford - Southern California - August 2003
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on March 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Father Flanagan takes in abandoned boys between the ages of 12 to 18, regardless of race or creed, and fights to raise money, to feed and teach and mother his friendless charges. Mickey Rooney - bless him - runs the gamut of emotions from the tough, poker-playing gangster kid, through the tear-choked, made over youngster, to the final noble youth who becomes mayor of Boys Town. The film manages - in spite of its embarrassing sentimentality of its closing scenes - to be a consistently interesting and frequently touching movie. A burning desire to help his fellowmen and a belief that there is no such thing as a "bad boy" inspired and assisted the Reverend Edward J. Flanagan to found "Boy's Town". Spencer Tracy's sincere portrayal of the role of the priest Father Flanagan was truly an outstanding performance in his career, it even ranks above his Father Tim in SAN FRANCISCO; Tracy simply IS Father Flanagan! As a footnote, in real life, Tracy donated the Oscar he won for his portrayal as Father Flanagan TO Father Flanagan himself; Tracy had it inscribed thusly: "To Father Edward J. Flanagan, whose great human qualities, kindly simplicity and inspiring courage were strong enough to shine through my humble efforts. S/Spencer Tracy".
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By THIERRY on November 22, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is one of the all time best movies ever made. The second part Men Of Boys Town is just a great if not more so. Mickey Rooney gives one of his best performances, if not his all time best. This movie really spotlights his great dramitic acting skills as well as his comedy skills. Spencer Tracy was great as Father Flannigan, but Mickey Rooney steals the show. The story is great and the acting as just great. I love the friendship of the little boy Pee Wee and Whitney Marsh(Mickey Rooney). This movie is highly recommended....buy it now!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MusicFilm Fan on December 22, 2005
Format: DVD
"Boys Town" stars two of the greatest actors of the golden era of Hollywood, Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy, and their parts in this movie are among their best roles. "Boys Town" doesn't have quite as close a connection to Christmas as the other two titles in the Classic Holiday Collection (there's one scene set on the holiday), but this true story of a priest who builds a boarding school for troubled youth is one that will warm your heart. Tracy plays Father Flanagan, a kind, socially conscious priest who can be tough when he needs to be, and Mickey Rooney displays his wide-ranging acting talent (from tough talk to tears) as one of the neglected boys whom Flanagan sets on the right path.

"Boys Town" is accompanied by its own less-famous sequel, "Men Of Boys Town," so you're getting two features on one disc. You also get a featurette about the real Boys Town (which still exists and has expanded beyond its original Nebraska location), as well as a 1939 radio program promoting the movie with Tracy and Rooney.

If you like this great movie, you may want to consider getting the excellent Classic Holiday Collection, which includes this film along with two other great classics, "Christmas In Connecticut" and "A Christmas Carol" (1938).
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