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Overall Rating
4

Awesome33.33%
Worth A Look33.33%
Average33.33%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 12 user ratings


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Boys Town
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Social issues 1930s style"
3 stars

Unlike a lot of modern social dramas, Boys’ Town is neither gritty nor realistic. The colourised version was on television recently, and I watched it with the colour turned down.

It’s not surprising that donations to the real Boys' Town and the real Father Flanagan dropped in 1938 after this film was a hit - Spencer Tracy and the film-makers make it all seem effortless to turn hundreds of homeless and delinquent boys into fine, upstanding American citizens, as if no more money was necessary. You're left with the sense that all the social problems of the time could be easily solved if only Spencer Tracy (aided by the story and screen-writers) was on-hand.

Boys’ Town will always be remembered as the film to win Spencer Tracy his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar. He is solid and likeable in the lead role, but it's a force-of-personality performance rather than a great show of acting. Mickey Rooney
plays a young punk gangster, and remains irritating throughout the film (even after his redemption). The score was ingratiating, the plot points easily predictable and the insertion of the dramatic bank robbery to push things to a resolution particularly
crude.

But I'm making Boys' Town sound less enjoyable than it was. Watchable and fairly fast moving (always a relief in a sentimental movie), it at least has its heart in the right place. Difficult to take seriously now.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2245&reviewer=104
originally posted: 10/17/99 18:57:40
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User Comments

9/23/12 Johannes van Hoek Inspirational and a must watch film, and uplifting! 5 stars
12/31/10 Dave Good movie, if only life was really like this 4 stars
7/22/09 the dork knight I'd vote Spencer Tracy for president. 4 stars
1/30/09 PAUL SHORTT A CLASSIC, WELL-MADE TALE, WITH A DELICATE BALANCE OF CHARM, WIT, CARE AND WILLPOWER 5 stars
1/12/08 Pamela White Tracy has stellar performance 4 stars
5/16/06 Angel Lopez This is one of the best. It is moving with laughter. A must see movie. 5 stars
12/05/05 iman im famouse al right 5 stars
12/28/04 tonia bertrand inspirational 5 stars
2/14/03 Charles Tatum Old fashioned, about as challenging as "Touched by an Angel" 4 stars
1/06/03 Megan Spellman My grandpa, Martin Spellman, was in this movie!!! 4 stars
4/01/02 R.W. Welch Not exactly realistic, yet nicely paced with solid acting. 4 stars
2/19/01 Marie Davenporte Boys Town is my second favorite movie! Mockey Rooney was the cause of it. MR rules!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Jan-1938
  DVD: 08-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Norman Taurog

Written by
  Dore Schary
  Eleanore Griffin

Cast
  Spencer Tracy
  Mickey Rooney
  Henry Hull
  Leslie Fenton



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