Boys Town
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Spencer Tracy won his second Oscar for his portrayal of Father Edward J. Flanagan--then promptly turned the statuette over to the real Father Flanagan out of gratitude. The priest's philosophy that no boy will grow up bad if given a chance in life culminates in his formation of Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. Unable to raise funds through "proper" channels, Flanagan finds that his staunchest supporters are the workaday folks who have faith in him; none is stauncher than Jewish pawnbroker Henry Hull, who digs deep into his pockets to help Flanagan realize his dream. The story of the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Tracy, showing necessary restraint, makes his portrayal of Flanagan sincere and human."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"There's only one Christmas scene, but the movie's sentimental mood makes for nice holiday viewing."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"At the time, the real-life Flanagan complained that MGM made Boys Town look so neat, clean, and well managed that he had trouble raising money for the center"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Superior high-minded 'quality' movie, but in its heart it's a soap opera."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Mickey Rooney is a hard case, but eventually he cracks -- as will you, under the relentless, flat sentimentality of Norman Taurog's direction."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A dated but entertaining tale of friendship"
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Film Threat
"Shameless but effective weepie about wayward orphans"
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"These days you might gag at some of the more saccharine aspects."
‑ , Film4
"One of the more overrated films of its era."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"a watershed film that discusses an important societal development"
‑ Christopher Null,
"Tracy is always good -- was he ever bad in a film in his entire career?"
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"A classic with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney squaring off magnificently."
‑ Beth Accomando,
More reviews for Boys Town on Rotten Tomatoes