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Men of Boys Town (1941)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 April 1941 (USA)
Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy return in this sequel to the original Boys Town. This time the school faces financial trouble as Father Flannigan tries to help every little boy he meets. ... See full summary »


Norman Taurog


James Kevin McGuinness (original screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Father Flanagan
Mickey Rooney ... Whitey Marsh
Bobs Watson ... Pee Wee
Larry Nunn ... Ted Martley
Darryl Hickman ... Flip
Henry O'Neill ... Mr. Maitland
Mary Nash ... Mrs. Maitland
Lee J. Cobb ... Dave Morris
Sidney Miller ... Mo Kahn
Addison Richards ... The Judge
Lloyd Corrigan ... Roger Gorton
George Lessey ... Bradford Stone
Robert Emmett Keane ... Burton
Arthur Hohl ... Guard
Ben Welden ... Superintendent (as Ben Weldon)


Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy return in this sequel to the original Boys Town. This time the school faces financial trouble as Father Flannigan tries to help every little boy he meets. Larry Nunn and Dwayne Hickman join in this time around as Flannigan discovers a reform school that has neither reforming nor schooling. It's up to Flannigan, Whitey, and the rest of the school to teach them there's no such thing as a bad boy. Written by meeris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 April 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das sind Kerle See more »

Filming Locations:

Boys Town, Nebraska, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's television premiere took place in Troy NY/Hagaman NY/Adams MA Tuesday 2 April 1957 on the combined services of WCDA/WCDB/WCDC (Channels 19, 29, and 41); it next aired in Hartford CT Friday 26 April 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), followed by Seattle 7 May 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Philadelphia 8 May 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Norfolk VA 28 May 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by Kansas City MO 27 May 1957 on KCMO (Channel 5), by Los Angeles 28 June 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), by Altoona PA 26 July 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Minneapolis 31 July 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), and by Chicago 28 September 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2); it was first shown in New York City 10 January 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in San Francisco 5 September 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »


Father Edward J. 'Eddie' Flanagan: The coddled, the weak and the doubting will fall.
See more »


Featured in Private Screenings: Child Stars (2006) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
Scottish traditional music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Played by the boys' band and sung by the St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers when Whitey leaves Boys Town
See more »

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User Reviews

Priest Stretched Too Thin
5 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Norman Taurog directs and Spencer Tracy plays Father Flanagan in another film about the priest who walked the walk in his philosophy about their being no such thing as a bad boy.

Men of Boys Town finds Tracy burdened down with a lot of responsibility. His responsibility to each and every boy that he takes in at Boys Town and to the institution itself. Some of their stories overlap with Tracy's main concern about keeping the institution afloat.

One of those kids is Larry Nunn, a kid crippled after he killed a guard in a reformatory he was in. His story is similar to the one that was in the original Boys Town where Gene Reynolds was another kid who was crippled. Nunn is far more cynical and bitter after seeing and experiencing what he has in that other institution.

Another kid is Darryl Hickman, a young juvenile offender from that same place who sneaks out of the place with Mickey Rooney when Rooney goes to visit one of Nunn's friends. Talk about deja vu, in the original Boys Town it was Rooney who was the smart mouth who gets tamed by his experience at Boys Town. I guess the Deity and the scriptwriters have a sense of humor.

Besides Tracy and Rooney, Sidney Miller and Bobs Watson are retained from the original film. Rooney would be stealing this whole film if it weren't for Tracy. Nobody steals a scene from Spencer Tracy.

I guess since Boys Town is still here we do know that Father Flanagan did solve the problems shown in this film as well. Though it looks a whole lot like Tracy is getting stretched way to thin, in the movies and in life itself, problems sometimes do have a way working themselves out if we can only perceive the solution.

Anyway, Men of Boys Town is simply Spencer Tracy continuing his award winning role as the ever wise and patient Father Flanagan. Good enough reason to see this film.

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