"Boys' Ranch" was developed as a vehicle for MGM's new child star--Jackie "Butch" Jenkins. James Craig has the role of baseball player Dan Walker who decided to set up a Texas ranch for disadvantaged city kids. Butch of course plays Butch, a particularly precocious boy. Two misbehaving orphans are given a chance to reform by working on an cattle ranch run for boys. Skip Homeier is the child lead--Skippy, a juvenile delinquent who wants nothing to do with the ranch. Another boy at the ranch is Darryl Hickman
This is of course a formula film, a remake of "Boys' Town", "Lord Jeff", and others. This version with Butch has a lighter vein. There are a series of trials and tribulations, but Skippy is of course eventually won over. Like "Boys' Town", there was aeal life basis for the film. The movie was filmed on location at an actual boys' ranch in Oldham County, near Amarillo, Texas.
The ranch was founded in 1939 by ex-wrestler Cal Farley for underprivigeled boys. Rancher Julian Blivins donated the old Tascosa courthouse and 120 acres of land for Farley's western project. Farley and his wife began with six boys. The ranch is now known as Cal Farley's Boy's Ranch. One reviewer writes, "Skippy Homeier in "Boys'Ranch" seemed to have forgotten the lessons he'd learned in "Tomorrow The World!" (Here he plays a NAZI Hitler Youth boy, a bit harder nut to crack than a run-of-the-mill American juvenile delinquet.
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