You can also select the movies available on HBC by using this alphabetical movie listing. At this time only a few movies have been analized by HBC for clothing and other interesting information, but more pages are being added all the time. Be sure to send along information on your favorite film. We hope to add many reader reviews for these films.
A young teenager doesn't come home and a search is launched.
Young couple are surprised to discover their 14-month old baby giving stock market tips.
Presumably a miss spelling of the above.
The inspiring true story of 12 1/2 year old Garret Walsh, the world's youngest competitive body builder.
Whoppi Goldberg, a reluctant godmother, takes in orphaned Albert (Haley Joel Osment), about 7. The boy's mother raises him in a carnival atmosphere in a circus which provided an extended family of performers. All this ends when his mother is killed in an accident and he is sent to live with Whoopi in Newark and the film emphasizes the city's ugliness. The Whoopi character is mom's foster sister. The film is complicated by a lump of a Frenchman, Albert's imaginary counselor, who intervenes to bring them closer together. Hard to understand this choice as the movie seems made for kids and he is unlikely to appear to children. He appears in strange places such as fully clothed in Albert's bath.
Johnny Sheffield's Bomba movies are not listed after 1950 as he was nearly 20 years old.
An Indiana family tours France. If I remember right, this was a Jimmy Stewart film. The younger boy is played by Disney regular Kevin Cocoran. He wears long pants except for one beach scene. The tidbit showing Fremch boys' clothing was at the end at an open air dance. If you look closely you can see a little French boy dancing in short shorts. A HBC reader tells me that the title is "Bon Voyage". Fred Mac Murray and film family take a European vacation. Kevin Corcoran, who was about 12-13 years old when the film was produced, did indeed
wear a long trousers suit and was clad in longs except for a beach scene when he wore a yellow swim suit.
An innocent man is arrested for the murder of a priest. Darby Hinton
The son of a callous unwed mother is adopted by a rich married couple.
A troubled adolescent is sent to a juvenile detention center where she must adjust to the bitterness and resentment of the other girls. Linda Blair.
I don't much care for Vietnam films, but this is a brilliantly done movie whether you agree with the message or not. The beginning of the film shows boys playing war in 1956. It was very realistically done and I remember doing just the same thing only a few years earlier. The boys playing war wear long pants. In the next scene the main character appears in khaki shorts on his farther's shoulders at a 4th of July parade. I'd say he was 11. Another boy about the same age appears in a blue sailor suit, but this is unrealistic as boys of that age didn't wear sailor suits in the 1950s. The main character gets his first kiss from a girl in the evening after the parade, but he is clearly not impressed, much to her displeasure. After that the film passes on to high school. Kevin Harvey.
The Borrowers is a popular series of children's books by Mary Norton. The Borrowers of course are the small people who live in houses of (and borrow from) "human beans". Norton's story has been done several times both on television and the movies. This is the first series I am aware of. A boy comes to his great aunt's house to convalesce. He makes a marvelous discovery--little people. Dennis Larson plays the boy. He wears knickers and at the end appears in a suit with white stockings and a smart peaked cap. The movie includes a wicked housekeeper. Another production was done as Return of the Borrowers.
Hallmark has airred two productions of The Borrowers. There are two differnt productions, I believe one was done in 1993. Both seasons were just called "The Borrowers" when
original broadcasted and recently repeated during 2001 in the UK. We have no production details on the two productions, but the English boy was played by Paul Cross who, because the setting is England during the summer, wears khaki short pants. This is alovely adaptation of Mary Norton's first two books. The film is beautifully made with some fine acting. It does a great job of capturing the secretive lives of the Borrowers and of the English landscapes in which the story is set. The musical accompaniment adds appropriate atmospherics. Richard Lewis's nariation, however, is not particularly helpful. The first seasons has Paul's characters first meeting with the little. The second production has him helping them. Richard was noticeable younger in the first season as was Danny Newman who played one of the borrowers.
This is another production of Mary Norton's series The Borrowers about the little people an English boy discovers on his summer holidays. This is the most expensive production of the story and stars the always reliable John Goodman, who is great in his effort to exterminate the Borrowers. This version does not have the English background of the earlier production, but rather a non-descript European setting. The boy involved is an American and wears long trousers.
The film was directed by Peter Sheridan. It is a good adaptation of Irish writer Brendan Behan's autobiographical tale of a young Irish boy imprisoned in a British borstal during World War II. He is a staunch republican on a bombing mission. The young Brendan (Shawn Hatosy) initially rejects all attempts to reach him by the relatively benign borstal Governor (Michael York) and especially a British sailor convicted of theft (Danny Dyer). As the film develops, Behan comes to see the world as a more complex place than he preceived as a boy. As his relationships with other inmates begin to grow and he is exposed to a world he has literally never known, he eventually comes to realise the ambiguity of personal and political beliefs. He also finds himself entranced by the Governor's daughter (Eva Birthistle), a free-thinking artist who encourages him to explore his creative side,
something which will eventually result in a short but brilliant career as an author and playwright (though this is not part of the actual film). Borstal Boy does not aspire to be a great film, but is well crafted. It is capably performed by a sincere cast, solidly written by Nye Heron and director Peter Sheridan 'inspired by' the original novel, lushly scored by Stephen McKeon, crisply photographed by Ciarán Tanham, and nicely decked out by production designer Crispian Sallis, art director Michael Higgins, and costume designer Marie Tierney. It is a solid piece of cinematic storytelling which makes good use of all of the materials at its disposal. It is not especially visually exciting, but it escapes the trap of being stagebound or excessively TV movie-ish as so many Irish films are
largely because of its pace and variety of action. There are many familiar prison-camp scenes, including the usual personal, political, and sexual power struggles
between inmates, escape attempts, and even some "unity through sports" action (when the prisoners take on the local army in a rugby match). There are also many references to the context of the action set by the war itself, embodied in the Canadian and Jewish boys among the population, and the uneasy truce struck between Brendan and the authorities at the end of the film, so it is not without a sense of politics or precedent.
'Bottoms Up' is a comedy based on the French film 'Zero Conduit'. A headmaster has his hands full when the boys try to take over the school. The actors are all older boys and young men. They school uniform has long trouserss. The revolt is over a boy who is the son of a book maker friend of Jimmy Edwards. To pay off his gambling debt the boy is given a place at the school.
At the same time there is an Indian Prince coming to England who is going to attend an English boarding school.
Jimmy Edwards plays the main part. His character decides to make everyone believe that the new boy is the Indian Prince. However the boy gets involved in a power struggle with the leader of the current students. They are so incensed by his behaviour that the new boy is kidnapped and the boys hold out in a fortress like part of the school. Thus there are a few battles between the teaching staff trying to free ' The Indian Prince' 'and the students. While this is happening the real Indian Prince arrives.
The war ends with the signing of a peace treaty between Jammy Edwards and the students. The book makers son is expelled and the boys go back to their one upmanship war with the head master. The real Indian Prince becomes one of the boys. It is a hilarious film.
Misshipmen are shown on The Bounty.
A turn of the century saloon drama with Jackie Cooper.
The Bowery Boys were a series of B-films made about youthful New York City characters from the Bowery--a seedy neighborhood. The films were made Monogram Pictures (1946-58). The genesis of the series was the stage play, 'Dead End' (1935). The producer instead of using child actors, recruited low-income youths off the street. Samuel Goldwyn decided to make a screen version. He signed up the original youths (Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, Billy Halop, and Bernard Punsly) from the play to appear in the same roles in the film. Some of the youthful actors had played in 'The Little Tough Guys'. The success led to the making of six additional movies using the title "The Dead End Kids" franchise. As a result of Goldwyn's success, Universal decided tonlaunch their own semi-delinquent kid series/ The result was "Little Tough Guys' (1938). The original actoirs were popular so Universal began recruiting the original Dead End Kids. So the Universal series became 'The Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys'. The boys by this time were working at differeht vstudios with both Monogram and Universal producing the films. Universal used the franchise to shoot 12 feature-length films and 3 serials used in movie theaters to add to feature showings. The last film in the Universal's series was 'Keep 'Em Slugging; (1943) fearuring Bobby Jordan replacing the usual ringleader Billy Halop. Sam Katzman at Monogram began a new series, the 'East End Kids'. In all 21 films were made by Goldwyn, Monigraph, amd Universal.
Leo Gorcey, one of the main characters, demanded a big raise (1945). Sam Katzman who had been producing 'The East End Kids' refused and Gorcey quit. This abruptly ended 'The East end Kids'. Bobby Jordan helped set up a meeting with his agent, Jan Grippo. This led to Grippo, Gorcey, and Hall forming Jan Grippo Productions. They revamped the format using Gorcey's now vert familiar face. And another new name appeared--'The Bowery Boys' The new series followed an almost TV like format, very different than the earlier incarnations. The actors were no longger boys, some of them having worked in Hollywood for two dcades. The Bowery Boys films usually had t Louie's Sweet Shop as their gang hangout.
A crooked family uses their boy to stage car accidents so they can shake down the drivers.
A boy steals a bike in the hope of winning an important race across England.
World War II films were apparently still popular in the immediate post-War era. A boy and girl during the War live with their families in an apartment building that has a rule against pets. Of course they both like dogs and come cross a stray who needs a home. They take in him and hide him in a apartment that is vacant. During the War, vacant apartments were a rarity in the super-heated war economy. But a vacant apartment was needed for the story line. Here we see the kids with their teacher at school (figure 3). Then a burglar breakes in, for some reason chosing the vacant apartment. The pooch doesn't take kindly to this and there is a comotion, damaging the apartment. With the dog discovered, the kids have to find him a home and enlist him in the War effort. He then becomes a hero as part of the K-9 Corps with the U.S. Army in the Italian Campaign.
In a post World War IV civilization, a young man and his talking dog set out in search of girls. The film is based on Harlan Ellison's sci-fi novel.
Set in the West during the 1880s. A boy idolizes a rodeo rider and later finds he has killed a man. Vincent Van Patten and Earl Holliman.
An American boy imagines he is involved with pirates and buried treasure during a long dream sequence. Not a very good movie, more like a long drawn out TV sitcom. I don't know the boy's name, but I have seen him before. The costuming is a good example of 1950s-60s American boys casual clothing. In the scenes I saw he was always wearing jeans. The little girl in the movie, in contrast, wears a velvet dress with lace trim and Mary Jane patent leather shoes.
A city kid goes west to live on his uncle's run down horse ranch. The two have a show down and a crucial mustang round up. John Carroll
Jonathan "Jonno" Durrant (Fraser "Fiz" MacIntosh) is a 12-year old boy with a vivid imagination. He is also experiencing trouble with his new step father. When he witnesses a murder, no one will believe him. Fraser is a talented young actor, but only appeared in one other film--"Vojnik". The movie was filmed in Yugoslavia which was an inexpensive place to work. They shot off the Adriatic Coast of Montenegro--an exotic vacation resort at time. Locals were used as extras. Jonno sees the killer dispossong of a body during a family vacatuon. While his parents don't believe him, the killers do, putting the boy in danger. It did not hve a major film release, but was widely shown in late-night television. Some of the production values are lacking, but the acting is excellent.
A young boy is torn between study and training as a runner.
Two young boys search for a silver bell of their church which was destroyed by a hurricane. The boys are very nice, but nothing of real interest. A typical overly prudish American movie. The boys even keep their jeans on when they go swimming. Mike Lookingland, Mitch Vogel, John McIntyre. Disney.
" The Boy from Mercury " was set in Ireland during the 1960s. The film is an evocation of early 1960s Ireland. It tells the story of 8-year-old Harry Cronin who is trying to come to terms with the loss of his father. In doing so, he becomes a Walter Mitty like character, in the belief that he and his dog Max are aliens from the Planet Mercury, who have been sent to Earth to observe and report to the Mercurians about life on planet Earth. He does this at night by flashing his torch at what he believes is a spacecraft from Mercury, which passes over his council house at the same time every night, in reality it is an aircraft on a scheduled flight.
A movie about a mentally retarded boy and his ability to step outside a very protective mother. The movie is of interest because it was shot in the early 1980s when American boys were wearing short shorts with tube socks. All to often movies just picture boys in jeans, but in this film there are boys wearing short shorts. One boy who lives near the mentally retarded boy almost always is in short shorts, except when going to school. I have seen him in other films, I think some Disney films, but I'm not sure about his name.
This certainly would have been na timely movie in 1943. Columia produced "The Boy from Stalingrad". Scotty Beckett did his part in World War II with this film set in Stalingrad during the height of the NAZI onslaught against Russia. Presumably Scotty was the boy in the title. He would have been about 14 years old when the film was made. Another boy in the film was Steven Muller, a German Jewish boy whose family managed to get out of Germany only days before World war II broke out. One source tells us that the movie was never released. All known copies were apparently destroyed during the Cold War when it was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee
A strong-willed boy refuses to eat his peas in a fantasy and runs away to live in a tree for 2 years.
A boy with an immune deficiency is raised in a controlled environment. The boy is depicted briefly as a toddler, but for most of the movie he is as an older teenager played by John Tavolta.
A German boy mamed Bruno watches as his family moves to the country. It is of course more than a move to the country. His father is an SS officer put in commsand of a concentration camp which wold have been in Poland. Soon Bruno makes friends befriends with a nother boy Bruno finds dressed in what he sees as "striped pajamas". The boy is Shmuel who he finds behind an electrified fence. Bruno is told that he cannot befriend the boy because he is a Jew and that the neighboring yard is actually a prison. Bruno has heard his father talk about Jews, but hav never met one before. Bruno can not understand why his friend is in prison. In fact itis not a prison. he Jews are to be exterminated. There are serious flaws in the historiography of this film. Jewish boys this age were not issued uniforms and incarcerated in concentatioin camps, they were murdered upon arrival. It raises a question as to how important historical accuracy is in film depictions of the Holocaust.
This is a production of the Ouida classic, A Dog of Flanders I'm nor sure why they changed the title, presumably to highlight the role of Jackie Coogan, the child star playing the little Dutch boy. Jackie was the first big American child movie star. Jackie had made it big with Charlie Chaplin in 'The Kid' (1921). He was about 10 years old when he made this film and by this time well known to film audiences world wide. It was still the silent era and fims could easily be marketed world wide by just changeing the text segments. One review complained that Jackie was becoming a little less innocent and learning stage tricks. A reviewer writes, "Jackie does just what you might expect a small-time vaudevillian to do under given circumstances. There are many points of wistful appeal in the tale of the little Dutch orphan, persecuted by the narrow village as a tiny vagabond, who wins a prize and recognition with his drawing just as the snow mounts higher and higher around his ragged clothes. He shows his amazingly facile versatility by running through all emotions, by doing a clog dance and even by doing a Julian Eltinge in girl's clothes. But his inimitable naturalness and naivete are being crowded out by stereotyped gestures and muggings, such as no small 'boy does except at an amateur entertainment." He wears a variety of outfits like sterotypical little Dutch boy outfits. In one scene he disguises himself as a girl in order to attend a girl's party. He wears a traditional Dutch girl's outfit, consisting of white lace cap, ruffled white blouse, full skirted peasant's dress, and apron. He is discovered when he eats too many sweets and gets sick.
Bradley Metcalfe, Jackie Cooper
Paw is the name of the main character who is played by Jimmy Sterman. The film is some times entitles, "Boy of Two Worlds" from the name of the book by Loma Elgin on which it is based. (The book is set in Kenya.) Paw grows up in is the West Indies. After he is orphaned, he is sent to live with his aunt in Denmark. He loves the outdoors. He encounters bullies and is misunderstood in the rural community that he finds himself. He gets involved with the local poacher, he tgen goes into hiding. The fil is fundamentally a morality play appealing to innocence, tolerance and reconciliation. The film is shot rather like a documentary. One of the issues addressed is hunting. There are cuts to nature scenes. The film is in English, but I am unsure how to classify the nationality of the film. The director is Astrid Henning-Jensen who I assume is Danish.
Adventure film which I believe has nothing of interest. I believe the boy in the title refers to the decoration on a vase.
"Boy Slaves" raises the issue of the exploitation of boys in reform school by using their labor. (The populastiion of reform schools in the 1930s was mosdtly boys. Girls rarely got into serious trouble. A gang of homeless boys including 12-year old Jesse Thompson steal food, hop the rails, and drift through train yards. They are caught by authorities and eventually sentenced to reform school. They are offered an opportunity to work on a turpentine farm run by the seemingly benign employer--Charles Lane. The prospect of getting out of a jail-like confinement and early release is dangled before them. Once at the turpentine farm they find it is a strictly run work camp and that they are essentially slaves. They work long hours without compensation at dangerous jobs. Not only are they not paid, but they pile up debts at a country store. When one of the boys dies as a result of the conditions, the boys riot and breaks out of what is really a prison camp. They are hunted down with more tragic results. The boys are finally able to relay the facts to the outside world, and Lane is brought to justice. The film is based on several actual incidents at Southern work farms. A black boy is included in the roupo of boys, but in the South they would have been separated. Roger Daniel, James McCallon, Alan Baxter
An English boy named Sammy (Fergus McClelland)--a little blond chap, tries to cross Africa alone to reach is aunt. His parents are killed and he sets off south to Durban. Sammy is dressed in shorts throughout, khaki bush-shorts. He is often pictured bedraggled as a result of his travels. At one point the boy is taken in by the French Ambassador of one of the countries he ends up in and the ambassador's wife has him bathed, takes away his old clothes, and buys him a new suit. The boy eventually runs off again -The boy plays the part quite nicely, none of the smarty child actor bit. Worth watching as it is a well produced film. The movie ends when he arrives, but you could imagine a nice sequel. She lives in a plush home with a little girl (dressed in a white frock) who first sees Sammy. "A Boy Ten Feet Tall" was the American release title. The actual title was "Sammy Going South".
A 14-year old Donald O'Conner has a part.
A formula child film staring Roger Mobley as a stardard cute child actor, of course paired with a faithful pooch. . The kid who is a news boy and his friend the Colonel find a briefcase. The Colonel tells him it is empty. The disappointed kid brings the briefcase home. He learns on the radio that a bank robber made off with a briefcase brimming with $100,000 in loot. His mother makes him take it to the police. And of course the crook who lost it, wants the loot back. Rocky Kent,
the crook, tracks the kid down and demans the money. He makes the kid take him to he Colonel.
The Colonel fearing the crook pretends that he has the money to protect the kid. He offers to take Kent to the where the loot is hidden. The boy is released and when he gets home he finds out that a drunken tramp removed the money before he andthe Colonel found the brirfcase. He understands that the Colonel lied to protect him and is in danger. This sets up the necessaey happy ending. The kid the police to the crook and thus saves his friend the Colonel. They receive a $1,000 reward.
A troubled young boy trapped in a world of silence believes so strongly in magic that he becomes an inspiration for all around him. He develops a close friendship with the girl next door who is coping with family problems. In essence, a Peter Pan fantasy about two boys from fractured families. Deals with two boys: 9-year old Fred is constantly beat up by bullies and Jay Underwood plays an autistic teenager living with an uncle who dares to dream the impossible--to fly. Jay Underwood, Fred Savage.
A boy's werewolf dad dies, accidentally passing the curse to his son. Kerwin Matthews
Jonas' parents are planning a divorce. Jonas is much affected and runs away on his 13th birthday. He meets a girl name Lena and they become friends. He finally returns home to a happy reunion.
Teen flick about a hockey players problems with his alcoholic father. It addresses the problem of teen drinking and the problems that result. The problems were largely ignored. Even athhletes were involved, perhaps especially ateletes. Scott Baio plays a star high school hockey athelete. He is popular and well respected by the coach and his teammates. What they don't understand is that he is also an alcoholic. That is a little unrealistic. The boys on a high school team generally know just about everything about their team mates. Baio in the film has to work to stay clean and sober so he stays on the team. The issue of respect of hs frinds is also raised. This also is a little unrealistic because in the 1970s, smoking and drinking among many high school students was often something regarded positively. Lance Kirwin plays his best friend.
A 12-year old boy visits a fantasy world where trolls, mermaids, and talking turtles exist. He must decide whether to stay with friends or return to the real world. Sam Waterston
A 6-year old boy (Salome Jens/Christan Reyna?) lost in the Canadian wilds is helped by a badger. Disney.
A boy steals from a bank to help is father pay his bills. He becomes the object of a search by the police.
A young war orphan must learn to deal with rejection when his hair turns green. He visits with a group of war orphans that teach him an important lesson. Early film with Dean Stockwell, who is very effective in the film. Directed by Joseph Losey who was driven to Europe because of his "communist" leanings. Dean plays his part beautifully. The costumer is atrocious. A war orphan is age coming from Europe probably would have worn short pants. Dean wears longs throughout the movie. Dwayne Hickman has a small part as one of the other boys.
We note a Soviet movie about orphanages and choirs. The main character of the movie is a boy Zhenya Prokhorov. First he lives in an orphanage located in a small village Lipovka. The director of a boys choir
boarding school, seeking talented boys, visits this orphanage and discover that Zhenya has a very good voice. He takes Zhenya to the boarding school. There Zhenya lives with other boys, learns music along with the usual
school lessons like maths or geography and so on. Later Zhenya is chosen as a soloist of the choir and becomes popular. But later, after his voice breaks, he needs to forget about his former glory and to find his own way in
music from scratch. This imaginary boys choir boarding school has many common points with Gorky
Boys Chapel Choir or with the Big Children Choir of the USSR.
When high school senior ??? (Lucas Haas) finds an unconscious older girl, he falls in love and hides her in his school dorm room from staff, jealous students, and a local cop. One reviewer writes that the film gives you "the feel for life as a pimply, virginal boy in a school uniform ..."
A NAZI doctor played by Lawrence Olivier tries to clone Adolf Hitler. Several boys are being raised in different countries. The boys are all alike. The British boy wears a school blazer with long trousers. A boy about 14 years old (I can't remember his name) plays the four roles of the clones.
"Boys in Brown" is a movie depicting an English borstal or boys' reformatory. The movie was filmed in 1949. All boys sent to this institution were dressed in corduroy short trouser outfits. The film had an impresive cast and attempted to depict the borstal in realistic terms. Jackie (Richard Attenborough) is being raised by asingle mother. They are quite poor. He is smitten by the girl across the street--Kitty. To get out of poverty, he gets involved in a robbery. He is caught and sentenced to 3 years in a Borstal. Once he is in the Borstal he and his new friends plot to escape. There he meets various characters who are planning an escape. Alfie (Dirk Bogarde) persuades Jackie to join them.
Movie makers have produced several versions of "The Boys of Paul Street", the famed anti-war movel bu Hungarian author Ferenc Molnar (1878 - 1952) -- A Pal Utcai Fiuk. This reflects the fact that it was a beautiful book and that film makers in democratic countries like to make anti-war films. Interestingly we do not see films making the point of what has occured because countries did not maintain adequate defenses. The films have generally been made when anti-war sentiment has been particularly prevalent. The first film version was "A Pál utcai fiúk" (1919) was made in the aftermath of World War I. This was a silent film by Hungarian director Béla Balogh. "No Greater Glory" (1934) American film by U.S. director Frank Borzage and released by Columbia Pictures. It was made during the period in which isolationist and anti-war sentiment was pronounced. At about the same time, "I ragazzi della via Paal" (1935) was made by Italian film directors Alberto Mondadori and Mario Monicelli. We do not know much about this version, but we doubt an anti-war film was made in Fascist Italy as they were invading Ethiopia. A reader writes, "I'd like to see this version, but I only know of it. Makes me think the Fascists must have skipped the last chapter of the book when they decided to make this film!" "The Boys of Paul Street" (1969) was a British/Hungarian production, directed by the Hungarian director Zoltán Fábri. It was made kin the anti-war enviroment following the Vietnam War. Another Italian version, "I Ragazzi della Via Pal" (2003) was made following the Iraq War.
This is a very difficult film to watch. Powerful made for TV film about the abuse of boys, both mental and physical, in a Catholic orphanage. This film is reportedly based on actual events, but it is not a documentary. Rather it pieces together events tht took place over time and impacted several differebt children during the 1970s. The film depicts the St. Vincent's Orphanage in Canada, where many boys were subjected to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by the Catholic brothers who operated the institution. Only slowly did the accounts surface and a police investigation began.
There were arttempts to cover up the abuse to prevent the public from learning about it. Both church and political elements were involved. Eventually a scandal developed, both about the abuse and the attempt to cover it up. At the time shen several boys went to the police. The chief of police, political officials, and important clergy divert the investigation so as not to damage the Church. The priests are transferred to other parishes where they reoffend, harming even more children. As with similar incidents in the United States, the primary concern seems to have been to protect the Church rather than the children. Many years later, victims start coming forward as adults making it more difficult to cover up. Finally an inquiry is commissioned to investigate. The film was originally shot as a two part mini-series. The first part centers on the abuse of a newly orphaned boy about 11, Kevin (Johnny Morina). The second part deals with the trial of the orphanage director.
"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. 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 Jitler Youth boy, a bit harder nut to crack than a run-of-the-mill American juvenile delinquet.
The film "Boys' Town" provides an inspirational look at Father Flanagan's famed Boys' Town. It highlights Father Flanagan efforts to assist underprivildged boys. Spencer Tracey wonderfully plays Father. Tracy won his first oscar for "Captains Courageous" and his second for "Boys' Town". This is probably Rooney's best perfirmance as a dramatic actor. This is perhaps not saying much, but that is perhaps being unfair. I have never been much impressed with Rooney's acting. Father Flanagan had quite a challenge building Boys' Town. He faced resistance from the courts, the community, and others. He sought to deal with boys' the coomunity had largely givn up. on. The boys were orphans or from homes that could not care for them. Whitey Marsh (Rooney) wants to be a gangter until Father Flanigan drags him to Boys' Town. The Home is disrupted by the rebellious new arrival. It is the boys at Boys' Town that eventually change Whitey's mind. There are of course several boys involved in the film. Although set in the 1930s, all but one waers long pants. Only one boys wears short pants--the smallest boy wears very long shorts.
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