Father Flanagan (Tracy) has become a champion for the young boys he sees on the streets of his parish. He doesn't think the reformatories truly reform. He often speaks on behalf of the youth, and the courts often release these boys into his custody. Flanagan approaches the bishop with a radical idea: he doesn't believe any boy is bad. He wants to create a refuge for these young men. He enlists the help of Dave Morris (Hull), who helps him fund his dream. The project, which has started with five youth, soon is growing beyond expectation. Flanagan decides to create a town where the boys govern themselves and assume responsibility for themselves and each other.
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As he continues on his mission, Flanagan ministers to convict Joe Marsh (Norris). He wants a better life for his kid brother, Whitey (Rooney). Flanagan agrees to help, but Whitey wants nothing to do with Flanagan or his town. When he has made life as miserable as possible for the inhabitants of Boys Town, Whitey runs away. As Whitey is leaving, precious Pee Wee (Watson) -- the youngest boy who is the defacto mascot of the institution – decides to try to follow his friend and is hit by a car. Whitey is also witness to a bank robbery by his brother. Joe begs him not to rat and to go straight. Whitey struggles with the request. Father Flanagan is still willing to help.
Tracy was awarded an Oscar for his role as Flanagan.
The review of this Movie prepared by ldpaulson