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Men of Boys Town Reviews

Somewhat sentimentalized sequel to BOYS TOWN, which took three Oscars and several other nominations. Many of the earlier actors have returned for this one, and if there hadn't been a previous story, this might have done better, but as it is with so many sequels, it doesn't reach the heights of the original. Cobb is the pawnbroker who helped to establish the place where boys can go and he is called upon by Tracy, reprising his Father Flanagan role, to raise some more money. In the two years since we saw the first picture, the Town has been driven deeply into debt and Cobb can't see how they can get out of the financial barrel they're in. Nunn is a boy who has been crippled by a vicious beating in a reform school. He arrives at Boys Town with a serious attitude problem and hates everyone and everything around him. Rooney and some of the other boys attempt to bring Nunn back to his senses, but the bitter boy resists. O'Neill and Nash are an older couple who want to adopt a boy. They have the money to provide any youth with a wonderful life and they think it might be better if they get a mature lad, rather than an infant. Meanwhile, Tracy helps find Nunn a dog upon whom the frustrated boy can lavish whatever affection is in his heart. The animal has been provided by O'Neill and Nash, but they choose Rooney to be the object of their affection and affluence and he goes home with them. Despite all of their love and the luxury they lavish on him, Rooney misses his life at Boys Town and the camaraderie of all his pals. Rooney goes to visit a friend at the local reform school, but they won't let him in. While driving away, Rooney discovers that Hickman, an inmate, has hidden in the car to escape the brutality of the institution. Rooney feels for Hickman and won't blow the whistle on him, but when Hickman robs $200, both Rooney and Hickman are tossed into the reform school. Rooney's pal commits suicide and his mother, Revere, appeals to Tracy to expose the treatment at the institution. Tracy bulls his way into the school, successfully demonstrates to the powers-that-be that this is no place to keep young men, and takes Rooney and Hickman out of the reform school and back to Boys Town. Meanwhile, Nunn has agreed to an operation to cure him and even though it's successful, he is not motivated to walk until his beloved dog is accidentally killed. At the pet's funeral on the Boys Town grounds, Nunn stands and walks to the grave. O'Neill and Nash come up with the needed cash to keep the place in business, and the film is over. Good acting from all and a special nod to young Sidney Miller, who grew up to be the successful writer-director-performer who worked for many years with Donald O'Connor in a nightclub act.