Boys' Ranch (1946)

97 or 99 mins | Comedy-drama | 18 July 1946

Director:

Roy Rowland

Producer:

Robert Sisk

Cinematographer:

Charles Salerno Jr.

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Black Sheep and Alley Cowboys . According to studio publicity material, the film's story is based on the real-life boys' ranch founded by Cal Farley near Amarillo, TX. According to an unidentified contemporary news item in the AMPAS Library's file on the picture, film crews spent five weeks shooting on location in Texas. The HR review called the film the "Amarillo, Texas version of Boys Town ," a reference to the popular 1938 M-G-M film about a Nebraska home for boys. (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0465.) The film marked the motion picture debut of actress Dorothy ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Black Sheep and Alley Cowboys . According to studio publicity material, the film's story is based on the real-life boys' ranch founded by Cal Farley near Amarillo, TX. According to an unidentified contemporary news item in the AMPAS Library's file on the picture, film crews spent five weeks shooting on location in Texas. The HR review called the film the "Amarillo, Texas version of Boys Town ," a reference to the popular 1938 M-G-M film about a Nebraska home for boys. (See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0465.) The film marked the motion picture debut of actress Dorothy Patrick. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 May 1946.
---
Daily Variety
30 Apr 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 May 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 45
p 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 45
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 45
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 45
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 46
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Apr 46
p. 2926.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 May 46
p. 2973.
New York Times
9 Aug 46
p. 12.
Variety
1 May 46
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the article "Boys Town, Ranch Style" by Cal Farley in American Magazine (Jun 1946).
SONGS
"Oh, My Darling Clementine," music and lyrics by Percy Montrose
"Blood on the Saddle," music and lyrics by Everett Cheetham.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Alley Cowboys
Black Sheep
Release Date:
18 July 1946
Production Date:
mid July--mid October 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 April 1946
Copyright Number:
LP231
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97 or 99
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11264
SYNOPSIS

Faced with the prospect of having to spend the remainder of his baseball-playing career as a bench warmer, Dan Walker decides to leave his team and return to Amarillo, Texas to be with his wife Susan and daughter Mary. Before leaving, Dan makes a court appearance on behalf of two neighborhood boys he has befriended, Hank and Skippy, who have been treated more harshly under the law because they are orphans. Dan's personal involvement results in the boys becoming his temporary wards, and he takes them to Amarillo with him. Soon after arriving in Amarillo, Dan sends the boys to a rancher friend of his to be put to work as ranch hands. Skippy, the more hardened troublemaker of the two, immediately rejects the discipline of farm living and after refusing to take orders, leaves the rancher with no choice but to send them back to town. Believing that Dan gave them a raw deal, Skippy persuades Hank not to return to Dan's and the two manage on their own for a short time, until Skippy is hospitalized for appendicitis. Dan learns of Skippy's condition from his neighbor, David Banton, who owns the abandoned Tascosa court house where Skippy, Hank and some of their old pals have been living. While Skippy recovers from his illness, Dan persuades Banton to allow him to convert a piece of Banton's property into a ranch for wayward boys. Banton lets Dan borrow the land but stipulates that the loan is for a trial period only, after which he will judge the experiment's success and then decide the ranch's future. Time passes, and the ranch, named the Old ... +


Faced with the prospect of having to spend the remainder of his baseball-playing career as a bench warmer, Dan Walker decides to leave his team and return to Amarillo, Texas to be with his wife Susan and daughter Mary. Before leaving, Dan makes a court appearance on behalf of two neighborhood boys he has befriended, Hank and Skippy, who have been treated more harshly under the law because they are orphans. Dan's personal involvement results in the boys becoming his temporary wards, and he takes them to Amarillo with him. Soon after arriving in Amarillo, Dan sends the boys to a rancher friend of his to be put to work as ranch hands. Skippy, the more hardened troublemaker of the two, immediately rejects the discipline of farm living and after refusing to take orders, leaves the rancher with no choice but to send them back to town. Believing that Dan gave them a raw deal, Skippy persuades Hank not to return to Dan's and the two manage on their own for a short time, until Skippy is hospitalized for appendicitis. Dan learns of Skippy's condition from his neighbor, David Banton, who owns the abandoned Tascosa court house where Skippy, Hank and some of their old pals have been living. While Skippy recovers from his illness, Dan persuades Banton to allow him to convert a piece of Banton's property into a ranch for wayward boys. Banton lets Dan borrow the land but stipulates that the loan is for a trial period only, after which he will judge the experiment's success and then decide the ranch's future. Time passes, and the ranch, named the Old Tascosa Boys Ranch, proves to be a great success, with many new arrivals. While one new arrival, a precocious boy named "Butch," does well at the ranch, another new arrival, the recuperated Skippy, continues to show contempt for Dan's efforts to help him and neglects the responsibilities assigned to him. One day, Skippy steals a wallet from the home of a nearby rancher, Mr. O'Neill, and buries it for safekeeping at Boothill Cemetery. When rumors spread that the boys of Boys Ranch are responsible for the rash of thefts in the area, O'Neill and other ranchers try to persuade Banton to revoke the use of his land for the school. Banton's decision to take away the ranch is hastened by the discovery that prize money for a livestock contest has been stolen from his car. By now, all the boys suspect that Skippy is behind the thefts and try to keep their ranch by forcing him to confess, but Skippy refuses and runs away. Hank follows Skippy and when he discovers him unearthing his buried loot at Boothill, a fist fight ensues. During the fight, Hank hits his head on a tombstone and is knocked unconscious. Skippy flees from the cemetery and is about to escape Tascosa by train when he learns about rising floodwaters and realizes that Hank's life is in jeopardy. Skippy has a sudden change of heart and risks his life getting through the fast-rising waters and saves his friend's life. The experience changes Skippy, and after returning the stolen money, he settles into life at the ranch. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.