Boys Town

You get Hargraves behind you,
and maybe I can handle it.

That's fair, Dave.
All right, here you are. It's a bargain.
Nothing doing. Not till you get Hargraves.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.

- How do you do, Father?
- Good morning, Mr. Hargraves.

We haven't met before, but I know of you.
Well, that shortens preliminaries.
- Can I help you?
- Do you want to?

If you mean, do I indorse your work,
I don't, I'm sorry to say.

Well, that's all right.
But why do you go out of your way
to hurt me?

There's a feeling in official circles
that you're setting up a tacit criticism...

of things as they are.
There was the same feeling when Newton
suspected the law of gravitation.

There's also a feeling that the sooner
you're discouraged, the better.

For yourself, too.
- No one questions your intentions.
- But I'm paving the lower regions, huh?

Mr. Hargraves, I have 50 boys I've taken
from the slums and the streets.

Right now they're on their way
to becoming confident human beings.

I can do the same with 500.
Boys like that get their chances
in institutions.

You know better than that.
Do I, Father Flanagan?
You have a string of newspapers.
You get reports on human derelicts.

You know the percentage of boys
who survive institutions.

Surely you must know, you above all men.
And you have no right to hinder me
in helping children.

That's pretty stiff, Father.
What little I've done, I've done on nothing.
These boys, thieves some of them,
have gone without clothes...

they've even gone without food,
but not one of them has deserted.

Not one, because they know
what I'm trying to do to help them.

But there are some impossible
young beasts who have to be manacled.

Look at this.
"Eleven-year-old boy convicted.
Guilty of murder in the second degree.

"Jury renders verdict
after 35 minutes deliberation.

"Court will sentence him to life in prison."
A semi-equipped young savage
who's right where he ought to be.

You'll admit that, won't you?
This boy saw his mother
being brutally beaten by a drunken father.

So he took a gun and killed him.
Suppose a man kills because his wife's
been unfaithful: Temporary insanity.

But an 11-year-old: Just a savage.
What do you want of me?