Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.
Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader. Unfortunately, the union members disagree ... See full summary »
Kit Madden is traveling to Hollywood, where her best-selling novel is to be filmed. Aboard the train, she encounters Marines Rusty and Dink, who don't know she is the author of the famous ... See full summary »
Buddies Big John McMasters and Square John Sand are fast-talking, wisecracking wildcatters who manage to con enough equipment and capital to develop their own oil fields, but their friendship is put to the test when Big John inadvertently falls in love with Elizabeth, Square John's longtime girlfriend. Eventually their friendship and partnership comes to an end on the flip of a coin. Years later, when Big John's interest in the beautiful Karen Vanmeer threatens his marriage too, Square John intervenes in an effort to save the marriage of his former friend - even if it means ruining him financially. Written by
G. Taverney (email@example.com)
Clark Gable was anxious to do the film because his father had been an oil rigger, and Gable himself had worked on oil rigs in Oklahoma before becoming an actor. See more »
When Clark Gable rides the donkey at the rodeo he is holding a balloon, in the first wide shot the balloon is gone, but reappears again in the next close up. See more »
Man abandoned by Whitey:
[Whitey rises from table to follow Clark Gable; man she was with tries to restrain her]
Hey, wait a minute! Where're ya goin'?
Let go of me! I pick my own posies, jughead!
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Portraying a friendship similar to the one they shared in the earlier "San Francisco," Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy play two oilmen or wildcatters in "Boom Town," an entertaining saga directed by Jack Conway. Gable is the colorful Big John McMasters, a Rhett Butler from Texas, who lives large and romances big. Tracy is the more solid, down-to-earth Jonathan Sand, who is Gable's moral conscience, much like he was in "San Francisco." The pair meet cute while heading in opposite directions on a narrow board walkway across a muddy street. Despite a damp start, the two men bond, and their friendship endures for years through fights, jealousy, and competition over business and women, particularly Claudette Colbert. The mud is barely washed off their clothing when Gable unwittingly steals Colbert from Tracy, and the jilted platonic lover carries a torch for his lost love throughout the film. When not womanizing or swindling, Gable and Tracy make and lose several fortunes separately and together without breaking a sweat. Oil gushers, well fires, and fistfights, the action wanders all over the MGM back lot from Texas to South America to New York.
Gable anchors the film with his larger-than-life personality, while Tracy underplays in deference to his more charismatic co-star. Although re-teaming the Oscar-winning leads of "It Happened One Night" must have seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, Colbert, unfortunately, often seems out of place in "Boom Town." Her manners, poise, and dress do not mesh with the Texas oil fields or the South American hovels. She is on firmer ground as the well-dressed lady of the manor. The sight of perfectly made-up Colbert scrubbing clothes on a washboard with a big grin on her face strains the story's credibility. Although the enigmatic Hedy Lamarr has a flawless face and incomparable beauty, she rarely wrinkles her professionally applied cosmetics to show any trace of an emotion. However, she is certainly believable as the object of any man's lust and physically perfect as an "other woman." Fortunately, a fine cast of supporting players, such as Frank Morgan, Chill Wills, and Lionel Atwill, surround the leading stars and further enhance the lively proceedings.
First class production values, a fast-moving story, and appealing stars make "Boom Town" a solid entertainment, if not a masterpiece.
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