Boom Town (1940)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  30 August 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,200 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 12 critic

Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.



(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Vanmeer
Luther Aldrich
Harry Compton
Harmony Jones
Minna Gombell ...
Spanish Eva
Joe Yule ...
Ed Murphy
Horace Murphy ...
Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon ...
Richard Lane ...
Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson ...
Little Jack
Baby Quintanilla ...


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 (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where Men Are Rough And Tough . . . And Like Their Women The Same Way ! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boom Town!  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,614,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Big John McMasters: [walking up the saloon stairs to wash up] Hey, Whitey, I'll be back down like a spring breeze. Don't let those apes steal all your peaanuts.
Whitey: They say that with diamonds where I come from.
Big John McMasters: Yes, sir, Whitey, a brass band in a bathtub.
[she laughs]
See more »


Featured in Some of the Best (1943) See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Hummed by Frank Morgan
See more »

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User Reviews

A great movie

I love this movie! It's such a touching movie about romance, friendship, and that touching? Anyway, if I were Claudette Colbert, I would have a hard time deciding between Clark Gable (handsome and rugged) and Spencer Tracy (sweet, caring, and devoted). If you've never seen "Boom Town", you really have to! It's great.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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