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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This was the last of three films (after San Francisco (1936) and Test Pilot (1938)) that Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy did together. After this film, Tracy insisted on a clause in his MGM contract that he would receive equal billing with Gable in all future films. While the two remained lifelong friends, they were never again paired together in a movie because MGM wasn't sure how to handle the equal billing. 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 »
As one who has worked in the "oil patch" for 25 years, I feel that 'Boom Town' is the most realistic portrait of the industry (during that period) that has ever been put on film. The formation of the cartel mimics the origins of Standard Oil. Also, the 'feel' of the picture is right and the industry is not romanticized as in other films. Perhaps, as was noted in other comments, this is because of Gable's experience as a wildcatter.
Several others have noted, or objected to, Gable's speech about the nature of the industry. Yes, it is decidedly pro-business and anti-government, but it is not really laissez faire. The film argues for controlled production of oil fields to maximize their long-term benefit. This speech is amazingly prescient of our current crisis.
I watch this one every time it airs.
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