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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Karen Vanmeer
...
Luther Aldrich
...
Harry Compton
...
Harmony Jones
Marion Martin ...
Whitey
...
Spanish Eva
Joe Yule ...
Ed Murphy
...
Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon ...
McCreery
...
Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson ...
Little Jack
Baby Quintanilla ...
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Storyline

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 (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GABLE and TRACY...buddies in battle! COLBERT and LAMARR...rivals in love! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boom Town!  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,614,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jonathan Sand: [to Vanmeer's maid] Scram you! I'll buy you a diamond daybed for Christmas.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Claudette Colbert (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Polly Wolly Doodle
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Played over the opening credits and as background
Sung and hummed at various times by Clark Gable, Chill Wills and Claudette Colbert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Realism in 'Boom Town'
26 January 2006 | by (Connecticut, USA) – See all my reviews

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.


24 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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