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Boom Town (1940)

Passed  -  Adventure | Drama | Romance  -  30 August 1940 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,965 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 11 critic

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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Title: Boom Town (1940)

Boom Town (1940) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Square John Sand
...
...
Karen Vanmeer
...
Luther Aldrich
...
Harry Compton
...
Harmony Jones
Marion Martin ...
Whitey
Minna Gombell ...
Spanish Eva
Joe Yule ...
Ed Murphy
Horace Murphy ...
Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon ...
McCreery
Richard Lane ...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1943, a Detroit theater showed this movie with aromas for each main actor: tobacco for Clark Gable, pine for Spencer Tracy, and "My Sin" perfume for Hedy Lamarr. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who: Boom Town (2005) 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

 
Moves Like a Tornado
7 May 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This movie doesn't let up, as it journeys from Texas oil fields to Latin America to New York City to Oklahoma. Its characters go from rich to poor in what seems like a blink of the eye. As the main characters, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy are in top form, and still young enough looking in 1940 to play oil wildcatters. The ladies, Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr, play more complex than usual women for this kind of film, as their motivations at all times make sense even if one doesn't care for them.

Boom Town isn't an easy movie to categorize. I guess you'd call it an adventure, though it has a good deal of drama, some of it serious, and the actors bring a rare sincerity to their roles. Gable is livelier and seems happier here than I've ever seen him. Tracy, never a cheerful sort, is as near to a happy camper as he can be.

Jack Conway wasn't usually regarded as a director of the first rank even by his studio, does a fine job of keeping things moving at a swift pace. Yet he knows how to slow things down, too, so that one can catch a real glimpse of a small western city or an oil field. The script, by John Lee Mahin and James Edward Grant, does not for a minute seriously question the motivations or morals of the main characters, and this could be classified as a conservative adventure film or a Republican epic. Whatever. It's well enough done to satisfy even the most persnickety liberal.


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