7.1/10
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37 user 13 critic

Boom Town (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 August 1940 (USA)
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:
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...
...
...
...
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Harry Compton
...
Harmony Jones
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...
Spanish Eva
...
Ed Murphy
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Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon ...
McCreery
...
Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson ...
Baby Quintanilla ...
Baby Jack
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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:

Where Men Are Rough And Tough . . . And Like Their Women The Same Way ! 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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,614,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,172,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,147,700
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

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

Hiring boss: [about Big John] Why don't you let me bust him, boss?
Jonathan Sand: [restaining him] I'd rather have you keep your health.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tony Hancock Special (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

After You've Gone
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Turner Layton
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
Played in the dance hall and sung by Marion Martin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moves Like a Tornado
7 May 2002 | by 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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