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Robert F. McGowan
Johnny Blake, dodging the law on a false murder charge, gets work in the oil fields. His boss and friend Hap O'Connor turns on him when Johnny and Hap's girlfriend Linda fall in love. An oil well fire becomes the catalyst for their relationships. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Another reviewer was right, this film seems a lot like the Gable-Tracy film BOOM TOWN, but instead stars Pat O'Brien and John Garfield. Like BOOM TOWN, this one is about the oil business and guys who love to gamble on whether or not they can make a strike. Ironically, this movie debuted only one week before BOOM TOWN and I assume both films, while similar, were created completely separately and didn't influence the other--but it sure looks like they are the same general plot.
The film begins with Garfield looking for a job in the oil fields. However, he has a secret--he's a wanted man. Despite this, O'Brien is impressed with Garfield and feels he's an honest man, so he decides to give Garfield a break.
Later, Frances Langford comes along and takes an instant dislike for Garfield. If you are familiar with films of this era, this can only mean one thing--they'll be head over heels in love by the end of the movie! The problem is that O'Brien as well is interested in Langford--creating a dilemma. Will Garfield stab his buddy in the back to get the girl or will O'Brien be a regular guy and step aside? It's all predictable but fun--the sort of film which Warner Brothers did so well. Light fluff, of course, but enjoyable fluff.
So of the two films, which is worth seeing? Well, I'd say it was a toss-up--both are about equally good (but far from great), though BOOM TOWN might be a tiny bit better. Of course, I might just feel this way because Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were in this film--two of my all-time favorites.
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