7.1/10
3,109
43 user 17 critic

Boom Town (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 August 1940 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

Director:

Jack Conway

Writers:

John Lee Mahin (screen play), James Edward Grant (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:
Clark Gable ... Big John McMasters
Spencer Tracy ... Square John Sand
Claudette Colbert ... Betsy Bartlett
Hedy Lamarr ... Karen Vanmeer
Frank Morgan ... Luther Aldrich
Lionel Atwill ... Harry Compton
Chill Wills ... Harmony Jones
Marion Martin ... Whitey
Minna Gombell ... Spanish Eva
Joe Yule ... Ed Murphy
Horace Murphy ... Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... McCreery
Richard Lane ... Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson ... Little Jack
Baby Quintanilla 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:

BY POPULR REQUEST - This Picture Brough Back For Your Enjoyment (print ad - Lubbock Evening Journal - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - State Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - June 26, 1947) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film in which Claudette Colbert and Spencer Tracy appeared together. 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 it reappears in the next close up. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Sand: [to Karen's maid] Scram, you. I'll buy you a diamond day bed for Christmas.
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Crazy Credits

[Opening title] This is the story of a hard driving breed of Americans - oil prospectors - "wildcatters". Made of the bone and blood of pioneers - men born of the lasting miracle that is America - they probed the Earth from early Pennsylvania to California's Kettleman Hills to bring forth America's greatest treasure, the life blood of today's world - oil! See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

At the Circus
Composed by Franz Waxman
Played under the bronco busting scene
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User Reviews

 
Gable's most personal role
9 January 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When one thinks of roles identified with Clark Gable, Boom Town does not immediately come to mind. Yet this film, done at what most would consider the high water mark of Gable's career (after Gone With the Wind and before Carole Lombard's death) was possibly his most personal role. Before he was actor Gable worked in the oil fields with his widowed father. After that he decided acting was a far easier way to make a living. But he actually lived the life that he and Spencer Tracy portrayed in Boom Town. He brings more to the part of Big John McMasters than any other part he ever did. I'm sure he was an unofficial technical consultant on the film.

The film is also an ode to laissez faire capitalism, maybe one of the most right wing films ever done in Hollywood. You will never hear Herbert Hoover's rugged individualism better justified than in Spencer Tracy's speech to the jury in Gable's anti-trust trial. One half of the script writing team was James Edward Grant who later did many of the more propagandistic films that John Wayne did.

Frank Morgan is his usual befuddled self, he had a patent on those parts. Claudette Colbert is fine as the woman both men love and Hedy Lamarr was her usual alluring self.

Great entertainment all around.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boom Town See more »

Filming Locations:

Bakersfield, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,614,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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