7.1/10
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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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Photos

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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:

Devil may-care men fought for girls and gold See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Photo 40 on the "Boom Town" page is from "Test Pilot" and shows Myrna Loy, Clak Gable and Spencer Tracy. 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

Karen Vanmeer: Goodbye, stranger.
Big John McMasters: Okay, stranger.
See more »

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

Featured in A Century of Black Cinema (2003) 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 »

User Reviews

 
Four big stars in one film
3 April 2008 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

This was the biggest film of the year for MGM in 1940. They used four of their biggest stars, any one of whom could have starred in their own films.

Clark Gable already had an Oscar for It Happened One Night, another nomination for Mutiny on the Bounty, and was nominated in the 1940 Academy Awards for Gone with the Wind.

Spencer Tracy, a nine-time Oscar nominee, already had a nomination for San Francisco, a win for Captains Courageous, and a win the previous year for Boy's Town.

Three-time Oscar nominee Claudette Colbert already had a win for It happened One Night, which she did with Gable, and a nomination for Private Worlds.

Frank Morgan had gotten one of his two nominations for The Affairs of Cellini.

And, our Star of the Month, Hedy Lamarr, was just beginning her career.

This was a raucous film with all the excitement that you would expect in one about wildcatters in the oil business and featured barroom fights, streets of mud, and stories ripped from the headlines. It was an amazing love story about two men in love with the same woman. It was pure entertainment.


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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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