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Boom Town (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 30 August 1940 (USA)
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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:
... Big John McMasters
... Square John Sand
... Betsy Bartlett
... Karen Vanmeer
... Luther Aldrich
... Harry Compton
... Harmony Jones
... Whitey
... Spanish Eva
... Ed Murphy
... Tom Murphy
Roy Gordon ... McCreery
... Ass't. District Attorney
Casey Johnson ... Little Jack
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

This was the last of three films (after San Francisco (1936) and Test Pilot (1938)) that Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy did together. After this film, Tracy insisted on a clause in his MGM contract that he would receive equal billing with Gable in all future films. While the two remained lifelong friends, they were never again paired together in a movie because MGM wasn't sure how to handle the equal billing. 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 »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Hullabaloo (1940) 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

 
Gable's most personal role
9 January 2004 | by See 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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